It’s here. Iron Bowl Week. Auburn and Alabama.
I had hoped this Saturday’s game would mean more, but bama lost to LSU Saturday afternoon so LSU is likely headed to the SEC Championship Game. It isn’t easy pulling for bama and I can’t say I was pulling for them to beat LSU but I sort of hoped they would.
My wife’s an Alabama fan. I’m all orange and blue. It’s a mixed-marriage. Maybe even tougher than if she had been raised a Catholic next to my Baptist upbringing. It can get ugly around the end of November.
Saturday’s game at Georgia was one of the best games I’ve seen this year. The 62-yard pass and catch on 4th and 11 with 1:32 left in the game and trailing the Bulldogs by 2 was perhaps the best clutch play of the season.
The Iron Bowl is the greatest rivalry in all of football. It’s one of those nasty rivalries in which fans hate the other school. Growing up in the 1970s when bama was winning championships with Bear I was one of only 2 kids cheering for Auburn in our entire elementary school.
I remember some great games in the series. The “Punt-Bama-Punt” game of 1972 when Auburn blocked two punts and returned them both for touchdowns to win. The “End Around” game of 1989. The “Bo over the Top” in 1982. The “First on the Plains” when Auburn hosted bama and upset them on a dramatic 4th down play with a cold backup quarterback entering the game to throw a touchdown. I was sitting next to the Director of Transportation for the State of Alabama and found myself hugging him when Lawyer Tillman came down with the ball.
The whole state of Alabama will be talking about this game. For 365 days someone will have bragging rights which is huge. For those who don’t know, when someone moves to Alabama the first question they get at church, at work or at school is “Are you Auburn or Alabama?” Not, “are you FOR Auburn or Alabama” but “are you Auburn or Alabama?”
I’m Auburn. My wife is Alabama. I’ve tried to raise my kids to be Auburn. When Trey was a baby and needed burping, I sang “War Eagle.” Once, my wife started to sing the Alabama fight song with him on her shoulder and he promptly threw up.
So War Eagle ya’ll. Come Saturday night I’ll be either the happiest man in the house or the maddest.