It was the best game in the history of the Iron Bowl: the annual rivalry between Auburn and Alabama. I can say that as an Auburn fan. But the Alabama fans are not so fond of this game.
I was ten years old in 1972 when Auburn was an underdog to number 2 Alabama. Those were the days of Shug Jordan and Paul “Bear” Bryant. Auburn was predictably trailing Alabama 3-16. Then Alabama had a drive that ended in a punt. Auburn blocked it, and turned it into a touchdown.
Then Alabama sputtered on another drive and once again, had to punt. Again, Auburn amazingly, miraculously blocked this punt too. They turned this into another touchdown and Auburn, in the final seconds of the game, defeated the number 2 team in the nation. The trademark phrase became “Punt Bama Punt”.
Alabama exacted their revenge the following year by defeating Auburn 35-0. This prompted the kids in the neighborhood where I lived to paint the numbers 35-0 in the middle of the road between our house and the neighbor's house across the street. They, too were Auburn fans. So, later in the evening, a new group of kids painted over their paint and changed the 35-0 with 17-16 and other various and annoying phrases. Oh, the good times. Let them roll...
I can't write this post without mentioning the stellar year that Auburn had last year. They defeated Alabama and for the first time in history went on to become the National Champions. (Did I hear someone say 'War Eagle'?) The score last year was 28-27, with Auburn winning. 2010 was a great year.
Today is the day of the Iron Bowl. Alabama again has a great team, under the leadership of Nick Saban. Again, Alabama is #2. Auburn is the underdog. But Alabama has a field goal kicker who has been somewhat unreliable of late. Can Auburn pull off an upset today? I hope so. Either way, I will enjoy the game and definitely enjoy the rivalry.
Go Auburn Tigers!
copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins