The Alabama Crimson Tide is back in the College Football Playoffs for the second year in a row, and all the fans whose teams didn't make it are pretty upset about it. I have seen SO MUCH saltiness the past few days; these people have no valid argument to make about Alabama's not deserving a #2 ranking, so they result to the same old lame insults about our state and its residents.

You know what I am talking about: we're all toothless, barefoot idiots incapable of completing the most basic of tasks. We're all related. BLAH BLAH BLAH. It's nothing I haven't heard before: I grew up in Alabama and moved to Kentucky when I was 15, and people everywhere seem to entertain the same stereotypes about our state and its people.

I am here to set the record straight. Ladies and gentledudes, there are ten things you don't understand about Alabama unless you're from here.

1. We are not all related; we are not stupid, and yes, we wear shoes.
Contrary to what you may have been told, you do not hear the banjo riff from Deliverance played when you cross the state line. Alabama has over 4.8 million residents, and I can assure you, we are NOT all kin. We do not marry our cousins, nor do we have brotheruncles and sistermoms. I know some of y'all would like to believe that we're all a passel of inbred idiots, but NOPE. You'll also find that all 4.8 million of we Alabamians wear shoes--unless we're on the sugar sands of one of our pristine beaches, of course. We don't need shoes there--though the same can't be said for your dumpsters masquerading as shoreline.

2. A Yellowhammer is a bird.
Alabama's state bird is the Yellowhammer and thus Alabama is known as the Yellowhammer State. That's why we sing "Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer..." 

3. Alabama has no NFL teams because we do not need them.
Some people might try to tell you that Alabama is inferior because none of our cities has its own NFL team--but those people are idiots. Anyone who's lived in Alabama for more than a week knows Alabamians are fiercely loyal to their college football teams. I know a lot of Saints fans, Falcons fans, even a few Titans fans--but if you were to ask any of these people to whom they pledge their undying loyalty, the answer would be a college team.

4. You're an Alabama fan or you're an Auburn fan.
Are you an Alabama fan? Are you an Auburn fan? If you live here, you have to be one or the other. There is no middle ground.

5. It's perfectly acceptable to say "all y'all."
I do it all the time. If I'm referring to a group of three or so, I'll use "y'all." If I'm addressing a large group, I'll say "all y'all." I wouldn't have used this vernacular in an academic paper, but I'm perfectly fine referring to my girlfriends as "all y'all." You may think I sound like an idiot, but you are wrong. I sound like a genteel lady. Also: Y'ALL > YOU GUYS. Come at me, Yankees.

6. "Bless Your Heart" is not as sweet as it sounds.
This phrase is southern shade at its finest. I may sound as if I am wishing you well, but rest assured, that is NOT the case. You can basically say whatever you want about someone and people won't think you're a soulless jerk if you end it with this deceptively saccharine phrase. Example: That girl is delusional. Who seriously thinks that Ohio State deserves a shot at the playoffs this year? She cannot be serious right now. Bless her heart.

7. Dinner and supper are not the same thing.
Dinner is fancy. You go out for dinner. You have people over for dinner. You have Sunday dinner at your Granny's house. Supper is everyday. Supper is casual. Supper is me, wearing sweatpants and a baggy flannel shirt, taking a desperate inventory of my haphazardly organized pantry and shouting to my husband, "AYY, I HOPE YOU'RE COOL WITH TACOS TONIGHT."

8. Southern hospitality does not apply to the interstate.
I don't know what it is, but the minute we merge on to the interstate our manners become null and void. Have you ever driven on I 20/59? It's like the Redneck Autobahn. You can't do 65 in the fast lane here, people. You will get run over. Alabamians have ZERO highway chill.

9. We are polite to a fault.
Maybe we forget our manners on the interstate, but Alabamians are good people. We say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir." We hold the door open for one another. We smile at strangers. We're nice. We will invite you to join our tailgate. We will share our BBQ with you--and before you ask, it's not ranch dressing. It's Alabama White BBQ sauce.

10. Some things really are better deep-fried, and Grapico > Faygo.
MOST things really are better deep-fried. Grapico is the purple elixir of the Gods. Deal with it, Yankees.