Saturday, September 22, 2012

There's a Tiger in The Smoky Mountains

(Originally posted on Bleacher Report October 8th, 2010):

I moved to Asheville, North Carolina, following my husband and his current job.  From Monday through Friday I am a soccer mom.  Saturday morning, around 8 o'clock, I transform into a Tiger.

I wake up and begin my morning by planning a menu for a day filled with college football and then I get dressed so I can head to the store, fulfilling the needs of that menu.

Most of the women I know diet for the holiday season, but not me.  I prepare for football season, by working out and half-starving myself all spring and summer.

I look to my closet for Purple & Gold.  T-shirts, shorts, or sweatshirts, right down to my shoes, I am covered in LSU gear.  It's always a different combination, but what never wavers are the plush tiger ears headband that I don before heading out.

The first few trips out of the house the only people who really noticed were about three feet tall.  Now, I can't go anywhere without heated discussions about LSU.  The first week of this season we played against North Carolina, and I thought for sure there would be a fight in the checkout lane.

I am proud to be a Tiger fan and will not waver, no matter how embarrassing to my spouse or son, from wearing my ears.  Just last weekend, while my husband parked the car, I spent the extra time arguing with a Tennessee Volunteer in the vegetable section.

Jordan Jefferson is young and lightly seasoned, but I argue heatedly about our defense and the ability to hold our opponents.  I have fought with people from the drive-thru to emails from Afghanistan and so far have been left with my head held high.

There will only be one Mike the Tiger, so my stuffed tiger I insist on seating in front of the big screen, Mickey T, is always present.  I have vehemently fought friends from thinking they may have this coveted seat right up front in the living room.  He is a member of the family in my eyes and will keep his place.

I have volunteered on a committee with the head of the Florida Gators local fan club chapter, but little did they know at the time, I was sizing up the competition.  How dedicated a fan was I looking at?

This Saturday's game will be another great one.  Although we will not be playing in Death Valley, Florida is coming off of a loss with Alabama and we are coming from a near loss against Tennessee.  Both teams are closely ranked, but I believe a tiger can take down a gator any day!

Win or lose, if you look around hard enough, you can spot a Tiger in the foothills of the Smokies every Saturday morning during college football.  Come Sunday, I turn into a Saint and Monday I'll be just plain old Mom again.

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