Growing up in Alabama, it is basically instilled in your DNA to be a raving football fan. Alabama is home to one of the most famous rivalries in sports: The University of Alabama vs. Auburn University. This rivalry stems from a bitter political argument regarding location of a new land grant college. The state legislature was heavily influenced by numerous representatives who were all Alabama alumni, but in the end Auburn University ended up winning the location of the new university. The land debate went back and forth for years, but I won’t go into all of the details on my blog. You can read more about it here.
Back to football. The first game between the two college teams occurred on February 22, 1893 in Birmingham, Alabama. Political tensions continued to carry out to the football field when the yearly matchup between the two teams was suspended due to the inability for them to agree on travel expenses for the players and where the game officials should be obtained. In 1947, the state legislature threatened both schools to withhold funding unless they reinstated the rivalry, and in 1948 the presidents of both schools agreed to renew the yearly series. The games were held in Birmingham, not only because it was the home of the largest stadium in the state (Legion Field), but because it was difficult to travel to Auburn during that time. Alabama won the first game 55-0.
By the 1980’s the yearly game was dubbed “The Iron Bowl” because of Birmingham’s reputation for iron and steel production, although many fans liked to call it “The Brag Bowl” because the winner’s fans spent the whole year bragging. Speaking of fans, football fans in Alabama are extreme! Pretty much anywhere you go, you’ll see Auburn or Alabama pride, whether it be on customized vanity license plates, T-shirts, yard signs, home decor. If it can have a logo on it, it usually has either crimson and white or orange and blue (the team colors). Some fans have taken the football rivalry so seriously, they refuse to be associated with fans from the other team, they have committed crimes against rival fans, and they have disowned children if they decided not to attend their team’s university.
While I, myself, am a die hard fan, I am not going to share what team I support for the purpose of my blog. I want to use this blog to share information about the game of football. I have two daughters who love to watch and play football out in the yard, and one has shown interest in playing competitively. Back in 2000, Alabama was also home to a women’s full contact football league team, called The Alabama Renegades. While the team only lasted about 8 years due to the inability to find a new owner, I think it is still important to remember the impact that team had on all young women in our state.
So if you enjoy football or you want to learn more about football, you will hopefully enjoy my blog!