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  • Rival Week: The Belles in the Biz of ShopPop

    Nov 25, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Outfits, SEC Football, Southern Women

    Rival Week usually results in fewer phone calls between divided familes; more taunting texts between otherwise amicable friends and certainly divides states right down the Navy and Crimson line. At least in Alabama.   Gridiron Belles loves a good rivalry as much as the next fan, but what Gridiron Belles loves even more is two women, graduates of rival universities, starting their own business, and finding a way to still be able to communicate during the Iron Bowl.

    Randall Copeland (University of Alabama graduate) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn University graduate) both grew up in the great state of Alabama and remained dear friends throughout college, despite their rival colors on game day.  Post graduation, both Randall and Anne Morgan started full-time careers but could not deny the entrepreneurial draw of creating a one-of-a-kind mobile fashion business.  Their story  (and their “style boxes”) are what Belles in Biz’ dreams are made of: A dream, the passion to make it succeed and a little rivalry on Saturdays!

    Below, they tell us the key to success, what to wear on game day and how they manage to speak to one another during the Iron Bowl (only during commercials of course.)

    Name of Biz:  ShopPop

    The Belles in the Biz:  Randall Copeland (Alabama) and Anne Morgan Montgomery (Auburn)

    Explanation of your Biz—tell us how it works!:

    ShopPop is a “mobile” boutique without a brick and mortar store. We sell our merchandise through a pop-up shop experience {trunk shows} and  create “style boxes” that we send to clients—locally and across the south. We launched our website {} in April of this year, and now our merchandise is also available for purchase through our site.

    How did you get your start?

    Randall: Our love for shopping and fashion inspired us to start a business as a way to expand the scope of brands available to the women around us. We wanted to offer customers a unique shopping experience with high-quality, stylish, yet affordable clothing.

    AM: I have always loved fashion and styling. I graduated in Apparel Design and worked in NYC as a designer as well. This taught me a lot about business and retail. Randall and I started ShopPop in April 2013 after the idea came to us while standing in my kitchen. The next week we found ourselves applying for a business license.

    How do you all split up responsibilities?

    Anne Morgan lives in Birmingham and Randall is in Mobile so this has been a tricky part of our business. We are both responsible for selling and we both set up trunkshows in our corresponding cities. It has been nice being able to widen our customer base and touch more clients.

    How does a not so friendly gridiron rival work in a very friendly work environment?  Do you speak to each other on Iron Bowl Day?

    Randall: We keep it light. Of course I want Alabama to win, but at the end of the day, it’s a football game and life goes on. Our relationship is way more important.

    AM:We both love sports but neither one of us would let football get in between our work. I think we love clothes more. 

    Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding?

    Randall: There are not enough hours in the day! Juggling a full time job, ShopPop and life in general – it can be hard to fit it all in sometimes.  But Nothing makes me happier than seeing a customer in a ShopPop outfit feeling confident and beautiful.

    AM: The most rewarding part of my job is the smile on a clients face when you make them see how pretty they are. I think everyone is beautiful but not everyone sees himself or herself that way. My life verse and motto has always been, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made declares the Lord” Psalm 139:14 and I truly believe that about everyone.

    What’s one thing your biz would not survive without?

    Randall: Social media. Instagram has been a godsend!  (follow them here!)

    AM: Our customers. We have the best customers and are blessed to call most of them friends. Our friends and family have continued to support us and we couldn’t ask for better loved ones.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction?

    AM: Fact. I think it is very important to have boundaries with work. It can be so fun and challenging some days but to excel in business I believe you need to also live. I am inspired by so many people outside of work that make me better at what I do.

    Business/career advice to other Belles?

    Randall: Do what you love. If you are passionate about something, go for it, because people are great at what they love. Maximize opportunities and make your own momentum. Follow your instincts, stay positive and surround yourself with good people.

    AM: Never be afraid to fail. Having fear can only hold you back. Learn that failure can be a positive thing. It only makes you stronger and teaches you what not to do. Most successful people have failed at LEAST once.

    Favorite part about being an Alabama/Auburn fan? 

    Randall: Game Day in Tuscaloosa! Tailgating, meeting up with friends at Gallette’s, the energy of Bryant Denny Stadium… being in the middle of it all is so exciting. I enjoy watching football, and the years I was in school at UA were some of the very best, so it’s hard not to love it.

    AM: The community and family feel that the Auburn campus has. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help others.

    What do you wear on game day?

    Randall: Skinny jeans or leggings, boots and a silk top. If it’s cold, I’ll layer with a fitted jacket or fur vest.

    AM: Orange is honestly not my best color – I cant say that I even wear team colors…don’t judge me !

    What do most of your clients request to wear for game days? Is that a good choice?

    Randall: Slouchy sweaters, silk tops, and basic “throw on and go” dresses. I think any of these options are perfect for game day – you feel comfortable and still look cute. These styles are also easy to layer for games on colder days.

    AM: Most of our clients request something solid in their team color. For example, Crimson or Navy are probably the biggest sellers for us. And that works.

    What do you suggest/send to your clients to help them look their best that they may not know about?

    Randall: A pair of jeans or leggings that truly flatters your figure will always stay in style. I always advise them to actually try something on (even if it’s out of their comfort zone of usual style).  Some pieces look completely different on a hanger. 

    AM: I always think about their body type and what area they may or may not be self conscious about. Then I play that up. For example if someone is shorter I let them know that monochromatic schemes are best, color blocking is usually not your friend or if they are bigger in the bottom wearing a longer top is the best look verse something cropped.

    What fan base has the best dressed Gridiron Belles?

    Randall: To be honest, I have a bit of a houndstooth hangover, so I’m passing my style points to the UGA girls.

    AM: I have to say Ole Miss. The Mississippi girls really know how to dress for a game and they definitely have the best tailgating. Where else can you eat chicken fingers on china?

    Favorite tailgate dish? Recipe?

    Randall: I love making my way around a dip table, but if I had to choose one tailgate treat, it would be Stadium Dogs.

    AM: BLT Dip with Ritz Crackers. I could eat this all day. It is comprised of Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Bacon, Tomato, and Green Onions. Sounds bad but it really is the best!

    Game day drink of choice?

    Randall: Yellowhammers! {Gallette’s signature cocktail}

    AM: Honestly, a stadium Coca-Cola is my favorite thing in the world.


    What do you always have in your touch down purse?

    Randall: Lipstick

    AM: Stilla lip colour. My mother always taught me you must have color on your lips.

     Heads or Tails?

    Randall: Heads

    AM: Tails, always

    Who wins it all this year?

    AM: Well, I’ve got to say Auburn J But seriously I think Florida might pull it out for the big win!

    Randall: ALA-BAMA!

     To see what all the belles of ShopPop are up to or what the latest styles are, visit, follow and post here!

    Website, Instagram



  • Game Day Snacks: Walker’s Dip

    Oct 27, 2015 CATEGORIES: AL, Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Recipes, SEC Football, Southern Tailgating

    In 2012 I was on my first book tour and was scheduled for my first appearance in Andalusia, AL at a little place called Walker’s Business Machines.  Why I had agreed to promote the book at a business machine store was beyond me but I was young, and green, and any chance to showcase the book, I took!  Upon arrival, I was greeted by the type of people who are so sweet they give you diabetes. The red carpet was rolled out, the store promotions had been done, and the owner and staff all found time to visit with me in between signings.  Did I mention that “business machines” really meant beautiful office furniture on one side of the store and adorable home decor and game day gifts on the other?  

    Also at my signing table was an addicting dip that I’ll admit that I ate more of than the visitors. Whoops!  Which meant I couldn’t leave the signing without the recipe so Suzanne Williams wrote it down for me. (Handwritten recipes are always my favorite).

    Below are all of the instructions for Walker’s Dip.  It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s a crowd pleaser that disappears before half time. 

    Thank you, again, Walker’s and Ms. Suzanne Williams.  I’ve never forgotten about my second home in Andalusia!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


    1   16oz Sour Cream

    2   Packs Ranch Dressing mix

    1   Package of Hormel Bacon Bits (Must be Hormel)

    1    Package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or two heaping handfuls)

    1 Sprinkle of red pepper flakes to spice it up!

    Directions:  Combine sour cream, bacon bits, cheddar cheese in bowl.  Once mixed, add ranch dressing. Mix again.  Serve with Freetos or a hearty chip/cracker of your choice.



  • Belles In Biz: bySMITH Collection

    Oct 7, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Nick Saban, SEC Football

    BAMA Belle Smith Sinrod, thrived in the Big Apple in one of the hardest industries: fashion.  One trip to Thailand, a huge leap of faith  and the upbringing that encouraged her to never give up, has led this Belle to a successful career running her line of chic women’s clothing for the modern woman.  BySmith helps the working woman get from the office to dinner out on the town. This focus on work-life balance, all while looking divine, is what hooked me on the BySmith line… for the work day, game day, and everything in between. I can’t imagine any other line to wear through life’s events. Read on. You’ll be ordering pieces in no time.

    Name: Smith Sinrod

    SEC Team: The University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide

    Graduated from: The University of Alabama

    Name of Your Biz: bySMITH

    Explanation of Your Biz: by SMITH is a contemporary women’s line of sophisticated, chic dresses and classic day-to-night separates recognized for the use of Thai Silk, vibrant colors and bold patterns that place a spin on classic looks. Made up of versatile and transitional day-to-night pieces, by SMITH pieces are perfect for a young professional heading to meet friends after work, or for a young mother going out for date night. by SMITH recently celebrated its 10th season and is distributed online and located in national and international retailers, consistently appearing in fashion shows and media outlets across the country, like Town &  Country, Southern Living, E! News and Real Simple.

    How did you get your start? I developed my business plan prior to graduating from The University of Alabama. I officially started my business directly following graduation with a sourcing trip to Thailand—that’s when it all began.

    So tell us, what exactly is your role? I’ve been designing my own pieces and collections from the beginning of college, but officially launched by SMITH in 2009. As owner and designer, I wear every hat. I design each collection and develop our prints each season, work with manufacturers directly to ensure our production is running smoothly, and I coordinate our wholesale business with the boutiques on a regular basis. I’ve learned a lot by owning my business and being an entrepreneur, and have found that even after six years, I am still learning and evolving my brand.

    Most challenging part of your job? Most rewarding?  I would say the most challenging part of all of this is making sure I keep up with the ever changing world of fashion. There are so many moving parts to this business and just when you feel like you are caught up, it’s time to design another collection, a year ahead of course. I like how fast the industry moves and how it constantly changes; it challenges me in a good way.

    The most rewarding part of my job is seeing strong and diverse women wearing my clothing. Fashion is a choice and the consumer gets to pick what they like, buy it, and then wear it. It’s a form of self-expression so when my art is chosen, it makes me happy.

    bySMITH collection showcased at a University of Alabama fashion show.

    What is one thing your biz would not survive without? Me (and a lot of caffeine!)

    What’s next? I am excited to be back in the south again and am enjoying every second of it. I am working on expanding by SMITH from New Orleans and so far, we have exciting things in the works. More to come!

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction? I think that’s a fact for me. I really work to be the best businesswoman and designer I can be, but also make it a priority to find quality time with my husband, friends and family. Those are the people that encourage and inspire me daily, so it’s a win-win.

    Business/career advice to other Belles? Never give up. My dad told my sisters and me this on a regular basis growing up to encourage us to be strong no matter what. Even though it’s pretty straightforward, it’s helped me navigate my career over the past few years and has kept me grounded when things get crazy busy.

    What do you wear on game day?  I wear one of my Barrow Tees in black or white with my jeans or my crimson East Village Skirt. A black dress is also a home run for BAMA games.

    What have you found most inspiring about SEC and Gridiron Belles’ wardrobes?  What I love is seeing how girls at each school show their school spirit. At some schools, people dress to the nines as if it’s a cocktail party.  At other schools, girls are more relaxed with a cute T-shirt and jeans. I certainly get inspiration on how to mix and match items, particularly as many of the schools have different climates that they deal with. It’ fun to see how the girls dress weekend after weekend.  

    Favorite part about being an Alabama fan? My favorite part of being an Alabama fan, is the pride that comes along with the Tide fan base.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Stadium dog

    Game day drink of choice? There’s nothing better than a Yellowhammer from Gallettes on game day. This was my friends’ go-to game day cocktail during our time in Tuscaloosa.


    Smith celebrating all things Alabama with fellow belles at an Alabama tailgate

    What do you always have in your touch down purse?
    A shaker and a pen/notepad. I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings and football games are no different! I love seeing what women are wearing and often find myself jotting down sketches of some of the styles and trends that inspire me.

    Coach Crush? I might be a bit biased, but I’m partial to Saban.

    Heads or Tails? Tails

    Who wins it all this year? Alabama, of course!

    Keep up with Smith and all of tricks of the trade she has for Gridiron Belles by visiting her website and following her on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. 

  • Sweet Home Alabama

    Jan 9, 2012 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, BCS Championship Game, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, LSU v ALABAMA football, SEC Football, Southern Football, Uncategorized

    The Tide Sisters

    SEC fans are the most loyal and energetic in the nation.  I’m convinced, however, that Alabama fans are what most people mean when they use the term “Fanatical.” It’s expected of BAMA fans to be fanatical—it’s part of the oath they take as new borns: Wear Crimson, despise Auburn, name a child (or at least a dog, boat, or RV ) “Bear” and above all, be the most fanatical football fan you can imagine day in and day out.  This is one vow that is unforgivable to break. And I love it.

    Mr. C and Ms. Tide, two of the greatest BAMA fans I know!

    On a level understood only in the SEC—perhaps only in Alabama– eating, breathing and decorating your home in the only logical theme of Crimson Tide, team dedication has reached a new level in Tuscaloosa.

    Look closely and count how many places you find houndstooth!

    My trip across the South has introduced me to more than my fair share of Tide fans.  I stayed with one of the sweetest Bama Belles at her Bay house outside of Mobile and was welcomed into her home with open arms… just as soon as I changed out of navy and orange… in the driveway.

    All fans who enter, MUST match the decor!

    The Bama fan of the season, however, required a family.  The “Tide Family” (I’ve kept their name to myself as to not have them inundated with calls and e-mails asking for ideas of how to be a better BAMA fan once this is released) has set a new bar for BAMA fans . They are as kind as they are loyal. They are as generous as they are dedicated.

    Yes, a larger than life replica of The Bear's hat serving as window treatments in the bathroom!

    Decorated by the eldest daughter of the “Tide Family,” this second home, located a first down away from the entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium, epitomizes the phrase “Sweet Home Alabama.”

    Lucky monogram she has, isn't it?! This is the beautiful creative brain behind the "wow."

    I’d likely get some of the details mixed up if I tried to tell you how long the “Tide Family” has been a part of the BAMA community.  I’d tell you that there are 12 grandchildren who went to, or are currently enrolled at, the University of Alabama  when really there are something like 26.  And I’d tell you that it was MR. Tide that spearheads the “fanaticism” and game day excursions on their party buses and boats when really it’s MRS. Tide.  So I’m going to keep the details to myself and just let pictures speak 13 words.  Because, 13, is exactly how many national championships this Tide Family has been around to celebrate the Crimson spirit.

    These curtains speak from themself

    No detail, large or small, went un-dedicated to Alabama.  I was in awe. I was impressed beyond words and knew immediately that there may be a lot of families that are Tide fans, but there is only ONE “Tide Family.”

    Meet the lovely Tide Family

    Thanks for the hospitality Mr. and Mrs. Tide!  And good luck getting your 14th national championship tonight!

    Xs and Os,


    Christie Leigh


  • A Saturday in Tuscaloosa

    Nov 7, 2011 CATEGORIES: AL, Alabama, Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles Tour, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, LSU Football, Nick Saban, SEC Championship, Southern Belles

    GameDay set up in front of Bryant-Denny

    If I was ever concerned that the Alabama football nation was going to grow out of the houndstooth trend and start wearing khaki pants like Saban, I’ve since been reassured otherwise. Houndstooth is the easiest way to identify an Alabama fan and there was no shortage on Saturday in the crowd of 200,000 plus fans that converged on T-Town.

    Mama and Ms. Campbell showing off their houndstooth

    In addition to the presence of houndstooth, no tailgate was complete without some sort of sign about Les Miles eating grass, a pun on what LSU players do with grass and some sort of insult of what the Crimson Tide was planning to do on the astro-grass .  I personally find a lot of entertainment in reading the clever signs that fans make for their tailgate décor.  In fact, if you have any good fan-signs, send’em in!

    Leave it to the law school...

    The new statue on the walk of legends is of Coach Saban. When the news covered Tide fans complaining about coach Saban’s clown-sized-bronze-shoes, I didn’t understand. Upon further review, the ruling on the field stands,  his shoes are a little large for a rather small framed man.  I do, however, think the statue captures his spirit and enthusiasm and gave me chills just thinking about his success as a coach.  And just to be sure that no one messed with his big feet, there were more security guards for these statues than on the field during the game!

    Bama Belles paying their respects

    With months of anticipation surrounding the meeting of these two power houses, I was dreaming of fanatical fan bases battling it out pre-kickoff and a game with a little bit of offense.  What I found was the largest gathering of well mannered fan bases in the history of college football! Yes, I just wrote that. I just categorized LSU as well-mannered and included the Tide. Hell has officially frozen over. Pigs now have wings. The pope is no longer Catholic.

    This was a display of unprecedented respectful fraternizing with the enemy.  I suppose it’s because neither team had too much room to talk.  60 minutes could change LSU’s entire season and the only reason Alabama wasn’t number one was because they had not yet played LSU.  It was amazing.  It was impressive.  I was so proud of both teams.

    She didn't tell me she was grilling tiger. Just grilling for the game

    The game was phenomenal. Every snap was worth holding my breath.  Every play that I stood was worth the agonizing pain in my tuckered-out feet.   Simply being in the stadium was enough for this Belle. It was history in the making. What made it better was sitting with my Mama and Dad in Bryant-Denny stadium while they experienced their Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

    Thanks, Mama and Dad for making the trip!

    What a show, Tide fans, what a show.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


  • T’was almost the night before Christmas…

    Nov 3, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Championship, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Belles


    What you need to know about  this weekend in Tuscaloosa (Click above for a to-the-second-countdown-to-madness)

    1) Swoozies is hosting a Gridiron Belles book signing on Thursday,  Nov 3 at their Birmingham location in the Summit. They will be offering two prizes for RSVPing to and attending–a signed copy of Gridiron Belles and a personalized Tailgate Party Pack! Be sure to get your name in the drawing by coming by, I’d love to meet you!

    Plus!  There is a competition between Auburn and Alabama fans to send in the most responses… I have to dress in the winning team’s colors!

    Come by the Swoozies store in Birmingham on Thursday night5-7!

    2) Gridiron Belles is kicking off the Alabama week with a Friday morning appearance on Birmingham’s CBS 42 “Wake Up Alabama”  at 6:00AM.  If for some reason you are already up, tune in!

    3) I’ll be heading to Tuscaloosa early on Friday morning to stop by Buffalo Phil’s, Dreamland BBQ and Rama Jama.  Please send in info if I should be going anywhere else?  I’ll be tailgate hopping around the Quad on Saturday so let me know where you’ll be so I can come visit and take pictures for the next book!

    This clever and talented BAMA fan is a third grader from Mobile. His teacher gave him an "A," the artist is hoping for a "W."

    4) Just to get you excited, here are some articles that people have sent in about this weekend’s historical matchup. My feet keep dancing and my head wont stop signing a special  combined rendition of “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer” and “Hey Fightin’ Tigers.”


    Articles to read:

    Sports Illustrated

    And the Valley Shook Blog

    ESPN- click on inside Alabama

    Who is Honey Badger? Find out

    I always love reading this BAMA blog

    See you in Tuscaloosa!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    PS- I can’t really endorse the foul mouthed commentary on the YouTube Honey Badger video, but if you happened to find it, it may help you make the connection about a honey badger and Mr. Matieu



  • Three Belles walked into a bar…

    Aug 23, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky Football, Mississippi State, SEC, SEC Football, South Carolina

    Because sometimes it’s just plain funny to laugh at the other team’s expense!

    What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs?

    What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?
    ………A full set of teeth.

    How do you get a South Carolina cheerleader into your dorm room?
    ………Grease her hips and push.

    How do you get a Georgia graduate off your porch?
    ………Pay him for the pizza.

    How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a girlfriend?
    ……..There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup

    Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum?
    ………Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

    What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player’s life?
    ………His freshman year.

    How many Florida freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
    ………None. That’s a sophomore course.

    Feel free to change any of these teams around–these are just for fun and are not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings.  But, to be honest, if these G-rated jokes hurt your feelings, you may want to reconsider changing conferences and never step foot at a tailgate where the jokes are a tad bit–to a lotta bit– more insulting!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


  • My SEC Birthday

    Jul 28, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Football, Tennessee, Uncategorized

    SEC Birthday Treasures

    SEC Birthday Treasures-- Best Birthday Package Ever!

    I love birthdays.  Always have.  And probably always will–until I start celebrating birthdays that receive their own category at Party City mocking old age.

    It was around the 7th grade that I recall saving my (July) birthday check until late in September.  With the arch-rival match up between the two all boys Catholic schools (St. X and Trinity) just around the corner, I found the strength and common sense to save birthday money in exchange for having the perfect outfit for the Friday night match up.

    ( I also conveniently always scheduled a haircut for that afternoon as well, but that’s for another story…)

    Fast forward some 16 years, and my birthdays are still revolving around the gridiron. Only this time, my gifts have started to be accouterments of the SEC rainbow.

    My mama, a generous KY Belle, sent me a package on Monday with the following treasures inside. It was the Mary Poppins bag of SEC goodness and has me almost ready for the tour!

    Orange and white Lilly dress:  My new Tennessee dress!! Perfect for keeping me cool and stylish during the UT v UGA game in Knoxville.

    Spirit Gloves: Look closely, those gloves have pompoms on the finger trips!! Heaven forbid I ever forget my lucky shaker,  these spirit gloves will keep me warm on the Plains during the Iron Bowl!

    Luggage Spotter: This was my dad’s addition to the package, and it’s hilariously practical. An easy way to spot my bag and start conversation while traveling across Dixie. Thanks, Dad!

    Sports Mints: A rather obvious name, but I received a bag of Alabama and Auburn mints.  They make them for every SEC team and these are ideal for your tailgate bin that I talk about in the book.  Who doesn’t want fresh breath after snacking at a tailgate?

    Lilly Pulitzer Calendar:  Lilly has agreed to sponsor a book signing for me next week here in Austin!!! It’s only fitting that all of my stops are kept organized in this preppy calendar.

    Auburn Tupperware:  Where else are they going to put team logos?  Doesn’t matter to me, these are ideal for bringing your gourmet gridiron grub to a tailgate. Get your team’s edition and showcase your spirit and hard work in the kitchen!

    Blue and Orange bracelets:  These Florida orange and blue bangles are going to look great when I am at the Swamp. Anything and everything blue and orange is the norm down there– I’m giddy about that trip.

    Team Colored Unmentionables (not pictured for obvious reasons): What can I say?  A true Gridiron Belle doesn’t stop supporting her team at a surface level!!  Mama also threw in some pretty LSU colored unmentionables for my visit to Death Valley.

    You don’t need a July or August birthday to prepare for the season. All of the summer clothes on sale now are perfect for the first few games of the season in the southern heat. Get prepared!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


  • Poisioning Football

    Feb 23, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Auburn, SEC

    Christie Leigh: Hello?

    Mama: Alabama is the stupidest state. Ever.

    Christie Leigh: What?! Mama, why? Where are you?

    Mama: I said, “Alabama is the stupidest state.”

    Saturday morning, my mama, was driving from KY to Florida and driving through Alabama when she called me rather perturbed. I could have sworn that hell froze over and that my mama had spent the morning listening to ESPN on her XM radio where she learned of the latest stunt pulled by an Alabama fan.

    To my dismay, she was simply referring to a disappointing employer she encountered at a drive thru window, but the effect was the same. What I heard was, “Alabama fans are the stupidest in the state.” That’s not new news to an Auburn or Tennessee fan, but to the rest of the world, it may now be coming a bit more apparent.

    The poisoning of Auburn’s historical oak trees in Toomer’s Corner by an Alabama fan is nothing short of a tragic heartbreak. The Auburn community has rallied around toilet paper, the intersection of Magnolia and College, and beautiful oaks for generations. Nearly all of life’s successes on Auburn’s campus are celebrated by “rolling” the trees in Toomer’s Corner. At least they were. Until some Alabama fan took it in his own hands to personally poison football.

    No one is here to discount the intensity of college football rivals, especially SEC rivals. No one here is casting the first stone (although I would cast a roll of toilet paper at this man if given the chance, and I’m not talking two-ply extra soft). No one here is claiming that team allegiance and rivals are wrong, unhealthy, or even a waste of time like so many non-football fans claim them to be.

    But the beauty of such deeply seeded and passionate rivals is that we all feel the same way. Ipso facto, shouldn’t we all be respecting the other teams, especially in the off season? Especially when it comes to defacing historical landmarks?

    Alabama has Bear Bryant. You don’t see Auburn fans burning houndstooth hats before kickoff or after they beat Alabama do you? The revered on-campus statue of The Bear has not been covered with orange and blue or covered in a liquid that would erode the metal and destroy the shape and tribute to Bear.

    Why not? Because that’s history. Bear Bryant was one of the greatest coaches of all times. He is as much a part of Alabama football history as their 22 SEC championships. Because you can hate Alabama with every cell in your body, but no one can dispute the tradition that lives on in the Bear’s memory.

    So why could Mr. Bad Alabama Apple not appreciate one of Auburn’s greatest traditions? Why could an Alabama fan not respect history, heritage, legacy the same way Auburn has done to them?

    Maybe he wanted to spend time in jail with inmates stealing his toilet paper. Maybe he secretly disliked Tuscaloosa and realized this was the only way to guarantee that he would never ever go back. Maybe he thought he had been to Bryant-Denny Stadium enough and had no desire see the inside of heaven again. Maybe his off-season Saturdays and Sundays were becoming boring and he needed an activity to fill his time, thus having to clean toilet paper from his house and front yard for the rest of his life would fix his idol boredom.

    Here’s the thing: Aside from this lost soul who fell off a very high rocker causing brain injury, the University of Alabama does football right. Bryant-Denny Stadium is an unforgettable experience. One of my dearest friends is a BAMA fan. I respect the program because they are passionate about football, but this has crossed the line; this is taking the rivalry too far. Aside from my  friend residing in Tuscaloosa, it’s safe to say I lost a lot of respect for the Crimson Tide.

    I hope the plainsmen and women turn the other cheek and beat the stew out of the Tide from here until eternity. I hope that this act of idiocy serves as a lesson to all fans teetering on stupidity when it comes to proving their team allegiance. It’s safe to say the entire football world is pitying this man.

    I’m not sure that, “ The curse of the herbicide” has a nice enough ring to it, but there will be a curse. It’s no longer just Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn that hate Alabama. The disappointment of Alabama from fans across the nation is spreading like herbicide at Toomer’s Corner. Good luck, Tide. That herbicide has traveled across the state and is causing Bear to turn over in his houndstooth grave. And that can’t be a positive omen for your future.

  • “Aint nothing like’em nowhere!”

    Dec 10, 2010 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Food, SEC Championship

    Until last weekend, Dreamland BBQ only lived in story books. At least it didn’t yet live in my book. I had heard that no trip through Alabama was complete without a detour to fill up on ribs and sweet tea, so I made the stop.

    Dreamland BBQ is a rib-icon in the world of BAMA fans. As an Auburn fan who went to school in the notorious BBQ haven of Memphis, TN and who has a best friend who continually wins contests for his BBQing skills, you could say I was a tad skeptical of the famed Rib shop.

    The original Dreamland is in Tuscaloosa, AL but there is one of equal grandeur (license plate and neon sign décor) in Birmingham. Which is where I visited after the SEC Championship still wearing my AU face tattoo.

    The service was fast and friendly. The patrons were full and smiling. The ribs were meaty and delectable. Splitting a full slab was the perfect amount, but the secret was in the sauce.

    I may have eaten the ribs, finished the Brunswick Stew and enjoyed the vinegar slaw, but there was absolutely nothing better on the menu than the white wonder bread dipped in the left over sauce on the rib plate.

    If you don’t live in Tuscaloosa and don’t have an award winning BBQing friend nearby, have no fear. Dreamland sends their culinary talent wherever UPS delivers. Who says a loaf of Wonderbread and Dreamland sauce isn’t a complete meal? (

    Auburn fan at Dreamland BBQ, “I guess something good did come out of Tuscaloosa after all.” Lesson here? Even after beating Alabama and winning the SEC Championship, never pass up a chance to take a dig at Alabama. (Even though Alabama has 13 SEC Champs to Auburn’s 6)

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