I know this may seem trivial when it comes to compatibility, but I am so thankful that my husband and I both cheer for the same SEC football team. Beginning with the first kickoff in August until the last bowl game is played in January – we bleed orange. How do couples live together with competing rivalries… Alabama and Ole Miss? Auburn and Georgia? Don’t get me started on the Florida fans! From the beginning of our marriage to our dog’s first name to our children’s attires to our Christmas tree – the University of Tennessee has played a huge part in forming and shaping our family unit.
Football season is fun, exciting, and brings our family closer together. I love huddling around the television as we cheer our team on to victory. I love that my son knows every football player’s number and can call a pass interference play before the ref does. I love that my daughter asks to wear an orange bow in her hair and says “Boo Bama” when she sees an Alabama t-shirt.
As the children get older, this special time gets even sweeter. Giving each other high fives, screaming and jumping with excitement and covering our eyes as we watch a last minute play brings joy to my heart. You won’t catch any of us without orange/white attire on game day. Rocky Top is a favorite that we play on the way to school every Friday.
This simple sports game is not so simple at our house. Do we stop everything we are doing to watch the game? Of course we do. Do we avoid planning family events, parties and other activities during the game? Why yes! In August, we put the schedule on the calendar and plan accordingly. In college, it was a tradition to wear orange/white to class on Fridays in preparation for the game the next day. In our home, we continue this tradition. Now that my son has to wear a uniform to school, it has been harder for him, but socks are an easy way to show his team spirit!
I know some people can’t stand the game or don’t understand the passion behind all of the fans. Our passion comes from our love for our school and the memories we shared at Tennessee. Our children haven’t attended a football game in person yet. However, they have been to a baseball and a basketball game in Big Orange Country. I can’t wait until they are old enough to attend the Vol Walk on a crisp Saturday morning, get a Smoky dog from the concession stand, watch the Vols run through the T, and cheer on our favorite team from the stands. I can only imagine the awe and smile on their faces when that day comes. Until then, we will continue to savor our football Saturdays at home and wear our orange/white proudly.
Is your family football compatible? What are your favorite game day traditions you share with your children from your college days? I know I am not the only mom that was so proud when my children learned to say “Go Vols!” at age 1.
A family that plays together stays together! Go Vols!