Some topics are best left ignored
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Assuming you are reading this on Thursday, there are only two more days to go until Alabama and Auburn kick off their football seasons. At this point in the year, the frenzy is reaching its high point.
It seems everyone is talking about football. This especially applies to Greg, who, for all his wonderful qualities, has one major bad one: he's an Auburn fan.
"Did you see the pre-season rankings?" Greg asked me Saturday. "Is Alabama listed anywhere? Are they going to have a team this year?"
I just ignored him, only to succumb and try to explain tradition, excellence and rising above one's circumstances. And then I stopped.
"OK – let's go ahead and set the ground rules now. Starting from now and lasting until at least the second week in January, we will not discuss Alabama or Auburn football," I said. "This is a rule we've had around my house for years and it's something we're going to stick to, too."
My mother invented this rule several years ago because I come from a mixed family – half are Auburn fans and the other half are smart, I mean they are Alabama fans.
My brother and his wife, along with their two children, who, in my opinion, are being brainwashed, are Auburn fans. My sister is an Auburn fan. My mother, father and I are Alabama fans. During football season, family dinners can get rowdy.
My mother solved this problem by restricting her football talk depending on who happened to be home.
"I don't want Auburn to lose because I don't want to see your brother upset and I don't ever want Alabama to lose because I don't want to be upset," my mother said. "And it's best if we just don't talk about it."
So we sit through family dinners, not discussing the topic that is weighing so heavily on everyone's minds.
"So, did you see that Kentucky/Vanderbilt game?" I will ask.
"No, but I did watch Hawaii and BYU," my brother will reply.
An uneasy truce holds for yet another day. There is no talk of crimson and white or orange and blue or 12 national championships or a Riverboat Gambler or the time my brother got so mad after Alabama beat Auburn that he drove off and left me on the Plains. Oh, it occurred, all right, we just don't discuss it.
And I guess that's what Greg and I will have to do, too.
"OK," he said Saturday. "We won't talk about it."
Five minutes after we hung up the phone, it rang again.
"Are you watching College Sports South," he asked breathlessly. "They're predicting Auburn will win the SEC West. On to Atlanta!"
I see there's still work to do.