Enjoy my photo essay by clicking here: I Love the South Through My Stomach
After watching this ESPN commercial about the University of Alabama, I recognized many familiar aspects about the South. As we discussed in class, the South is big on sports, this particular commercial is a good example of it. Schools like the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, and the Auburn University, spend and make tremendous amount of money because of the their sports teams. Many of the big college sports school are located in a small city and the main reason why they are known for are their football or basketball team. Furthermore, Southerners love to be prideful of their team. They wear special sports gear, and put their college team’s stickers on their cars, they love to tailgate, and talk bad about another team. In general, America is big on sports. I am from Estonia, it is a tiny country in the North Europe, I never experience anything like this before. Such thing as college sports do not exist in Europe. It was very interesting to experience something like that in here. Many schools have their common slogans, for example, Ole Miss uses “HottyTotty,” Bama uses “Roll Tide.” I seems to me like Southerns want to have specific identity that they are known by. They are prideful of their location, college, and sports team. It is similar to their history when Southerners wanted to be different from the North and have their own Southern identity. I, as a outside observer from Europe, have realized that Southerners are much more prideful about the fact that they are from here or live here than people from the North.
Moreover, as we can see on this YouTube clip, Bama fans are from different race, age, and class groups. I think it is great illustration how sports unite people. For example, older white man, and younger black guy walk by each other in one of the Tuscaloosa’s gas stations are greeting each other by saying “Roll Tide.” I guess it is bigger than saying “Hello,” or “Good Bye” in Alabama. People’s skin color does not matter at all, as long as they are supporting the same team, there do not exist no racial boundaries.
Another very Southern thing that caught my eye was the word “Y’all.” When the white mom drops off her children and says, “Roll Tide Y’all” it is as Southern as it can be. Also, the white man at the end says, ” Y’all did not even know…” The language that people use in the South is different from the North. Word “y’all” is one of those examples that almost every southerner uses. Of course, after being here for 4 years, I use it as well!
To sum up, the YouTube clip illustrates the Southern people and their culture pretty well by just showing a commercial about the University of Alabama. It is an great example to show that people’s skin color, nor their age or occupation do not matter in sports. The fans of the southern college sports teams are like one big happy family who laugh and cry together over winning and losing!