(Editor's note: We know both sides of the Iron Bowl Rivalry have obnoxious fans, and we want to encourage more friendly ribbing by making fun of all the ridiculousness. We don't want anyone to take this stuff too seriously, and we don't want anyone flying off the handle.)
I guess introductions are in order. Hello, Tiger fans. My name is Peggy Rossmanith and you may have already unfollowed me on Twitter.
I am a life-long Auburn fan, born and raised in Auburn and Opelika. My parents met at Auburn. I knew the words to the fight song before I knew my ABCs. I always imagined myself as an Auburn alumna, but life has a funny way of taking our plans and laughing hysterically at them.
As much as I love Auburn (the school, the city, the people, not just the football team), I am a 2009 graduate of the University of Alabama. I chose to follow the scholarship money and an outstanding journalism department. Did I regret my decision? Only during football season. But if you will remember, those first few years weren’t great ones for the Bama football program. My freshman year of college was Mike Shula’s last year as head coach. Did I attend the Iron Bowl, sit in the Alabama student section dressed in orange, and scream "War Eagle"? You bet your sweet bippy I did. I’d graduated and moved home (to sweet Auburn) before they won 13* or 14** so it wasn’t an awful experience. I loved my program and I loved my friends. I just had less than any love for the football team.
Which brings us to the present. What am I doing, and why are you still reading this? Well, dear readers, apparently I’m a glutton for punishment and have decided to further my education. At the University of Alabama School of Law. And I’m going to tell you all about it in a regular column for College and Magnolia called Undercover Barner. I hope to bring you a unique perspective: a passionate and loyal Barner stuck behind enemy lines deep in the heart of Bammer territory. I want to include observations, pictures, quotes, and anecdotes. And trust me, there will be no need for exaggeration.
Another thing I hope to accomplish is to foster a friendlier rivalry than we’ve seen in recent years. Is that impossible? Probably. But dang it, I’m going to try! Don’t show me a picture of the Toomer’s oaks. I’ll cry and not figuratively. I will literally shed tears. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to blame the kid sitting next to me in class or the guy at the grocery store. We live in the same state, attend the same classes, work at the same jobs, shop at the same stores. We have to get along, or all hell will break loose. I’d much rather list the erroneous Bama national championships*** and have a good laugh about it than scream at someone.
But that doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to hold my tongue if someone provokes me. I have no problem telling someone what’s up if they’re just asking for it. The good news is that you’ll get to read about all of these great stories and more. Bammers crack me up, y’all. I know they’ll crack you up, too.
I’m also willing to take suggestions for challenges. Wearing an Auburn shirt in public place? No sweat. Wearing an Auburn shirt to a Bama sporting event? I'd better prepare to get spat on. I’m not easily intimidated, so as long as it’s within reason (No seriously, I’m not breaking into Nick Saban’s house to roll his living room), I’ll entertain most ideas. But please remember that I’m a law student hoping to become a real-life attorney someday and really can’t afford to get arrested.
I hope you’ll follow this column and get a good laugh from it. I know I’m going to have a blast writing it. The nice thing about living in Tuscaloosa is there is a never-ending stream of new material walking down the streets. ROW TAHD.
And just a quick note about College and Magnolia—We are so honored and excited to be the new Auburn blog for SBNation. We will do our best to earn your respect and trust and hope that you’ll want to interact and be a part of the experience in return. You’ll be hard pressed to find another group of individually talented and dedicated people who love Auburn like the CaM staff does. I’m just glad they let me work with them.
Until next time -- keep fighting the good fight, and War Eagle.
***1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, and for the love of all things holy, 1941