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Windham Wrap-up: What Unites SEC Fans?

Windham Wrap-up: What Unites SEC Fans?

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Windham Wrap-up: What Can Unite Fans Across the SEC During Football Season? The Atlanta Braves

There are few things that SEC fans will get along about during college football season, but there's one team that brings them all together in late October.

Generally by late October in the heart of the SEC football schedule, there's not a lot you'll find Alabama and Tennessee fans agreeing on. Or Auburn and Georgia fans. Or Alabama and Auburn fans for that matter.

But this year especially, there's one thing has people all across the southeast united on and that's the Atlanta Braves. 

On Saturday night as Alabama was handling business for its 15th straight win over Tennessee, the Braves were simultaneously winning the National League pennant against the Dodgers in Atlanta and clinching their first World Series appearance since 1999. 

Videos surfaced on social media of Alabama students doing the chop as they left the stadium. On Sunday afternoon, Alabama basketball forward Noah Gurley noticed a reporter wearing a Braves hat in the postgame presser for the Crimson Tide's exhibition against Louisiana. 

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As he left the room, Gurley pointed at the hat and said he liked it, adding a, "chop on." The Furman transfer is originally from Fayetteville, Georgia. 

The southeast is in a unique environment for sports with a much larger passion for collegiate sports than professional sports in some areas because there are so few pro teams in the region. There are no major league professional teams in football, basketball, baseball or hockey in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina or Arkansas. 

Check any social media feed while the Braves are playing in the playoffs, and you're likely to find fans and media from Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Florida or South Carolina all tweeting about the Braves. 

I acknowledge that not every SEC fan is also a Braves fan. Obviously the farther out you get from Atlanta, the more likely it is that someone has an allegiance to a different team. Many Texas A&M and LSU fans also support the Houston Astros. Arkansas and Missouri fans are closer to the St. Louis Cardinals. Kentucky and Big Blue Nation are closest to the Cincinnati Reds.

But "Braves Country" extends far across the southeast with the unique ability to bring together fans from different college teams. And as the World Series begins in Houston on Tuesday, these fans are ready to party like it's 1999.

Generally by late October in the heart of the SEC football schedule, there's not a lot you'll find Alabama and Tennessee fans agreeing on. Or Auburn and Georgia fans. Or Alabama and Auburn fans for that matter.

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