Why Everyone Should Add The Iron Bowl To Their Bucket Lists

Why Everyone Should Add The Iron Bowl To Their Bucket Lists

Even those of you that don't know what the Iron Bowl is, or anything else about football.

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About two months ago, my dad called me while I was away at school and asked if I would want to go to the Iron Bowl over Thanksgiving break. After living with two brothers for 19 years I had enough knowledge to know that the Iron Bowl was the crazy rival football game between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. I agreed thinking that it was going to somehow fall through and I would not actually have to go. Then, two weeks before Thanksgiving, my dad called to tell me that he confirmed the flight.

In all honesty, it is hard to have a bad attitude about something when other people around you are so excited. My brothers have been waiting for this their entire lives and my dad had mentioned that the Iron Bowl has always been on his Bucket List. So, essentially, I was going for them. I really believed that this trip had nothing to do with me, other than just being something to do with my family.

To avoid such an expensive flight, we landed in Nashville, Tennessee and spent the night. Having been there before, I was really excited and even got to see a Grand Ole Opry performance at the Ryman Auditorium. Without really knowing anyone there, it was still an amazing experience because of the relaxed and traditional atmosphere.

The next morning, we woke up super early in order to drive about three hours to the University of Alabama. I was hungry and tired and honestly annoyed that I was wasting my time going somewhere I didn't even care about. But, once we arrived, I quickly realized how wrong I was.

Once you get close to the stadium, the crowds are insane. There are people from all walks of life there to experience the magic of the day. Everyone waits outside the stadium for the team to arrive on buses. People are tailgating and partying on "frat row" before the game starts.

In the stadium, the energy is exhilarating. Everyone is excited and constantly cheering. Whenever the announcer says "Alabama", the crowd screams back "ROLL TIDE!" The craziest thing for me was that everyone participated, it wasn't just the student section. Attending the University of Alabama games are a tradition for the people that live there and that was really evident by old and young people alike chanting. Everyone was singing the University of Alabama rendition of "Dixieland Delight" by the band called Alabama so passionately that I actually got the chills. Everyone was so nice too, even the rival fans were tolerant and respectful.

Alabama's football team was so insanely talented. They easily beat Auburn, leaving everyone even more excited than before. By the end of the day, I was so happy that I went. The Iron Bowl was an experience that I will never forget and always treasure.

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5 Reasons Participation Trophies Shouldn't Be a Thing

Participating does not mean you deserved to be recognized
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1. Who Learns By Winning All The Time?

Growing up, I know for a fact I learned a lot more from doing something wrong than when I did something right. In baseball, if you don’t get in front of the ball, odds are it’ll end up going right past you. The way I see it, life should be lived the same way. Sometimes life flies right past you. It takes some failures to realize that in order to keep moving forward, you have to stay in front, and take the challenge head on, no matter what it is. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. If it were not for failures, no one would know how to take challenges head on, much less want to. If no one ever failed, there would be no motivation to succeed. If everyone gets a participation trophy, no one learns any lessons.

2. Everyone Needs To Learn How To Lose

Losing is inevitable. Everyone loses at some point in their lives. What separates people is how they take those losses. We need to teach people how to take losses with honor and with humility. How do we expect to teach these qualities when children grow up believing they have always won, when they have always received a trophy no matter what place they came in. We may think that we are keeping kids from their feelings being hurt, but when does the real world ever care about peoples’ feelings? What we are really doing is telling kids that they will never lose. This only sets them up for greater failure down the road.

3. Since When Is Competition a Bad Thing?

Participation trophies eliminate any competition in sports. If everyone always wins, then they lose all motivation to get better. This is just another metaphor for life in the real world. Those who grow up receiving participation trophies their whole life, thinking they have never lost, believe they will magically get their dream job and dream life. In the real world, competition lies at every doorstep, and in many cases, there is only one winner, one person eligible for that dream job position. Those who have received participation trophies believe that they are entitled to that position and that is just simply not the case.

4. Many Want To Win, Few Put In The Work

I remember vividly the first time I did not receive a trophy after a season of playing soccer. It was my team’s end of the year party and the coach had finished the cliché speech on how he had a great time coaching our team and wishes us the best in the future. After the speech, everyone just started heading home. I immediately looked to my dad and asked where our trophies were. His response was very blunt; he told me in a laugh, “You have to win to get a trophy.” It was at this moment that I became one of the most competitive people I know. A lot of kids today are never taught this lesson. They believe that they can go through life being mediocre and still achieve everything they want. The few people who have put in the work to become winners and earn their trophy are the ones who end up succeeding in life. These are the same people who have also felt what it was like to lose. They have taken those losses and turned them into motivation in order to work harder and do what it takes to win. These people will always come out ahead of those who are happy to settle for participation. Now, what I have written may seem harsh, but I am not only writing about participation in sports. I am writing about settling with participation in life. If you want to succeed in life, you must not settle for mediocrity. You have to strive to better yourself every day. That is the difference in receiving a participation trophy and earning a winner’s trophy.

5. Sometimes, Life Just Isn’t Fair, and That Is Okay

Sometimes, even when you try your hardest, even when you take all the right steps, things just don’t go your way. Sometimes, you really do deserve that winner’s trophy and you just don’t get it. It is at these times when you have to keep pushing. The world does not give everyone an equal opportunity. Some people have to work much harder than others. However, The ones who work hardest, and continue to work harder, always end up where they want to be. The fact is though; no one is going to want to work hard if they are being rewarded for something below their best. No one will work their hardest if all their lives, they have been given a participation trophy.

Cover Image Credit: HBCU Sports

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I Want The Rams To Beat The Cowboys This NFL Playoff Season Solely Because I Hate The Cowboys

This Saturday's game will be very interesting since the Rams are better in almost every category compared to the Cowboys.

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On Saturday, the Rams will face the Cowboys, the team coined "America's Team", I will gladly watch in hopes that the Los Angeles Rams will win. Don't get me wrong it's not like I am the biggest Rams fan on the face of the Earth, but I do think in this matchup they are the better team.

The fact that people including the broadcaster call the Cowboys "America's Team" is really annoying, especially when you reach the playoffs. They start calling the team "America's Team" the first week of the season, and that seems far from the truth most seasons.

This Saturday's game will be very interesting since the Rams are better in almost every category compared to the Cowboys. Don't get me wrong everyone likes an underdog, but in this case, with this Cowboys team (or the Cowboys any other season) I am not a fan.

The Rams lead the Cowboys in the overall game wins with there 13-3 season to the Cowboys 10-6 seasons. Not to mention that they lead the Cowboys in offense, passing, and rushing.

I will say that the Cowboys defense is pretty strong is going to be a tough fight for the Rams. The Rams defense is far under where the Cowboys defense lines up. The defense will be a tough match for Jared Goff and Todd Gurley to face on Saturday. They will have to face the likes of Demarcus Lawrence and Antwaun Woods.

It will be very interesting to watch the skill level on both sides of the ball for the Rams. It will also be interesting to see how the Cowboys will react against a team that is second in the league in points.

If I can address my personal feelings towards the Cowboys and the Rams for a second. I grew up in a house where we were not big fans of the Cowboys. There was hardly in anyone in my family that liked the Cowboys. I grew up not liking them because that's how I was raised. When it came to the Cowboys versus the Giants, in my house you better cheer for the Giants.

There was never a strong rivalry between the Rams and Jets, so I never disliked the Rams. That is why on Saturday I will be rooting the Rams onto a playoffs game win against the Cowboys.

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