The Date: 2042.

The Setting: Ali’s kids are over visiting my ancient grandmotherly self, and the following conversation occurs…

“Gramamma, why is there an East Alabama and a West Alabama? And why is there that huge orange and red wall up between them??”

Well, it all started when your mother was a little girl like you are now…

You see, there was this sport called Football.  It’s long been banned from the country now, for the very reason that we have two Alabamas…

There were two big football teams in our state – and they had the biggest rivalry in the entire nation.  But it was a good rivalry – after all, football wasn’t football without having a rival, so although the teams and fans were constantly “bickering” (or, as they called it back then, “Trash Talking), they were actually enjoying themselves – that’s what made the sport fun for them.

(Of course, I myself was just a marginal fan, so I would have preferred there to have been no booing, bickering, or trash talking, but your Grandfather was quite the fan, so I obliged and cheered, but never booed.)

Anyway.  The problem with rivalries is that while most people are just having fun, there are always the crazy people who don’t get the memo that sports fandom is supposed to be enjoyable and light-hearted, and think the whole thing is serious and “life or death”.

Well one day after the two teams had won back to back National Championships and the hype (and, therefore, the rivalries,) were as high as they’d ever been, one of those crazy people did something over the top, horrible, and even criminal.  He poisoned ancient trees that were an integral part of the other team’s campus, and that had unbelievably huge sentimental value to the other team.

Which led to outrage on both sides…

(Thankfully, almost all of the fans of the team that the crazy man was associated with were horrified at his actions, also.)

But the extremists on both sides turned it ugly…

Which led to the non-extremists getting mad at the extremists…

Which led to retribution…

Which led to Civil War.

You know how your Mommy puts you and your brother in time out when you start arguing?  Well, the reason she does that is so that you can both cool down and quit being so angry, so that you don’t keep ramping up your fighting and end up doing or saying something you regret.

Well, no one could put the entire state of Alabama in a time out. 

And that’s why we have East Alabama and West Alabama.


Dear World:

I apologize for my state.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m afraid you will soon.  Oh – and may I move to your state until the war stops?

21 thoughts on “The Shot Heard ‘Round the State.

  1. Funny post! Yes you can move to Flordia especially since the panhandle used to belong to Alabama anyway.

    It is sad that things have gotten so fare out of hand with the rivalry that someone would purposely kill oak trees that are over 130 years old though. But I will probabaly still root for Alabama since it was just one crazy fan (I hope).

  2. It is just such a sad sad day… have you heard the recording from “Al from Dadeville”? It is just awful. I surely hope my name wasn’t Al and I lived in Dadeville….

  3. there are two lessons…

    when we obsess we get crazy AND we are all really just one stupid decision away from disaster.

    i wonder if the guy’s family had any clue…

    maybe this is a wakeup call for both sides!

  4. and he even used a fake name on finebaum but gave his hometown ( duh ) ……. I saw his name on one of the newspaper reports…. they arrested him about 2:30 this morning.

  5. I am so thrilled to here they caught the man and I hope he is punished to the full extent of the law. He is a 62 year old man, not a crazy kid. Although he is crazy, he has made a rival into a war which is not what football should be about at all. People do not understand that football is a game, supposed to be fun, yell for your team and then take the win or loss and go home. Alabama fan since birth I did yell War Eagle at the natonal championship game because I wanted to see the state of Alabama have the title. Football is not a war of revenge and fighting and people talking ugly about other people. People need to get things in perspective and know this is really no important in the big scheme of things. I guess I have ranted enough.

  6. Bear Bryant would roll over in his grave if he knew that a fan took his obsession with AL football this far. I’m fine with jokes and pranks, but this went wayyyy too far. I hope the guy is charged with eco-terrorism and rots in jail. War Eagle!

  7. This was absolutely ridiculous and does NOT help the fact that everyone outside of Alabama thinks we are a bunch of hillbilly rednecks who use outhouses and go huntin’ every night for dinner. Awesome.

  8. I love your story (except it might be true soon…) and appreciate you filling in the gaps that my FB friends left out. In those FB posts I did learn the man was even more obsessed/psychotic and named his children Bear and Crimson. Not sure how accurate that is but it was mentioned in more than one place. Something I noticed in your post that made me laugh (which was needed after such sad news): Your new state flag seems to mathematically represent the attitude of both sets of fans: Alabama is greater than Auburn and Auburn is greater than Alabama!

  9. How terrible to poison such old trees. Seems odd to me that given that the trees are “fragile” they’d wait so long for results to come back before treating the soil. What harm would have been done by starting immediately? Also not sure why the trees are being decked in toilet paper if that’s one of the stesses that causes them to be fragile in the first place. Poor trees! On the other hand, trees don’t live forever. Probably the poisoner should have to pay for the cost of cleanup plus soil remediation plus new trees. And be banned from going to games!

    1. He actually is going to jail, most likely. And, believe it or not, he may not have ever been to a game in his life. Football is so crazy down here that there are many die-hard fans that have never attended a game, nor did they even attend the university that they pull for. It’s really quite bizarre.

  10. How sad! I went to the link and read about it. I hadn’t heard anything about it before this. Too bad that guy had to spoil things for everyone else!

    After reading the news reports your post makes sense. I was confused at first. :) I like your post though, good response!

  11. I have to say I love college football!! (So much my husband, who isn’t really a sports fan, rejoices when football season is over because then he gets the TV back.) It is sad when someone takes a rivalry too far though.
    In college we had a rivalry with a school that was just over the state border, the fun they had was painting a rock (boulder really) for the school who won the game that year. The boulder sits right on the state border.
    My kids are learning to turn on our favorite musical mascot that sits on top of the TV whenever Mommy yells “Touchdown”.
    Thanks for another great post!

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