Football is tradition in the South. Growing up in a small town in Alabama, I grew up with the culture of college football. When meeting a new person, usually one of the first questions asked is, “What team do you go for, Auburn or Alabama?”
When this question is asked in the South, you automatically know someone is referring to football. However, in northern parts of the United States, one would not assume the other is specifically asking about football, but could be referencing anything.
Why does football, specifically the SEC, have such a huge hold on us southern folks as opposed to other sports?
And when we go to these games, why do we choose to wear a sun-dress and heels to a football game, while we opt to wear a t-shirt to any other sporting event?
My nana, dad, and sister all graduated from Auburn University. As I was obviously raised as an Auburn fan, I grew up going to every home Auburn football game on Saturdays. Being a little kid, I would admire the “older girls” as they walked into Jordan-Hare with their perfect game-day outfit. One day I hoped to pull off a dressy, but spunky, orange and blue outfit as well as they did.
Now, having experienced multiple game-days in Jordan-Hare as an Auburn student, styling my game-day outfits has become a fun tradition. Every boutique in Auburn being fully stocked with your pick of orange and blue EVERYTHING, from August through November, makes it even more tempting to want to dress up for a game. Although, I still ask myself, why am I wearing heels to a hot and sweaty football game?
I have simply come to the conclusion; it is the southern way. Since the beginning of time (or southern football) women and even men have dressed their best when supporting their favorite college football team. Besides, you are coming to watch a football game, might as well intimidate the opposing team a little.
As the Southeastern Conference grew in 1992 with Arkansas and South Carolina joining, followed by Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012, it rapidly became more respected than any other conference. More colleges are progressively wanting to join the SEC for numerous reasons: big name coaches, top ranking recruits, TV exposure, winning traditions and some of the largest and loudest football stadiums in the country.
The sport of football has always been dominate in the South and it has only continued to grow.
It is believed women, and some men, have been dressing up for football games since the very first Southeastern game of 1880. By the 1960s, it was nothing out of the ordinary for a college woman to show up to a game in pearls and her best dress. Over the years, without even noticing, we have continued to carry on this tradition. There is a certain southern charm to it as we preserve our college’s past customs.
Not only is getting primped for a college football game “tradition”, it is us as students and fans representing our school and team with pride. Wearing the beautiful colors of burnt orange and navy blue to a game, I believe, enhances our school spirit.
But, as Auburn’s basketball, gymnastics, and swim teams flourish, why not bring this customary football tradition to other sports. Football is undoubtedly the warmest season of all sports, making it a bit easier to dress up. However, I encourage you to wear your game-day buttons, pearls and maybe even a pair of heels when attending your next Auburn sporting event.
As the Auburn Family, let’s continue to be best dressed not just in football, but every sport. There is a reason for everything, and possibly our reason for looking our best at a football game is simply because we love our school. War Eagle to that.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.
Mallorie McCoy, sophomore in journalism, is a columnist for The Auburn Plainsman.