The college football season ends Monday night as Auburn and Florida State square off for the national championship.
It's not surprising that FSU is there; Auburn, of course, is another story, one well-documented in video of "The Prayer at Jordan-Hare" pass against Georgia and the "Kick 6" that brought down two-time defending national champion and in-state rival Alabama.
And, of course, my family will all be pulling for Auburn, right?
After all, my dad was born in Auburn, graduated from high school there and attended the university for awhile before transferring.
After all, an uncle on my mother's side was an all-conference wrestler there, as well as the long-time golf coach whose tenure and success landed him in two separate sports Hallsl of Fame.
After all, I worked in the athletic department's Sports Information Office while in school there and got to meet such great athletes as Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley and Rowdy Gaines. I graduated from Auburn in 1982.
After all, dad took us to Auburn games when we were kids -- I still remember seeing Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan throwing bombs to wide receiver Terry Beasley.
After all, my younger brother who lives in Georgia is probably the biggest Auburn fan of us all having also attended games with dad and continuing to go when he can. He proudly displays his orange and blue AU logos in a variety of ways deep in the heart of Georgia Bulldog country.
He was actually at the Alabama game in person and saw the incredible ending on the missed field goal return for a touchdown.
So, my family is all in for Auburn, right?
Well, no. I never thought pulling for Auburn would be an issue, but when it comes to Florida State, I guess it is. My older brother worked, retired and still lives in Tallahassee, home of FSU. He's for the Seminoles.
A nephew grew up there and graduated from FSU. He's for Florida State.
Then there's my little sister in England. Not long after the final poll came out and we were certain of the match up, she declared in a Facebook post (with apologies to me and my younger brother), that she was for Florida State because she went to one of their games with my older sister who lived in Tallahassee.
My initial reaction -- One game? You're pulling for FSU because you went to one game?
After some reflection, I realized it wasn't because she went to that one game, it was because she went with my sister, who died at age 41 due to breast cancer.
It wasn't the game -- it was the memory she shared with my sister that cemented that attachment to FSU. So, yes I want my alma mater to win the national championship, no matter how improbable that seemed at the start of the year.
But if FSU wins, and they are favored, I won't be totally devastated knowing that there's at least one Long angel pulling for the Seminoles.
I'll let her and dad work that out in the big viewing room in the sky.
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