Sports are more than just the game

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 16, 2003

Being a sports writer, I get the pleasure of spending my time visiting with area players and coaches throughout West Alabama discussing their hopes and dreams, highs and lows of something they love. And with the football playoffs in full swing I have noticed that the heart beat of life in the state of Alabama is football.

Every coach that I have interviewed this week has told me time and time again that they are just proud to be still playing football and I started to wonder why that is?

Football in the South is considered

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a religion &045; sometimes even more &045; and that is nothing to be ashamed of no matter what others may say. It is at times like these that people come together in joyful pride to support their local team and it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of that.

Coming from Louisiana, where the only thing that people get excited about is the Saints or the Tigers, it amazes me how supportive people throughout this great state are for their local high school teams.

I’ve watched as towns and communities of Demopolis, Greensboro and Sweet Water have come alive over the past few weeks and it has made me proud to be apart of it all.

Football tradition is rich in this area of the country and whether you realize it or not, that is something that brings communities together. When I walk into any area restaurant or gas station I catch a piece of a conversation between locals, and while many of the conversations roam between weather changes and bad politics, they all seem to find a common ground once the conversation turns to football. And it always turns to football.

Right now it is football that brings people in these communities together, wanting nothing more than a chance to shine. It’s a time to get excited with hope that your team can win it all. And that is what makes the monotonous days a little more bearable. It’s a beautiful thing to see and, from week to week during the season, it gets better and better.

Since the playoffs began people’s worries and concerns over such discussion as war and destruction in the Middle East, political issues, crime and the economy seem to take a back seat to football. Whether you’re a fan or not of football, if you live in any of these areas then you are well aware of what is going on with the local high school football team.

Every where you look there are posters and signs stating Go Tigers, Go Bulldogs or Go Cougars. Every business and local establishment comes together in support of their team. So keep it going West Alabama because you make the difference.

Clay McCombs’ column appears every Thursday and Saturday. To reach Clay,

e-mail him at clay.mccombs@demopolistimes, or call him at (334) 289-4017.