Editor’s Note: Every year, Lagniappe asks an Alabama and Auburn fan to pen why their team is superior in our annual “Iron Bowl Smackdown.” This year we did not have to look very far, as our own reporters Dale Liesch and Jason Johnson volunteered to write down the smack they already talk around the office to each other.
It has been said more than once that Alabama has no real seasons. Sure, it gets hot in the summer and can get colder in the winter, but the subtle shift — aside from schizophrenic temperature changes — is lost here.
It may be true, but I’ll argue that we enjoy at least one season and here, it’s better than other places. That, of course, is college football season and it’s punctuated by the annual renewal of hostilities between Auburn University and the University of Alabama, known as the Iron Bowl.
Children are indoctrinated against one team or the other from an early age and not making a choice between the two is often not an option. It sounds silly, but it is anything but a laughing matter.
Having moved to Loxley from Oregon in the 4th grade, I was reluctant to pick a side, but that changed. Four years in Tuscaloosa and a degree from the University of Alabama made the choice for me. I would forever disdain those manure jockeys from the other side of the state.
Auburn’s recent success in the Iron Bowl and its adorable ascent into (and now out of) the national spotlight has fueled the rivalry fire more in the last few years. I, for one, never witnessed an Alabama win in the Iron Bowl as a student at Alabama, which only makes every win we get in the series that much sweeter now.
All I wanted in those years between 2003 and 2007 was for our team, led by the doe-eyed poster child for nepotism, to beat the burnt orange and navy monstrosity led into battle by Master Splinter’s evil, uglier brother, but it didn’t happen.
Call me bitter, but I don’t understand how an entire fan base can feel superior and suffer from an inferiority complex at the same time. As a group, they should seek professional help. They pretend to be part of a family and that it somehow makes them better than other fan bases. In actuality, they are more like a group of kissing cousins who make meth together in the back of pappy’s trailer.
If fandom in America were a man, those who yell “War Eagle” would be his beer gut. They are a disgrace to our state.
They give Bammers flak for counting our 15 national titles, but they’re just jealous we can count that high. Truth is they’d claim more as well, if they hadn’t all lost most of their fingers in sawmill accidents.
Some Alabama fans are obnoxious, but all Auburn fans are worse. They have delusions of grandeur that have always been unrealistic. Their expectations every year are as high as that of Alabama fans, but their team doesn’t have the winning tradition to back it up, which makes it really annoying.
If the absurdity of their fans wasn’t bad enough, there’s the team. Auburn is like the spoiled younger brother you never wanted. I mean, it’s cute that he aspires to be like you, but embarrassing to watch him try so hard. The fact is he’ll never be mama’s favorite and deep down he knows it’s true.
For Bama fans, watching the Tigers win a football game is like watching that same pimply-faced sibling awkwardly grope his prom date in an attempt to get lucky. It’s a mix of pride and shame that really can’t be explained by science.
Although better now, the Auburn Tiger football team spent years in the giant crimson-and-white shadow of big brother. I mean, the school has more national titles for cow grooming than it does for football, or any other sport.
The Tigers have no tradition to speak of, and have had a history of ridiculous head coaches. It’s almost too easy. I only have to say the name Terry Bowden to get a giggle from most Alabamians. OK, I know, that was low-hanging fruit. I’ll move on.
One of Auburn’s most lauded coaches once left his pants in Lake Martin. That’s a true story. No, he didn’t leave the pants at a friend’s house near the lake, but they were actually found submerged in its waters years later, by an Alexander City area resident who found the coach’s wallet inside. I can only imagine he was so consumed by depression from having to coach those losers that he drank himself into a pants-leaving stupor.
I figure he was so used to getting metaphorically “pantsed” on the field that he just said “screw it” and left without them one lonely night.
Then there’s Gus Malzahn. I’ll give him one thing; he’s a much better coach than he is a dancer, but that’s not saying much. He’s a real class act. To keep in line with his team’s fans, Malzahn’s idea of a classy dinner with the wife is a trip to Waffle House. I’ve heard that if he wants to get romantic, he’ll actually spring for Denny’s.
You sure can tell a lot about an organization by its head coach.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the wheels come off the Gus Bus over the last few weeks in consecutive losses to Texas A&M and Georgia. I’m counting the seasons until Gus bolts for his “dream job” with the Texas Longhorns. Will Muschamp will then assume the position of Auburn head coach. Enjoy that, Barners.
That would be just great for Alabama fans. After years of hearing from Auburn fans that Nick Saban would bolt, it’s actually Gus who ends up leaving. I wouldn’t blame him, either.
The troubles for the Gus Bus won’t end in Tuscaloosa, I’m afraid. A weak Auburn defense will give way to a solid day on the ground for Crimson Tide runners. The strong running start will beget play-action passes from Blake Sims, which will lead to Amari Cooper winning the Heisman.
Even though Alabama’s offense will have no trouble scoring against the Tigers, I think Auburn’s offense will be a bit more impressive than it was against Georgia. Alabama will win 35-20. Roll tide.