Growing up in the state of Alabama, the game of college football has always been quite a treasure. Living in the heart of the SEC, and essentially “living and dying” with the Alabama Crimson Tide, I have numerous memories that I will cherish forever.
As is the case with many aspects of life, one can’t truly appreciate the current times without being quite nostalgic of days gone by. When it comes to the SEC and the Alabama Crimson Tide, in respect to football, I often reminisce about the time prior to conference expansion, prior to an SEC championship game, and the days before every action by a college player was scrutinized by various media types. As a fan, life prior to 1992 was quite different, and certainly a place where many of my fondest memories were made.
In the modern age, essentially every college football game in the nation is available via some form of media outlet. Whether it be via television, computer, phone, or simply the radio, if you want to find your favorite team, you can. However, in the days which comprised my childhood, the window of availability was quite small, which seemed to add to the excitement of each and every game. Being able to watch your favorite team on television wasn’t quite as commonplace as it is today.
For me, SEC football on TBS was, and is, the hallmark of my youth. Listening to Bob Neal and Tim Foley was always a treat. However, the biggest memory of that time involved something that most every child loves, a cartoon. Prior to every SEC contest on TBS, an animated football game would take center stage. Utilizing every mascot, of the 10 school conference, the piece, for me, was the signature for SEC football coverage from the mid 1980s through 1991. Courtesy of the power of YouTube, the animation can now be viewed by those too young to remember, or simply by those who want to recapture a bit of history.
The examples are endless, but as the 2014 college football season drawers closer, I can’t help but think about the numerous reasons why I became a fan in the first place. The little things, which seemed quite trivial at the time, are now the things that essentially built the foundation for my present fandom. As I get older, I find myself sharing my memories of SEC football, and college football in general, with the younger generation.
The more things progress, in respect to how sports are covered, the more I have the urge to convey my memories of yesteryear. Make no mistake, I’m writing this piece courtesy of the Internet, so I’m certainly not ignorant to the modern age, and I have a great appreciation for modern technology. However, to me, there will always be something quite innocent about the days of football where every punt, pass, and kick wasn’t available for the entire globe to witness and critique.
The SEC on TBS Opening, 1987
Non-controversial Style Successful For Foley
Turner to Show S.E.C. Football (Contract article from 1985)