For over ninety years, the Southeastern Conference has been the lighthouse for others to follow. No other conference in the history of the NCAA has ever come close to achieving the levels of success the SEC has reached. Throughout history, the Southeastern Conference has produced names like Slive, Neyland, Bryant, Dooley, Sankey, Saban, Smart, Bertman, Summit, Rupp, Polk, and many more. For ninety years, the Southeastern Conference has shown light upon their student-athletes across all barriers. The Southeastern Conference has represented a region often overlooked.
Dating back to the Civil War, people around the country have looked down upon the South as second-class citizens. Yet, since 1933 Southerners have found identity in the Southeastern Conference. It doesn’t matter your background. Everybody in the South can find a home in the Southeastern Conference. It doesn’t matter if you come from Atlanta, Memphis, College Station, or any holler below the Mason-Dixon; the SEC has always represented the South. It’s who we are.
So, as we celebrate the 90th birthday of the Southeastern Conference, let’s take a trip down memory lane to celebrate what makes this Conference so beautiful.
As a kid who grew up around the Southeastern Conference; the campuses, the fans, and the traditions; it’s hard to pinpoint just a few moments to discuss in celebrating the 90th birthday of the SEC.
Yet, here we are.
So, without further ado, I’m going to tell you; the fans, what the Southeastern Conference means to mean as a southern kid.
When I imagine the Southeastern Conference in my mind, I go back to the traditions that make this Conference what it is today. Not many have been across the Southeastern Conference like I have; I have rang a cowbell in Starkville, yelled Roll Tide, said the Hotty Toddy, and even sang Rocky Top at the top of my lungs. Every school has its thing that makes them unique; there’s no experience better than the other.
Second, you can’t talk about the Southeastern Conference without talking about leadership. Through the years, we have seen C.M. Newton, Mike Slive, and even Greg Sankey rise through the ashes to lead the Southeastern Conference through troubled waters. In recent years, the Southeastern Conference led the way for the rest of the country to follow suit. Sure, NIL, Covid, expansion, and TV rights were choppy waters to navigate; but it was the Southeastern Conference that managed the waters and led the way for the rest of the country to follow. That’s what makes the Southeastern Conference different from others places.
As we celebrate the birthday of the Southeastern Conference, let’s close by pouring a bourbon, enjoying some gumbo, and celebrating our Conference. There is no better Conference in America; the Southeastern Conference will always run the world. For those that don’t understand it, that’s on them. For us that do, It just means more.
Happy 90th Birthday, Southeastern Conference.