Ole Miss-43, Alabama-37

Ole Miss-43, Alabama-37

Before you start drawing conclusions about this post, read on. Anne is the assistant to the president at Trevecca Nazarene University. We have worked together in the same office suite for ten years. Anne went to college at Trevecca along with Denise and me. She is an outstanding administrator and a gift to the University. She makes me look better than I actually am.

But Anne has one glaring flaw as a human being. She is a die-hard “Roll Tide” Alabama football fan. She genuflects at the mention of Bear Bryant. I often remind her that one of our friends, Morris, grew up in Alabama, but is now a leading administrator at Ole Miss. And he seems very happy.

And I, of course, am an Ole Miss fan from the grand state of Mississippi, home of Faulkner, Oprah, Favre, and Elvis. We’re so famous down there that we don’t even need two names for people to know who we are.

So, as you surely know, Ole Miss beat Alabama (43-37) a few weeks ago in Tuscaloosa on their home field. We also beat them last year.

I didn’t say anything about it in the office on Monday or Tuesday following the game on Saturday. Near the end of Tuesday, Anne mentioned that I had been most civil given the outcome of the game. I told her that I knew her pain was already deep enough without me adding to it.

But there is a larger problem brewing in all this. While we may have deep loyalties within the SEC, we stick together when it is SEC versus anybody else, like Ohio State.

I endured two to three years with two Ohio State fans on the President’s Cabinet. Finally, one of them left us for the cold north. (You know who you are! Yes, you!) I was deeply relieved until our next hire declared (after the contract was signed) that he was also a blasted Buckeye.

At this point I added a new info line to the employment application: football affiliation. I know we could be sued for discrimination, but nowhere can I find that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of good taste in football teams.

If you’ve read this far, here’s where I have been headed. People who have differing devotions, allegiances, and preferences can actually find enough common ground to work together, like each other, and do good in the world.

But it takes a glue whose bond is stronger than any other. I’ve always liked how Paul says in Colossians that “in Christ, all things hold together.”

Maybe there is hope.


  1. OK, so help all come together and cheer for Trevecca football! #Trojanfootball #RollTide

  2. I am an Alabama graduate, born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; sold line-ups of team rosters when I was a kid growing up; shook Bear Bryant’s hand on the field at Bryant-Denny stadium when I was a teenager. It’s possible that your suggestion would work, though I do not see how if Auburn is involved (I guess all things are possible with God. It would certainly take that.). And one more thing, next year when Bama takes Mississippi to the woodshed for an old-fashioned whooping, I expect to see a post on it. 🙂

  3. Pam McGraner says

    I am a die-hard Buckeye fan. Lived in Columbus all of my life. But no university means more to me that Trevecca. So happy my daughter is there. And yes – even Buckeye fans will work with others on many, many, things! (smile)

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