By Steve Flowers, Guest Columnist
The only sport that Alabamians enjoy more than Alabama politics is college football. We especially love the Alabama vs. Auburn football game. Folks, this is Alabama/Auburn week in Alabama. The Alabama vs. Auburn annual event is one of the fiercest of college football rivalries. It is the game of the year. It is a state civil war that divides friends and even families. It is bragging rights for the entire year. The loser has to live with his boasting next-door neighbor for 364 days. It seems that one must choose a side no matter if you despise college football and could care less who wins. Newcomers to our state are bewildered on this Fall day each year. They cannot comprehend the madness that surrounds this epic war. It is truly that, a war. It is the game of the year.
Young boys all over Alabama grow up playing football in their front yards and dream of playing in this big game. It is said that when these two rivals meet one can throw out the record books. However, that is not necessarily true. In fact, in 90 percent of the games the favorite has won. A lot of SEC championships and bowl games have been decided in the game. It has made many Alabamians’ Thanksgiving holiday either joyous or sad. I liked the rivalry better when it was played at Legion Field, but I am an old-timer in heart and age.
The game was not played for 40-years between 1908 and 1948. Myth has it that the game was halted because of the intense rivalry. That is not the case. The true history of the ceasing and renewal is that after the 1907 games, the schools could not agree on the terms of the contract. The dispute involved meal money, lodging, officials, and how many players each side could bring. Football was not the passion it is today so the two schools let the matter rest and the fans did not seem to care.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.