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September 13, 2013

Rivalries run deep

Jim Thompson, a very successful businessman living in Birmingham, Ala., wanted to do something to stir up his Texas A&M friends this week. Thompson who grew up in Texarkana, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas in the 1960s. He and his wife both attended school in Austin and life-long Longhorns.

The Thompsons moved to Birmingham approximately 30 years ago. The family has enjoyed watching football in a state rich in football tradition. Alabama isn't the only school Thompson enjoys watching on Saturdays.

"We love watching Alabama football," he said. "I'll fly an Alabama flag at my house. I have a son-in-law who is an Auburn fan. I'll fly an Auburn flag. I also have a daughter who went to Furman. We will fly a Furman flag. I will say my grandson is a big Alabama fan. He was down at the Texas A&M game last year. I don't think he could have been more upset."

Thompson, who owns a few businesses including a print company which made the sign, will never change his allegiance from his alma mater.

"Once a Longhorn, always a Longhorn," he said. "If Texas is playing Alabama I am cheering for Texas. I flew my Texas flag upside down half-mast after Alabama beat us in the national championship. I did it at midnight that night. I did it last weekend after the loss. I'm a diehard Texas fan. Everyone I know knows that. That won't ever change."

Thompson has a distaste for Texas A&M due to the in-state rivalry. He did enjoy watching the success and seeing Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy last year. That was last year. The off-the-field antics by Manziel since the Heisman ceremony have caused many, including some Auburn fans, to cheer for Alabama on Saturday.

"You know I am just ready to see Nick Saban knock him off his pedestal," Thompson said. "Charles Barkley said it best the other day when he said he is sick of Johnny Manziel and is close to saying Roll Tide! That's saying a lot when Charles Barkley says that. It's going to be a great game. Texas A&M has a great offense. I will be cheering for Alabama tomorrow though.

Roll Tide!"

Sign in Birmingham, Ala.

Twitter: AndrewJBone

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