Friday, November 26, 2010

On The Occassion of This Iron Bowl

I figured I would break with tradition and violate one of my blog rules: thou shalt not post about sports. Being an Alabama native, today is the huge college football game between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Huge is probably not sufficient enough an adjective to describe the enormity of the game within the state itself, but it will have to do for now. I am, of course, supporting Alabama. The reason it is known as the Iron Bowl is that for decades the rivalry was played in Birmingham, which until the 1970's was a steel and iron manufacturing center to rival Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The mills may have long since gone overseas, like those in every other region of the country, but the name remains.

In its Birmingham days, the game was played at a supposedly neutral field, Legion Field, wherein the tickets were split equally, 50/50, between fans of both schools. This provided an unique atmosphere, but since Legion Field was where Alabama played most of its major home games, there were always detractors who argued for a more traditional home versus home setting. Legion Field seated more than the on-campus stadiums of both universities for years, but with increased capacity at both Alabama and Auburn, the game moved and is no longer played in Birmingham.

If you've read this far, you now know something of the history. Posted below, for those curious, is probably the best way to explain the game visually. I grew up in the middle of all of this intensity and drama and for outsiders, as well as the curious, this may be the best introduction. I only wish I could have found an video illustration filmed at the University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, which is where today's contest will be held. This filmed segment shows an Iron Bowl held in Auburn.

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