It is an absolute passion. A hunger. A way of life. A culture. A tradition.
I LOVE IT. I love the tailgating experience, the lights and sounds, the cheers and chants, the stats and play-calling, and even the drunken fans. It's Sweet Home Alabama, the Million Dollar fight song, chills at the sound of Bear's voice, pregame video memorized, 4 fingers in the air, Rammer Jammer love.
My daddy raised me on Alabama football, and it's just a part of me.
Yesterday was my first gameday as a STUDENT! Whattt? This new perspective was stranger than expected! I could talk about ALL of that, but honestly it's not the purpose of this blog. I learned something huge yesterday.
Think of the emotion poured out. The energy. The hoarse voices. The fear of showing face at church the next morning because of the smack you talked.
Listen, this is why I'm nervous about this blog. I'm about to spit out some Spirit words in faith.
Yesterday, I experienced the same excitement in tradition and passion as I have my whole life. But I had a godly revelation and it's bothered me since. Isn't this idolatry? Before you go thinking I'm a closet Auburn fan or looney liberal, hear this. I don't believe there is anything inherently evil about football, tailgating, cheering, or loving gameday. But I do believe that for many of us, we are misplacing our worship. Not that we bow down to the Bear's statue (most of us) or curse God for a loss (IF that were to ever happen).
This is what's unexcusable:
- With the cost of just one $40 ticket, we could provide an impoverished child with food, clothing, education,and spiritual development for an entire month (http://www.compassion.com/). That is one of thousands of options. The point is, on gameday we throw around $100 bills like confetti, but then we turn away from children in need because "the checkbook's tight this month." That is not okay.
- While tailgating, we're happy to give away our burgers and beer to complete strangers in red and white because "we're all part of the Crimson Tide family." But when we see a man by the side of the road who needs money for food, we lock the doors and refuse to help. He'll probably just use it to buy alcohol. Hmm. He is our brother. That is not okay.
- We sport our T-shirts, decorate our cars, even paint our bodies to be as loud and proud about our team as possible. We wanna be Roll Tide freeeaks! We are never afraid to wear our Bama gear, even in the midst of a room full of orange. We are never afraid to voice our professional opinions on playcalls. We are never afraid to bet our money and pick the upset. We'll argue football til we're blue in the face. But we'd never stand in a room and defend the name of Christ. We don't even know what we'd say anyways. We're too afraid of what others would think. We don't want to be that Jesus freak. We would never want to offend anyone. Oh, but we'll talk some football. That is not okay.
Just think about it.