I’m stepping it up a notch in my final push of this year’s JDRF Ride to Cure season. If you’ve met me, you likely know my love affair for my alma mater, Auburn University. If you’ve never met me, you likely still know about my affection for Auburn. When asked my favorite teams in college sports, I often reply that I have two favorites. One, Auburn of course. My second favorite being whichever school is playing the University of Alabama. Doesn’t matter the school or the sport, those will always be my favorite two schools in college sports; Auburn and whoever’s playing Bama.
My deep-rooted affection for Auburn is easy to understand. I spent part of my childhood living in Alabama and as native Tennesseans, the choice of my family to cheer for Auburn was a clear one. Along with the help of family that happened to be 3-generation alumni, the decision to devote my entire fandom toward Auburn was even easier. Since I was 3 years old; that’s how long I’ve bled orange. My favorite colors are orange and blue, and I’m sure there’s a subconscious reason for that. My favorite wild animal is the tiger, and when I see an eagle soar, I still get goosebumps. It’s a deep affection for Auburn, one that only grew when I was a student on the Plains.
I was the editor of The Auburn Plainsman, and my name is forever inked inside the bell tower of Samford Hall. One of my favorite photos is me in my graduation cap and gown standing next to one of the Toomer’s Oak trees on the corner of campus. I’m still heartbroken over what happened to those trees. But moments like that only foster a deeper rivalry between the old Iron Bowl schools. There’s a deep and long history in the Auburn-Alabama rivalry, and it’s so embedded in my being that I don’t even wear the color red. It’s not a part of my wardrobe.
To see me in red would be tremendous, but to see me in an Alabama jersey would mean the end of the world might be coming. So here’s my proposal. I’m opening up donations to my Auburn friends and my Alabama friends. Whichever school raises the most money by November 15, I will wear that team’s jersey, take a photo and make it my profile photo for an entire 24 hours the Monday of rivals week. Oh heaven help me if Auburn doesn’t win this gamble.
Let me know which team you’re supporting in the comments section on my Ride page. My boss will count the donations in the end as an impartial judge. (She went to Wake Forest.) This will be based on monetary donations, not on the number of donations. (And keep in mind, it’s a tax-deductible donation.)
If this doesn’t prove how much I want a cure for type 1 diabetes, I don’t know what will.
(Also… War Eagle.)