“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?  

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8 Comments on ““I went from being a fan to a fanatic.””

  1. JPW Says:

    Good advice to a youngster looking for life knowledge is to “find your passion then committ to it”.

    I do believe ol’ Natty has found his and has certianly committed to it.

  2. Kathy Says:

    I made the mistake of looking at the picture. Ewwwww. I’m not svelte myself, but I don’t let the Birmingham News take topless photos either. Those love handles are something else.

    I can’t embrace anyone who thinks football is more important than a marriage. That crosses the line for me.

  3. Whitters Says:

    Is it just me, or does the Bear look black in that tattoo? (Which would, no doubt, infuriate ol’ Paul to no end.)

    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.

    One thing I find strange in the state college football culture is that fans who are also alums are actually looked down upon by fans who never went to whichever university they’re supporting. Apparently, alums are viewed as people who sort of “have” to be fans, while non-alums are the “tried and true.”

    And, finally, an interesting anecdote… I used to be a telephone counselor with the Birmingham suicide hotline, and my shift was Saturday afternoons. Usually this was quite a busy shift — except for during football season. When a big game was on, the phones were dead silent. When I told this story to a psychologist friend, he said that it just goes to show how helpful things like sports can be as outlets for people — i.e., when they’re engrossed in a game, they’re not thinking about their other anxieties, depression, loneliness, what have you.

  4. wheeler Says:

    – kathy,

    but you’re a democrat, so you don’t believe in marriage. 😉

    – whitters

    bear does look black. maybe it’s supposed to be the shadow of the goalpost or something.

  5. Kathy Says:

    “but you’re a democrat, so you don’t believe in marriage.”

    Of course I do, as long as it’s gay marriage. 🙂

  6. KC Says:

    I am willing to bet it was more than 50%……..

  7. wheeler Says:

    no doubt. i’d love to hear her side.


  8. […] how this guy would feel if in order to land Mike Shula, in addition to offering him a bazillion dollars, Alabama […]


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