Friends & Enemies // Ole Louisi-bama

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Hey there, sports fans! We tried something new today and wrote a team blog (about our favorite teams). Each of us took turns writing our thoughts on college football, rivalries, and friendship. Let's jump right in!

Elizabeth: Hello friends. If you've spent any time in the South, you know that College Football and the SEC are kind of a thing. I've grown up going to LSU games my entire life and stood through many a fourth quarter in the rain. Once, my mom wrote the LSU Fight Song on a white board and made my siblings and I memorize it (true story). Needless to say, families take their SEC teams pretty seriously.  

There's just something American about college football; sometimes we're classy about it, sometimes we're not. And when every Saturday in the fall revolves around College Gameday, it's hard to think about anything else. But here's the good news: life goes on after collegiate sports! Believe that. Let it sink in. My very own brother plays football for an SEC school, and our family has to remind ourselves of this every week. 

We've also adopted that mentality here at the Choctawk. Andrew, Ashton, and I are all fans of the most despised teams in the SEC (Ole Miss, Bama, and LSU), but we've learned to look past our differences and love each other despite how we were raised. Sure, we'll joke around with each other about wins and losses, but at the end of the day, our friendship runs so much deeper than our SEC loyalties. 

Andrew: Let me shoot straight with you. At the end of the day, football doesn't really matter. It's critical to root for your team, support them in the slumps and celebrate when they're successful. But the purpose of this conversation is to acknowledge that the power of friendship trumps allegiance to a certain school.

The three of us all have connections to universities from the SEC West, but we have been able to see past these rivalries to live in a (albeit tense at sometimes) peaceful accord. Elizabeth's brother plays Fullback for LSU, Ashton has ties to the Tide, and I have been a lifelong supporter of my mother's alma mater, Ole Miss.

While all of these programs have had ups and downs this semester, it has still been fun to watch this wild season progress. Each of us have had the opportunity to attend a game this year which is always a fun experience. Here's a shot of my friend Drake and me at the Ole Miss v. Alabama game. 

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Ashton: I hate football. But I love it so much. As mentioned by my comrades, I am a fan of the mighty Crimson Tide and a proud wearer of crimson and white. Honestly, it's been a hard lesson to learn that football isn't that important. I love that football can bring people together, that friends can come together to watch a game all joined together by the colors that we've grown up wearing. However, I hate that people let it have the power to tear apart friendships! C'mon, people! The Bible doesn't say, "We are the body of Christ, we are family, but we are a family divided by what SEC football team you're affiliated with." So we shouldn't live like that!

If I let football determine my friendships, I wouldn't have had the same best friends in high school (that Alabama-Auburn rivalry is something fierce) and I would only have a small handful of friends in college (potential consequence of living in Mississippi that I'm glad isn't a thing). Yes, I love Alabama football. Yes, I am passionate about it (roll tide). No, I will not let it determine how much I love someone. If I did, I wouldn't be friends with Liz or Andrew and that would be sad. 

Friends (because you're all my friends despite what team you root for), you can hate a team without hating the people that support it! So do that. Don't hate people. Love people. Love is more important that football, I promise. Don't let football rivalries rob you of potential or current friendships!

5 Tips on How to be Friends with Your Rivals: 

1. Stop the Conversation once it starts getting too close to home. Draw the boundaries. 
2. Don't wear certain articles of clothing only to spite people. "I almost wore an Alabama shirt today, solely to spite the entire state of Mississippi." - Ashton, who is not wearing an Alabama shirt. 
3. Don't watch games together, unless you know it's safe. 
4. Don't gloat about a big win in front of each other.
5. Maybe avoid the subject of football altogether during the months of November-January. 

BONUS: Constantly remind yourself that football is not life. 

Remember, Romans 12:18 says,  "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." We wish you the best of luck with your team. Happy Thanksgiving and may the odds be ever in your favor. 

Clear eyes. Full heart. Can't lose. 

Here's a picture to prove that we are indeed, true friends. 

Signing off, your faithful Choctawk Bloggers--Andrew, Liz, and Ashton

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