It didn't really occur to her that she was missing any college football
"We're just walking and having a good time," said Ray, who had also brought her friend Steve Aderholt along with her for the day. "It's quiet and we're really enjoying the good scenery."
Saturday was day one for the 2013 college football season, an event that has been hyped for months across Alabama — a state obsessed with the sport. One look at the relatively light vehicular traffic through Anniston and Oxford Saturday while the Alabama-Virginia Tech game was being played gave solid evidence of that obsession.
While most residents were captivated by their teams playing on television, there actually were people out enjoying the day, avoiding football for one reason or another.
Aderholt said he's never been much of a fan of football or most sports in general.
"I'm not big into sports unless it’s fishing," Aderholt said. "I like hiking and camping and stuff."
Nearby, Leah Storino was enjoying the day with her 5-month-old son Jonas and 5-year-old son Benjamin at Bald Rock. Originally from Iowa, Storino said she has never really gotten into football like most Alabama natives, even though she has lived in Oxford for 13 years. Storino said she'd rather enjoy the outdoors at Cheaha.
"This boardwalk is good for a stroller," Storino said of the boardwalk that leads to Bald Rock.
Several families were at Oxford Lake Saturday evening, one celebrating a birthday party while another enjoyed a large reunion. Terry Helms of Oxford was relaxing under a pavilion at Oxford Lake while his four sons played in the nearby water park. Though Helms is an Auburn fan, he doesn't watch football much, instead opting to spend time with his sons.
"We come out here all the time," Helms said. "There's not much time to watch football."
Richard and Shelia Hinds of Ft. Payne and Mark and Sandy Cloud of Anniston avoided football Saturday, though not exactly by choice. Both families were up at Cheaha Saturday to watch their children, Mandy and Chris Cloud, renew their marriage vows. The Hindses said they were recording the Alabama football game. The Clouds, however, scoffed at the idea that they'd be watching Alabama, saying they were LSU fans.
"Hopefully we'll be home to watch the game," Sandy Cloud said with a laugh.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.