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The heart of the SEC: Tradition, family, and why fans love coming back to the Southeastern Conference every fall

Rent Like A Champion Auburn fans
COURTESY OF RENT LIKE A CHAMPION

Kay’s picture says it all.

A grandfather, holding a granddaughter, decked out in Auburn gear, looking out at the playing field – sharing the tradition of SEC football across a generation.

“(Morgan’s) got Auburn ingrained in her, and this was her first game,” says Kay, an Auburn fan whose picture of her husband, Jim, and their granddaughter, Morgan, was chosen as the winner of college football vacation rental platform Rent Like A Champion’s photo contest earlier this summer. “We’re an avid Auburn family. Jim and I get season tickets every year, and we make sure to sing the AU fight song a lot when she’s around.”

For fans like Kay, the start of the SEC season doesn’t just mean the hope of a conference championship or a College Football Playoff appearance – it’s the chance to reconnect over a proud tradition that goes beyond the final box score.

“(Morgan’s) mom graduated from Auburn, but now they live in Wisconsin and come down every November, so we always go to the Alabama home game,” she says. “We’re looking forward to taking Morgan’s brother, Owen, to the game this year.

“He knows the fight song too.”

Loving a little bit of everything …

“What do I love about SEC football? An easier question would be, ‘What don’t I love about SEC football?’ ” asks Georgia fan Mickey, who makes a yearly trip with friends to see the Bulldogs play in Athens. “I love the excitement that I feel on Friday night before a big game, getting up early for an early tailgate, rivalries between teams, good-natured smack talk, a cold beer with my friends, talking about how we think the game will end up. All of this just scratches the surface of what I love about SEC football.”

And if, when the final whistle sounds, his Bulldogs are on the losing end?

“I even love having a cold beer after a loss and discussing what we could’ve done better.”

Bluegrass and beyond: Experiencing the history of SEC football

“The SEC has been in my blood since I was born,” says David, a Kentucky fan who’s had season tickets to Wildcats football games for more than half his life. “Coming from Kentucky, a lot of people think we’re strictly basketball fans, but they’d be wrong. We can’t wait until fall is upon us and those words are heard across the state … ‘It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass!‘ ”

For David, SEC football isn’t just about connecting with loved ones each season; it’s also about the tradition of the conference itself, and the history behind some of the country’s best football programs.

“Friends and family who watch the games with me want to go see every SEC school’s stadium to watch our beloved Wildcats play,” he says, “We can’t wait to make our memories touring these historic stadiums to see amazing games.”

Stay close, stay together: Making the most of game weekends

No matter who you root for, an SEC football weekend clearly doesn’t begin or end with the game itself – and that’s why keeping your team together for the whole weekend can make all the difference.

Rent Like A Champion works to help fans continue enjoying their weekend with loved ones, a mission these SEC fans feel make their game days all the more special.

“Rent Like A Champion has great options for places to stay right around campus,” David says. “There are plenty of options with reasonably priced homes to rent instead of staying in a single hotel room outside of campus.

“Rent Like A Champion will be there on our adventure to visit all of SEC nation.”

And for those looking to relive the glory days when you could experience SEC football as a student, it’s the absolute way to go.

“Using their service helps me remember everything great about SEC football when my friends and I take our annual trip to Athens,” Mickey says. “It makes all of us, men in our early 40s, feel like we’re back in college.

“It all boils down to good food, good friends and good ol’ SEC college football.”

Want more information about Rent Like A Champion? Head to RentLikeAChampion.com or check out our original piece on them here.

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