For Melissa Joan Hart, falling in love with an Alabamian and a trip to the Iron Bowl.
You may know her as the star of popular TV shows, such as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Melissa & Joey. But for SEC fans, Melissa Joan Hart is the ultimate Crimson Tide fan. Which is a wee bit ironic considering the actress wasn’t born in Alabama, let alone anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line. Yet if we’re to buy into everything we see football-related on Hart’s Instagram and Twitter feed, it’s clear the New York native isn’t letting geographical differences stand in the way of her cheering on the Tide, season after season.
Like most proud Southerners and SEC fanatics, Hart can specifically recall the moment she was converted into a diehard fan. No, it had nothing to do with Big Al or the victory anthem, “Rammer Jammer,” although she loves both of those, too. It was actually her first experience at the Iron Bowl in 2002, where the Tide was defeated in a major upset by SEC rival, the Auburn Tigers.
"Oh, it's so easy to remember," Hart told AL.com. "That [Iron Bowl game] apparently started a pretty bad streak for the team. I watched one loss after another for the first few years."
After attending the bowl game, Hart visited one of the sorority houses on campus and was treated to an old Southern standby: poppy seed chicken, otherwise known as pure comfort in a casserole dish. It was just that sort of Southern hospitality, along with the girls’ game-day attire of sundresses, boots, and houndstooth—lots of houndstooth—that drew her into the aura of T-Town football and tailgating. Hart said she soon learned that "Saturdays in the fall are for football."
Watch her gush about her love for Bama football below:
Nearly 15 years later, she and her crimson-adorned family still make it to see at least two games per season, where she expressed that it’s been easier to fit games into her chaotic schedule thanks to “all these great championships.” Beyond the regular season, you can also find Hart, her husband (who is originally from Enterprise, Alabama), and her three sons, in the stands for the Iron Bowl and neutral-site kickoff games.
In addition, despite her being hundreds of miles away in Connecticut, Hart has managed to bring a bit of "Sweet Home Alabama" to her own home, plastering pictures of Bryant-Denny stadium and Crimson Tide jerseys of her favorite players, like Jalen Hurts, Tyrone Prothro, Derrick Henry, and Trent Richardson on the walls.
WATCH: The South's 10 Best Tailgates
So it should come as no surprise to Bama fans that while gearing up for the premiere of her Lifetime movie, Watcher in the Woods, on October 21, Hart carved out some time to share her predictions for the season. "I think we have a good year coming up." To that we say, Roll Tide!