Before the coin toss, fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium are whipped into a frenzy by the “flight of the eagle.” As they roar “W-a-a-a-r,” and opponents look on in trepedation, a trained raptor pounces on a leather falconry lure at midfield as the crowd booms: “EAGLE!” If Auburn wins, look out for the “rolling” of Toomer’s Corner: Fans wielding rolls of Charmin and Scott cover the ancient oaks lording over that intersection with bath tissue, transforming downtown into a mystical, two-ply microclimate.

There’s an old saying that in the South, football is religion, and every Saturday is a holy day—so our staff compiled these inscribed-in-pigskin imperatives for Game Day.

Southern Living Editors

1. Thou shalt wear team colors. But think twice before adorning yourself with body paint—you don’t want to be the Internet photo that goes viral.

2. Thou shalt know—and sing—your team’s fight song from beginning to end. Sure, you can “watermelon watermelon” your way through the alma mater, but not memorizing the fight song is a fan failure.

3. Thou shalt keep your language clean (unless, of course, the quarterback fumbles on fourth and goal).

4. Thou shalt support the coach. Even when his calls are questionable.

5. Thou shalt be respectful to visiting teams. Remember: Southern ladies and gentlemen never boo.

6. Thou shalt set up a tailgate no fewer than three hours before kickoff (six if it’s a night game). Table linens and matching huggers encouraged, but not required.

7. Thou shalt theme your tailgate food around the visiting rival. Gator bites, anyone?

8. Thou shalt stay through the fourth quarter—rain or shine. That’s what ponchos are for, y’all.

9. Thou shalt respect the solemnity of Game Day by planning weddings, births, and other life events around the football schedule.

10. Thou shalt not covet other teams’ bowl games, national championships, or Heisman Trophy wins. There’s always next year.

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