Arts & Entertainment

Alabama or Georgia? Who Southerners Are Cheering for Tonight

A survey of opinions ahead of the national championship game

Photo: Romeo T. Guzman (left) and John Green/Both of Cal Sport Media via AP Images

“I actually grew up a Georgia fan (I was born in Augusta and grew up in Atlanta), but then when I moved to Birmingham in 2001, I became an Alabama fan. Most folks have to choose between Auburn or Alabama once they cross state lines, and I decided to pull for Alabama. This game is especially important as my nephew is actually on this year’s team! I’m excited to see my two favorite teams play together, but if I have to pick, I’ll go for Alabama.”
Will Drake, chef and owner of Hero Doughnuts

“I’m a longtime Ole Miss fan which means my seasonally broken heart is at this point held together by duct tape, Krazy Glue, and safety pins. I will be watching the Georgia-Alabama game, of course, but with a kind of cold detachment, as though watching footage of hippopotamuses fighting on a nature show, not knowing which hippo to root for except, upon further reflection, maybe the hippo that isn’t Nick Saban.”
Jonathan Miles, author and G&G contributing editor

“Oh dear, this is a hard one. As an Alabama native, and an alumnus of the University of Alabama, I will, of course, be pulling for Alabama. However, I dearly love the people of Georgia (filmed Fried Green Tomatoes there) and I would hate to see them lose any game. I just wish Alabama was playing a Northern team and not her sweet next-door neighbor.”
Fannie Flagg, author

“A good, fair-minded father with sons who went to Georgia and Alabama wouldn’t answer such a question. But I’m neither of those things and my ’Bama son has gotten win-cocky, so GO DAWGS! (sorry Duncs).” 
Sloan Harris, International Creative Management co-president and literary agent

“I went to school in Atlanta, so by default I’ll pull for the Dawgs. But mostly I just hope the student athletes don’t develop CTE and that they make the most of these new NIL opportunities while they can. Go! Fight! Don’t get hurt?”
Jonathan Morris, entrepreneur, hotelier, TV host, and 2021 G&G Made in the South Awards judge

“‘Glory, glory to old Georgia!’ As a proud UGA alumnus (B.A. English, ‘05) who grew up listening to the legendary calls of Larry Munson, I’m hoping we step on ’Bama with a hobnail boot!”
Taylor Brown, author and G&G contributor

“My partner is from Alabama and some of my favorite guest memories come from hearing the tide roll on game day. I have been an Alabama fan since I moved to Georgia. Can’t say that too loud, seeing as I live in Atlanta.”
Tiffanie Barriere, mixologist and 2021 G&G Made in the South Awards judge

“Given all the stuff there is to chase with a rod and gun in the South, I’m not much of an organized sports fan. But I do own about four molecules of one of the bricks in one of the buildings in Athens, thanks to my daughter’s graduate degree, so I’m going with the Dawgs. But I have to ask…is this the game they play with the ball that has pointy ends, or the one they throw in that metal circle thingy?”
T. Edward Nickens, author and G&G contributing editor

“I flunked out of the University of Georgia and now teach at the University of Georgia. I married a woman who grew up in the town of Auburn and graduated from Auburn University. We are cheering against Alabama and for Georgia.”
John T. Edge, author, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and G&G contributing editor

“I live in Athens, and you have to be a Dawg here. I am very proud of the team and how far they’ve come this year; it’s been really fun to watch. I think it’s finally time for us to beat Bama. Go Dawgs.”
Hugh Acheson, James Beard award-winning chef and owner of the recently opened Mount Royal and Spaceman at Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta

“Well, we haven’t had much luck with Saban. I was in Alabama when we beat him that one time, and we haven’t had much success since. But my understanding is that it’s hard to beat the same team twice in one year.”
Charles Seiler, owner and handler of the Georgia bulldog, Uga X

“I want Alabama to destroy Georgia. I watch college football for what I call coach woe, the angst of coaches. The greatest coach woe factor in this particular game would be for Saban to tear them up. If he loses the game now after winning one, well, that’s the way it goes. It’s hard to beat a team twice. But if he goes in there again and rips them a new one or even just edges them out, then somebody is really in a woeful state, and that’s what I like.”
Padgett Powell, author