The War of Northern Agression

So, I think I’ll take a stab at explaining the whole “Damn Yankee!” thing to those not from these parts. At least the way I see it.

I notice sometimes that folks not from the North or South – that is those pioneers out west or (da da dom) foreigners – get funny looks on their faces when they visit the South and hear someone talkin’ ’bout a Yank that just cut them off on the highway or whatever. The way I explain it to them is to learn more about (American) football.

The South takes it’s relationship with the North as seriously as they do their college football. Once you understand that, the whole “War of Northern Aggression” thing doesn’t seem so bitter. It’s just good ‘ol fashion sibling rivalry, really.

If you’ve ever been to a Georgia vs. Florida game, you’ll know what I’m talking about. (Go Dawgs, sick ’em – Whoof, whoof, whoof!) Let’s say Georgia is “The South” and Florida is “The North”. The atmosphere is one of passionate college rivalry. So much so that the games are held on neutral territory in Gainsville, Florida. The Georgia folks stay on their side and the Florida folks stay on their’s and no one gets hurt. Cross those boundaries after a long day of tailgating fun and there might be some trouble, but otherwise the kids get along on under the spirit of the competition.

Afterward, Florida (The North) usually wins, but you sure can’t tell it listening to the Georgia crowd. They are talking about the great individual plays (i.e. battles) that were won and fought hard for. If you didn’t know it, you might think Georgia actually won the game until you ask the question point blank for the straight answer.

This is how it is at Kennesaw National Battlefield Park in Kennesaw, GA where I grew up. Until recently, like within the last five years, I always thought we’d won that battle. I mean, in the Civil War reenactments, it always looked like we were winning. Going through the museum, there is a lot of emphasis placed on how important this battle was to the South, how it was the last chance to stop Sherman before his march on Atlanta and who were the heros of the battle. They do a good job of making you forget that Sherman DID march on Atlanta and burn it to the ground, meaning, by default, that we actually must not have won the battle at Kennesaw Mountain. But that’s not the POINT. It’s not who wins or looses, but how the game was played.

So, you see, if you understand how the South loves it’s college football, you’ll get some good insight into our competitive nature. And let’s not make this post all political. No one is saying that slavery should still be in place or the changes in the South didn’t need changing or anything like that. It’s more about how we deal with our sometimes horrible past. You have to laugh a little, keep working hard and playing hard to heal old wounds and make the world a better place.

(Whoa, Nelly. That got mushy there at the end.)

3 Responses to “The War of Northern Agression”

  1. Carrie Howell Says:

    Have YOU been to a Georgia Florida football game???

  2. Carrie Howell Says:

    You can also see the rocks in the GOONIES when Mikey is trying to line up the medallion to the rocks (Haystack Rock). Those who have spent time at the OR coast know, though, that the film is set in ASTORIA, not Cannon Beach, even thought the film treats the two as if they occur in the same town. Either that or those kids are used to 20 mile bike rides. I’m thinking Chunk couldn’t pedal that far.

  3. Sylvana Says:

    I travelled to Costa Rica with a group of Southerners. There were a couple other Northerners in our group too. We were going to play pool and immediately the Southerners shouted, “North against the South! Just like the Civil War!” Then I reminded them who won that war (actually, I never really look at it as the North won, I look at it as you have said, the change that needed changing won.)
    What really surprised me was that they were teenagers, the war had been over hundred and thirty years prior, and it was still on the top of their thoughts. Why?

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