Monday, November 23, 2009

Iron Bowl Week: How about another song?

Most Alabama fans detest what you're about to see, but I'm not one of them.

Yes, I'd rather chew glass than lose to Auburn. But the Agrarians' celebration at the end of the 2007 game captures beautifully the glee of taking care of your instate rival, hurting him in a way that only you and he can fully understand, and savoring the sweet, sweet peace of knowing you won't have to take any crap for 365 days.

When it comes to all things Alabama/Auburn, it doesn't get any better than utter, blessed relief.

Michael Gordon

P.S. - 10:18 a.m., Peter St. Onge: This is a difficult week for Auburn fans. We know a whomping awaits us Friday. It likely will not be pretty. We could take a Revolutionary War approach to things this week and hit the Redcoats with fire from alternate angles - Did you hear that Notre Dame has Nick Saban on its short list? - but really, it won't make us feel better. Our football ipecac is coming. Bring it on.

P.P.S - Michael: Mr. St. Onge's perspective, while appreciated, is suspect. He is Auburn by marriage, not blood. The fires are again burning in Mt. Doom, and they are the fires of Auburn hope.

This is the perfect moment for the underdog in a rivalry game. Two weeks to prepare, a high-ranked opponent, and less than nothing to lose.

For those of us old enough to not only remember but able to deal with the pain, Auburn gained 80 yards of total offense in 1972, but blocked two punts for touchdowns late in the game to win. The parallels are scary. Alabama was undefeated and ranked second in the country. Nobody gave Auburn any chance. Besides, who won the flippin' Revolutionary War?

So Peter, why don't you poll your in-laws and get back to us. And thanks for writing a sentence with ipecac. During Auburn/Alabama week, we'll need all the respectability we can muster.

P.P.P.S - Peter: If Alabama can use the equivalent of a No. 1 vote from the Jefferson County (Ala.) Junior League in claiming some of its "national championships," I think I'm on pretty solid ground in declaring myself an Auburn fan. And a quick peek at Auburn message boards, as well as real, live conversations with other Auburn fans, shows that very few of us expect to beat Alabama. But we wonder: Do you think you'll have a better go at TCU in January than Utah last year?


J said...

NOTHING is better than Iron Bowl Week!

I'd like to start the week with the story of my introduction to the most hate-filled rivalry in all of sports (all you Carolina-Duke hoops people, get lost. You got nothing on the Iron Bowl).

It was 1986 when my father and stepmother moved to Huntsville AL to start new jobs. I was 16 and lived with my mother in Ohio, but spent a good part of the summer with Dad. I had already become hooked on Auburn thanks to Bo Jackson - both his football and baseball play - and the fact that I had gotten so sick of hearing about Bear Bryant, especially since by this time he had been dead for 3 years. He's not God and never was; he was just a great football coach. (Try telling that to any 'Bama grad or fan. Good luck with that.)

Now, Huntsville is Tide country, as is just about every square inch of the state north of Montgomery. I got so sick of walking into every store and seeing something painted in ugly crimson all up in my face. Funny thing was, it was June/July and people were talking about the Iron Bowl already. 'Bama fans were looking forward to not facing Bo anymore. Auburn fans were consumed with the effort to get the games in odd-numbered years played in Auburn, instead of having to play a road game at Legion field every single year.

Dad called me Iron Bowl week with a great story. At the office where he & my stepmother worked, they were two of several new hires from the summer. Two of the new hires sat next to each other and became fast friends. For whatever reason, college allegiencies never came up. Here comes Iron Bowl week. One of the new guys shows up to work on Monday wearing a Joe Namath jersey. Then, best friend arrives in a Bo jersey. When they saw each other, they did not speak to each other a single time the rest of the week.

Oh, despite MG's 1972 flashbacks, he shouldn't fret too hard. 'Bama simply has too much talent to lose this game. It will be close - last year was definitely an aberration - but it would take a near-miracle for the War Eagle to fly victoriously.

bama brother said...

It is a distracting kinda week, you know? The more you try to ignore it, the more you are reminding yourself of it. The older I get, the more I'm like my dad - a big Alabama fan who could not sit and watch Alabama play Southern Cal in 1977 and spent much of the game cutting the shrubs outside. When Alabama got a two-touchdown lead, he felt it was safe to come inside and watch. Wrong move. Southern Cal scored quickly, got the ball back and started driving again. Outside, it was now raining, but dad went back outside with his hedge clippers. That did not stop Southern Cal from scoring, but the Tide foiled a two-point conversion attempt and won the game.
I've never used hedge clippers for my Iron Bowl mojo, but if things become desperate enough on Friday - and even if I'm at someone else's house - I will.