Football family feud
Leada Devaney, Hartselle Enquirer
It's started already.
My brother roots for, in the words of the Bear Bryant, the greatest football coach ever, "that cow college on the other side of the state."
We've long since become resigned to the fact that, at age 35, he's probably not going to move away from the dark side anytime soon.
But we hold out hope.
He sent me an email Monday morning, predicting the score of Alabama's first game.
"Alabama will lose to Middle Tennessee State University 40-0," he wrote.
He was serious. I've never really liked him all that much.
His taunting begged for a swift and brutal response.
"At least we don't run off our supposedly hot quarterback before the year even starts," I said. "I hear USC didn't even know there was another football team besides Alabama in this state. Oh, wait, there's not."
And so the battle begins.
We will keep this up throughout the year, throwing a jab or two, but knowing when to keep our mouths shut.
We learned that a few years ago from an infamous incident when a non-football devotee called my brother right after another losing Auburn effort, not realizing that his team had just fell in defeat.
"How's it going?" he was asked.
Since this is a family newspaper, I can't print his reply. Once he realized what he had done, he couldn't quit apologizing.
It was great.
This divided household makes for interesting family dinners, where mostly we just talk about how we don't like Tennessee and Florida.
All things evil wear orange, I tell him.
We avoid serious topics and don't even get near the most important one at all – The Iron Bowl.
I generally don't talk to my brother for the two weeks prior or the two weeks after the Iron Bowl. No matter what the results, one of us is going to be unhappy and not want to hear from the other one.
Usually, by the time Christmas rolls around the wounds have started to heal and we are able to be in the same room. Still, the football topic remains off limits.
My mother – who roots for the right team – came across some old photos recently of my and my brother. I'm about nine in one of the pictures and wearing, much to my embarrassment, an Auburn t-shirt. I had a bad haircut, too, which just goes to show you my taste in general was suspect.
In another photo, my 13-year-old brother has on an red and white Alabama jersey. This proves two points: one, it's never to late to change and two, some things are better left alone.