We got talking, and soon the barbs between my buddy (a Georgia fan) and this Volunteers man started flowing.
I asked him why he was a Tennessee Volunteers fan.
"My wife went to school there," he said, before disclosing the information that he was a University of Ohio grad.
We stopped. We didn't know what to say. Nor did his buddies.
But now it's all sunk in. He disobeyed one of the big rules of college football: don't just root for a team because your spouse went there. And especially as YOUR alma mater is a Division I-A school (albeit not that good!).
****There is a formula for rooting for a team because of those close and personal to you. It's quite easy, and should be chanted at all times at Thanksgiving when Uncle Joey slurs at you about the greatness of Florida foootball.
"Parents great, big brother OK, little brother weak, extended family fine, spouse terrible".
If your father roots for a team, then the team is in the bloodlines. You can always root for his team's greatest rival just to piss him off, though, which many sons do. And if your dad - like mine - couldn't give two craps about rooting for sports teams - then look to that father figure of the family: the big brother. After all, after he spends most of your life beating the crap through you, he'll probably want you to go for the same team. We at the VFA like to call it family bonding. But never, under any circumstances, should you follow your little brother's lead. It's not called family bonding, it's called guilt. No way, never, nope.
And for spouses, it's all about taking pride in oneself. The one thing for certain about 'Tennessee shirt guy' is that he has no pride - in his own school or perhaps himself. I mean, who would choose his spouse's school over his own? After all, alma maters come first, right?
That's why you shouldn't go anywhere near your spouse's school. But it's OK to root for their biggest rivals just to really, really annoy them. Won't improve your sex life, though.
Speaking of rivalries- Imagine that the dad you hated was a Michigan fan.
And your wife rooted for Ohio State.
You see, now you're thinking. Remember the mantra: "Parents great, big brother OK, little brother weak, extended family fine, spouse terrible".