In the South, we live football

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In the South, football is often compared to religion.

There’s Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Catholic and football. Right or wrong, like it or not, those are the accepted channels of worship below the Mason-Dixon Line.

That has maybe never been more obvious than Monday night when thousands upon thousands of Southern football fans flooded into New Orleans for the BCS national championship game, which pitted Southeastern Conference rivals Alabama, the eventual champion, and LSU against one another. Many of the fans didn’t have a ticket. They simply wanted to be in the city when their team played for the crystal ball. And even more who weren’t able to make the trek to the Big Easy spent much of the day wishing they were there in the midst of the madness. Crazy? Maybe, but these are not mere fans. They are followers who are completely devoted to their teams.

Email newsletter signup

The kind of people who don’t wash their hands if they get close enough to touch a coach or player. The kind who name their children after the school’s winningest coach or All-American quarterback. The kind who consider the school’s stadium holy ground.

This is the South. Everywhere else plays football. We live it.