Roll Tide, right here in Rockdale?

In a town where preferred college banners (read: Texas or Texas A&M) fly proudly from almost every house, you may or may not have noticed an unusual red banner flapping in the breeze on an unassuming house on Murray.

The Rogers/Hammond household has deep Alabama roots and aren’t afraid to show it here in the heart of Orangeblood/ Aggieland country, especially now that their beloved Crimson Tide sewed up the national championship in football a week ago over the Longhorns, who have a well wisher or two in these here parts.

Denise Rogers and boyfriend Daniel Hammond are both from Alabama and have a slew of kinfolks who still reside there in the town of Hamilton, which is about the same size as Rockdale.

They have lived in Rockdale for a dozen years so they are more than a little familiar with who are the top dogs when it comes to schools to root for.

So, when Alabama flattened Florida to earn a trip to the BCS national championship, it was their turn to crow a little bit.

Denise Rogers (left) and son Ethan proudly display their Crimson Tide gear after Alabama captured the national championship last week. Denise Rogers (left) and son Ethan proudly display their Crimson Tide gear after Alabama captured the national championship last week. They do however have some enternal household strife: eldest son Ethan, 20, follows the family wave and is a radical Bama minion, while youngest son Waylon, 16, was seduced by the burnt orange cult and strayed into Longhorn country, much to his brother’s chagrin.

The second Alabama disposed of Florida in the SEC championship game, Ethan jumped on his computer and ordered an Alabama banner to display on the side of the house, just like his Longhorn and Aggie neighbors.

“People were threatening to set it on fire or take it,” joked mom Denise.

However, since the Tide victory, not a word has been heard nor a thread of the banner harmed. Live and let live.

Denise took off from her job at the hospital to become the de facto referee in a house full of Longhorn friends and Crimson Tide family to watch the game.

How about the Aggie friends/fans?

“They were all for Alabama that night,” Denise said. “It was definitely a split household.”

“The Texas fans were just mad,” Ethan said. “I was just sitting back enjoying it all.”

Ethan, who is studying to become a chef at the Texas Culinary Institute in Austin, has worn Crimson Red from head-to-toe since the BCS victory.

He either orders the gear on line or his kinfolk send it this way.

While Ethan is the most vocal Alabama fan in their family (he is redecorating his room in an Alabama theme), he has never actually lived in Alabama, but plans to move there when he’s through with school.

In fact, when sophomore Waylon graduates from Rockdale High School in two years, the entire family plans a pilgrimage back to Alabama to live.

“This is where my father came to work and we like it here, but we are ready to get back to our families,” Rogers said.

Perhaps, back to wear the only burnt orange is in the sunset.

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2010-01-14 digital edition

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