What we love about the SEC

I asked last week what you loved about your favorite SEC team or SEC football in general, and man, did you deliver.

Some of you missed your calling.

I felt like an English professor grading a bunch of A papers. In fact, there were so many good responses that I could take the rest of the week off and just run your stuff.

But here’s a sampling of your best work:

Blake in Montgomery, Ala., writes: Roll Tide. Those words never ring truer or more deeper than after a victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Walking across to Denny Chimes to celebrate with the tailgaters. Hearing "Yea, Alabama!" being sung on every corner. Watching the Million Dollar Band march down University Boulevard. This is what makes college football. There's nothing like the feeling you get when you put on a Crimson Tide T-shirt and you hear Bear's voice play over the stadium. It sends a chill right to the bone. The best part is that the opposing team is always welcome for the best ribs and wings you've ever laid eyes on. Even an Auburn fan or two might be in the crowd to enjoy good company. Roll Tide!

Timothy in Huntsville, Ala., writes:There is something about Mississippi State University that just makes my heart skip a beat. From attending a game at Scott Field and hearing the sweet, melodic sounds of cowbells, to an "evening of basketball Mississippi State style" at the Hump and "the best place to watch college baseball" at Dudy Noble Field. Mississippi State is truly the people's university. I fondly remember my years there as a student and relish the times I get to return as an alum. There is nothing better than playing frisbee on the Drill Field, tailgating at The Junction and getting a big bowl of MSU's own Muscadine Ripple ice cream at the State Fountain bakery. Mississippi State University is much more than a university, great memories and an alma mater. Mississippi State is truly a State of Mind!

Brennon in Baton Rouge, La., writes:It is a pantheon of concrete and steel. It is a city that rises defiantly in the delta, alongside the father of waters. It is the´╗┐ humidity of autumn evenings, the great stately oaks and broad magnolias. It is haunted and it is loud. It is Halloween night and a Cannon blast. It is a Louisiana gumbo of humanity that cheers its Tigers to victory and destroys the dreams of invading foes. The chance of rain is … never. It is the cathedral of college football, and worship happens here when the sun finds its home in the western sky. It is a field of glory for sure, but much more than that. It is a sacred place. It’s Saturday Night in Death Valley. Geaux Tigers!

Mason in Athens, Ga., writes:I love that battered and bruised raspy tone that comes through my speakers every Saturday in Athens as I nostalgically listen to Larry Munson's greatest calls. I love the chills on my spine when the Dawgs are called year after year Between the Hedges. I love the hoards of red and black who will passionately recite "What's that Coming Down the Track" on demand. I love the child-like excitement my friends and I get swept away in while discussing rumors seen on Dawg Post. I'll love being victorious in Jacksonville. I love being asked, "Whadda you'll have?" at the Greasy V. I love "Touchdown! Touchdown! My God, a Touchdown!" I love that old man who listens to the game on WNGC on his headphones in the stadium, because that's what he's always done. I love the Lone Trumpeter and how he unites the Bulldog Nation! I love the hope of every new season and the pride and tradition of those gone by. I love the Dawgs.

Kyle in Newport Beach, Calif., writes: As an Auburn fan, I love Tiger Walk. I love Nova soaring through the stadium moments before kickoff. I love the Auburn Family. As for the rest of the SEC, the game-day atmospheres are amazing, sellouts every Saturday across the conference, the loudest stadiums, the prettiest girls, the absolute toughest schedules, the greatest rivalries and the best trash talking. I believe in Auburn, and I love it. But second to that, I love to hate Alabama. War Eagle!

Jeremy in Fayetteville, Ark., writes: Arkansas is my home. The Razorbacks are the embodiment of that home. Everything I am and everything I do comes back to the life I've lived in this state. When the Army took me overseas, it was the Razorback that reminded me of who I am, where I come from and what I represent. Arkansas is a small rural state without many of the economic and population-based advantages of other places I've lived and visited. Accordingly, we work harder, refuse to ever give in and bond together in a special way, and that's what the Razorback embodies. It's what the Arkansas athletic program means to me … and to nearly every man, woman and child who calls this wonderful state home.

G.G. in Virginia writes:Ever since I left Alabama for Vanderbilt many, many years ago, I have been a Vanderbilt football fan. I have never looked back. I love Vandy football because when we win, it is like Christmas, New Year's and the Fourth of July wrapped up into one. I love that we have classy coaches and great young men who are more interested in playing hard, competing bravely and getting a great education than getting into trouble. I love that so many of our players are identified by the NFL as being good smart players at that higher level. I love that our athletic department is part of the university where they all should be. I love going to games where you can have a pleasant and wonderful three hours of watching football and not be overwhelmed by everything that isn't football that so many programs seem to stress (more, bigger, louder, drunker, etc). Vandy football reminds me of what football used to be about when I was little and what so many people say they miss these days. While I am anticipating a lot more victories in the future, Vandy athletics and football has always made me proud and happy. Go Dores!

Nick in Norfolk, Va., writes: I bleed blue and orange. Even though my Gators disappointed me this past season I thank Urban Meyer for giving us two national championships. The Gators have given me hope when I was struggling through my life and I could always count on the Gators to bring my spirits up, win or lose. Going to the Swamp for the first time was an experience I will never forget. My life goes like this: God, air, water, food and the best team ever – the Gators.

Seth in Chattanooga, Tenn., writes:I love the Tennessee Vols, the tradition, the pregame Vol walk, the Pride of the Southland Band, sitting with 100,000-plus screaming diehard fans. I love the chills I get as the team runs through the Power T as the band plays Rocky Top. Win or lose, I love my VOLS!!!!

Sweatervested1 in Gulf Shores, Ala., writes: Allow me to make a heart-felt proposal this Valentine's Day. Here goes (clears throat): Alabama, I have always loved you (even during the Mike Shula years.) Alabama, would you marry me? Just throwing this out there. I'll probably end up being a deadbeat drunk that you'll be bailing out of jail every other weekend. I probably won't be very supportive of your dreams or the kids. Plus, if you allow Auburn to come back from that big of a halftime lead again, there could be some issues (just saying.) It might take counseling, but I love ya and we can make it through it.

Greg in Lexington, S.C., writes: Not going to get all mushy here for Valentine's Day. But of all the SEC fans who would treat someone right on V-Day, it would be the South Carolina Gamecock fans. Think about it. We are the fans that would stay true, through thick and thin, high and low times, no matter the circumstances … because we love our team and remain faithful, year after year. From 0-11 to nine-win seasons, we always tell our team "be mine" because nothing could be finer than being in Carolina.

Cole in Tupelo, Miss., writes:I love the SEC, first and foremost Ole Miss. I love the calm before the storm in the Grove early morning when the diehard tailgaters are out. I love going to every SEC college town. No matter which town you’re in, you know it’s one of the all-time great sports experiences. Hearing the first few notes of LSU's Band, hauling a boat 300 miles to be a visitor in the Vol Navy, watching the eagle fly around Jordan-Hare, and most importantly, yelling “Go to hell, LSU!”