How much does celebration matter?

Marilyn Vaughn

Alabama won its 13th national title this year, and I couldn’t be happier for the University. The only thing is – I’m left to wonder – would my victory celebration have been that much sweeter if I had watched the game with other Bama fans? Does half the joy from winning the BCS National Championship game come from the energy of those around you?

Jan. 7 had been marked on my calendar since the Tide’s SEC Championship victory over Florida in early December. I was still excited, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to fly out to Pasadena and celebrate what I thought to be a sure victory over Texas. I was at least comforted by the fact that other students would be in the same boat and I would not be alone to celebrate on campus.

Or at least I thought. When the University announced that classes the week of the game were to be canceled, I was stuck. Do I capitalize on essentially another week of vacation with my family and friends, or do I return to campus a week earlier and watch the game with strangers?

Given that none of my close friends were planning to return to campus at the regularly scheduled time, I opted for the first scenario, and returned to campus after the game.

So, I geared up to watch the game in my hometown, Madison. I called some school friends who were still in town and some local Crimson Tide fans I knew.

Then the snow started. When Thursday rolled around and there was potential for the melted snow on the roads to turn into ice, my guest list dwindled down to zero.

So 7 p.m. finally rolled around on Jan. 7 and I found myself flopped down on the couch in my living room between my mom and dad with my little sister and cousin looking on from their side chairs. The game quietly started amongst small chit chat, but once Bama failed to get a first-down on its first series, I was fully engaged. And thus I stayed in this trance for four quarters. After our ensuing victory, a couple of “ROLL TIDE!!!” texts were exchanged and I was off to bed. No parties. No intense celebration.

It seemed this same “strictly business, no frills” mentality spilled into life back on campus. I was surprised to see the world had not stopped in Tuscaloosa, and the only signs of our 13th championship were the one-line announcements scanning across the campus buses.

Maybe I was the only one under the impression that there would be at least one live party the week of the championship, but I was wrong. I guess you have to give people time to plan these things. I mean, you don’t want to put a lot of time, money and energy into something if you don’t know it’s a sure thing. Needless to say, I was enthused to see the football players would be sponsoring a party the week following the championship game. All I can say is, “phew.” Y’all had me scared for a second.