“I went from being a fan to a fanatic.”
So says Tide fan Nathan Davis of the impact if getting into a fist fight with his Auburn fan brother over the results of the 1985 Iron Bowl.
That fact alone probably doesn’t make him a fanatic, but the rest of his story sure does. Fanatic is probably too mild a term. Some examples:
A Crimson Tide elephant adorns his right bicep, and a tattoo of the late Paul “Bear” Bryant decorates the left one. A likeness of former UA quarterback Kenny “Snake” Stabler is tattooed inside his right forearm and the Alabama state flag is sketched inside his left one.
He has a matching set of signature Alabama A’s inside each of his biceps, which he shows off when he flexes his muscles in the gym, and another one just below his Adam’s apple. The outside of each of his forearms spells out the words “Rammer” and “Jammer,” from the UA victory cheer.
I think it’s the Stabler tattoo that pushed this guy into the complete nut case zone. Bear Bryant? Tacky, but it is Bear. The flag serves multiple purposes. The A’s are innocuous, though the placement is questionable. But Stabler? Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to him and Eli call the games. (My wife says he sounds like Boomhauer from King of the Hill. I agree.). But a tatoo?
Here is a picture (the fourth one) that will surely cause you to pray for this guy. And it gets worse:
That intense loyalty to Alabama cost him his first marriage, he says.
“I got divorced, and I would say 50 percent of that was because of my love of football,” he says. “She couldn’t take Alabama; she couldn’t take football. And it is my life.”
There’s more in the story, but the one thing it does not say is that Davis ever actually went to Alabama, never mind graduating from the school.
So what does this story mean? Is it true as one woman said of Davis that “You people from the South are weird?” Davis certainly is, but should we distance ourselves? Or embrace him, sort of like Enterprise and the Boll Weevil?
Are there comparable Auburn fans? Maybe with a Bo Jackson tattoo on a buttcheek? And if not, is it because Auburn fans are smarter? Or just less passionate?