Mama’s meanderings: Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer*

by CountryFriedMama on August 25, 2009

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Disclaimer: It is not my intention to disrespect the University of Alabama, Bear Bryant, the Crimson Tide, its fans, affiliates or supporters. The opinions expressed herein are intended for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken with any degree of seriousness. The author of this post is not a secret fan of the football team of Auburn University, the University of Georgia, or any other SEC team. The writer of this document does not, in fact, know squat about football.

We are approaching the loneliest season down here in the deep, deep, DEEP South.  The loneliest, that is, for anyone apathetic about college football.

About this time last year, Country-Fried Daddy noticed I was feeling left out of the local religion — football — and ordered a bumper sticker and T-shirt for me from my alma mater.

I went to the University of New Hampshire.  Have you heard about the UNH Wildcat football team?  No?  There’s a reason.

I don’t like football.  I don’t understand football.  And I definitely did not realize how seriously people take their football down here.

Years ago, when I first moved to the South after college, an Auburn grad invited me to a party to watch the Auburn/Alabama game.  I wore my favorite red sweater.  Those orange and blue-clad Tigers fans wouldn’t let me in the door.

This past Sunday morning, after Country-Fried Daddy came home from his run, we talked about what to do with the day.  It was beautiful out, sunny, but not too hot.  I had a tourist guidebook that mentioned the Bear Bryant Museum at the University of Alabama is open on Sundays.  We decided to take a trip to Tuscaloosa and check it out.

On the way down, Belly entertained herself by “reading” her dinosaur book.  She is very serious about this book.  She clutches it, usually upside down, and stares at the googly eyes attached to the cover.  Like me, one of her eyebrows arches skeptically when she concentrates.  What is she thinking?

“The dinosaurs rode skateboards?  That seems highly unlikely.  Who are these people trying to fool?”

While Belly was studying up on paleontology, CFD was teaching Miss D. about the battle cry of the Crimson Tide, which he told her to say in response to any statement she liked.

CFD: “These biscuits are good.”

Miss D.: “Roll Tide!”

CFD: “Princess Aurora grew in grace and beauty.”

Miss D.: “Roll Tide!”

By the time we pulled into Tuscaloosa, I was already envisioning a grown-up Miss D. moving into the dorms at UA, donning red and white ribbons to decorate her ponytail, and begging us to fund her sorority dues.

Before we ever got to the museum, we hit the BamaStuff souvenir shop.  Miss D. picked out a pair of itty-bitty pink booties with an embroidered “A” on each one.  “For Belly,” she said.

Me: “Oh, that’s sweet, Miss D., but Belly is too big for those.”

Miss D.: “Oh.  Well maybe we could put another baby in your belly and then we can buy these.”

CFD: “Umm, we should hurry up and get to that museum.”

We did finally make it to the museum, and it’s about what you would expect.

Bear Bryant, “the winningest coach in football” is a hero to many folks around here.  The museum is something of a shrine.

Here is a replica of Bear Bryant’s Office.  Here is an old video of people talking about the time they met Bear Bryant.  Here is a movie with clips from some of his biggest games.  Here is an enormous oil painting of two men tackling another man.

I have a mental block when it comes to football.  The game has been explained to me countless times, and I have only been able to retain the simplest of details about how it is played.  That memory loss seems to extend not only to the game itself, but to everything associated with it.  Here are some sketchy recollections I have from our time in Tuscaloosa:

  • Bear Bryant once wrestled a bear at a carnival, hence, the nickname.
  • Belly does not care that I get grossed out when she crawls on floors in public.
  • Bryant played football at Alabama before he was the coach.  Once, he played with a broken leg.  He was tough.
  • Miss D. will quietly watch just about anything billed as a “movie,” even if it’s a grainy, black-and-white tape from a 40-year-old football game,
  • Bryant won a whole lot of championships for Alabama and coached the team for more than 20 years.
  • It was not easy to talk CFD out of buying a houndstooth hat.

In a couple of weeks, the guy down the street will pack up his red-and-white bus and head to Tuscaloosa for day-long tailgating.

In a couple of weeks, restaurants will be empty on Saturday nights, and babysitters will be unavailable.

In a couple of weeks, women, men, and children will be discussing the Tide, the Tigers, the Bulldogs, the Gators, and the Volunteers.

Despite my lovely UNH Wildcats bumper sticker, I will certainly feel left out.

At least now I know to be more careful with my wardrobe selection for social gatherings. Sadly, beige is not my color.

Author Warren St. John explains the phrase “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.”
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Coniqua September 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Stopping by from SITS. I too am by no means a football person, though I think if I actually sat and watched a game I’d understand most of it. Anywho, this anti-football stance will probably last only a few more years, as I have a 1 yr old boy, and a husband who loves football, wrestling and pretty much any sport that’ll give you a concussion. Of course I’ll have to enjoy it once my baby is playing!

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Holly September 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Football is HUGE in our home… UVA is our team… My fiance did a dance in the living room last night because both college and pro start next weekend… it will be a tailgaitin’ Saturday and easy chair Sunday for him…

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September 4, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Sports aren’t my thing either and believe me I have tried!
Over from SITS… sorry I am so late. Hope your day was great!

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Kids Football Shirt September 5, 2009 at 8:57 am

I usually refer to them as the guys in blue or the guys in white. I think this whole sports obsession is kind of stupid anyway. It’s not like the fans actually have a stake in it – they are literally armchair quarterback.

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Heather November 18, 2009 at 10:33 am

I just have to comment… WAR EAGLE!!!

I am an Auburn Graduate and live in St. Louis now and I have to say its such a change going from the south to the “north”. This is very north to me and the hubby! People here just are not that in to football and it is just strange. Now I am not a huge football fan. I don’t really like to watch the games. But I do love to hear that the Tigers won their game!

You should definitely be buying those adorable girls of yours some Orange and Blue!!

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Ellen Patton September 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Did this “football” related article get the most comments?!!

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