It’s a sleepless night in Birmingham for many football fans…because tomorrow is the 75th Iron Bowl, as the National Champions Alabama meet their most hated rivals the Auburn Tigers in Tuscaloosa. Shoul and I will be there–but first we meet a family of Roll Tide tailgators to take in the pre-game ambience. The weather here is balmy, but tomorrow it will be rainy and in the high 40s.
On the local TV news, segments include profiles of tailgators including a big former Alabama player named Joe Frazier at the grill, and shots of the Auburn Tigers making their way to Tuscaloosa to get ready for the game. At one time the game was actually played here in Birmingham, but the Auburn fans complained that it wasn’t neutral enough territory so then it was changed to alternate between the two schools.
The stadium was enlarged a few years ago to seat nearly 90,000 fans. We are privileged Yankees who attended neither Alabama or Auburn yet we will be there, taking in the spectacle and enjoying a tough battle. Auburn is ranked number 2 and Alabama is, well, the National Champs. We were assured by our hostess Edith and her husband Roland (big time Alabama fans) that despite Black Friday sales, the streets will be empty at game time. People here go out and shop before the game, but at 1:30 pm, when the Iron Bowl kickoff takes place, that’s the only thing that matters.