Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Skynyrd Lives

“Daddy,” my second-grade son said to me over the weekend, “I stopped a kid from singing at school.

“Singing? Why would you stop him from singing?”

“Well, he started singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. I stood up and said ‘I hate Alabama.’”

I had to chuckle at that one. While my kid learned shortly thereafter from his friend (and also his older brother who was listening to the conversation) that the song refers to the state and not the team. (Besides, no child should be dissuaded from belting out Lynyrd Skynyrd at appropriate times). However, my son still expressed his true feelings.

I had to at least admire the sentiment. I can’t stand Alabama either. And it’s good to know that my kids have developed an affinity for my alma mater, even though college should be about education and not sports. Their mom attended Drew, a school in New Jersey that doesn’t have a football team. (Drew does have a very active alumni office. When we moved from Portland to Atlanta in 2006, my wife received her first alumni donation request from Drew within a month. Trust me, we didn’t tell them.)

However, though my kids are learning to bleed orange-and-blue, it hasn’t always been easy. One of my older son’s teachers in elementary school was a rabid LSU fan. My older son has developed a secondary affinity for LSU that likely caused his great-grandmother to turn over in her grave. For the SEC Championship game between LSU and Tennessee two seasons ago, we had relatives (one a Tennessee grad) over for what we titled a “Let’s cheer on Uncle Tap’s team party.” My son, bless his heart, followed what he picked up from his teacher. (What are we allowing the schools to teach our kids anyway?)

So, when it comes to SEC football, what interesting things have your kids said and done? I’d love to hear it.

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