Fans look at the Iron Bowl

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002

It’s that time of the year again, when wives and husbands, son’s and father’s, and best freinds become sworn enemies. It’s time for the &uot;Iron Bowl&uot;.

This is the one time of the year that can divide any family, and has even been known to cause gun play at times. If your team comes out on top, you get bragging rights for 365 days if not, you and your team become the brunt of all the jokes, and ridicule for the next year.

On Nov. 23, it all comes down to who can play four quarters of football, and come out victorious. This year’s game will be held at Bryant

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Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (I know there is not a person in the state of Alabama that doesn’t know where the game is being held) which gives the Tide the edge going into the game, but anything goes during the Iron Bowl.

After looking long and hard on the internet (one hour) for Iron Bowl facts that no one in their right mind should know, I managed to come up with a few questions that should stump even the biggest &uot;BAMA&uot; and &uot;TIGER&uot; fans. The next thing to do was to find four lucky fans to ask the questions to, and hope they didn’t get upset that they might not know the correct answers. After careful thought and consideration, I managed to come up with two Bama fans and Two Auburn fans, Andy Stewart and Lee Willet for Auburn and Jonathan McElvey and William Perkins for Alabama.

The first question posed to the fans was. What was the first year that Alabama and Auburn played a football game against each other? Former Managing Editor for the STJ and Alabama Alumni Jonathan McElvy came up with the answer 1895 which was close, but as we all know close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Andy Stewart branch manager for Am South Bank and esteemed columnist for the STJ came up with the answer 1903 which was only off by a decade. William Perkins, physical therapist for PT plus and also a columnist for the STJ was the closest of all only missing by a year. Lee Wilett ad rep for the STJ, also only missed by one year, which was very suprising. The correct answer was 1893, and Auburn defeated Alabama by a score 32-22.

The next question was much easier and everyone came up with the almost the same answer. The question was, how did the game get the name the Iron Bowl. All four of our lucky fans came up with an answer pertaining to Birmingham and how it was a large steel working area at the time of the inception of the game. Which is right for the most part. The absolute correct answer is, because of the large deposits of iron around the city of Birmingham. So they should all receive partial credit for their answer.

I haven’t quite figured out how everyone of our fans got the next one right, but they all seemed to know the answer to the third question. The question was, who won the first Alabama and Auburn game, and the answer was Auburn.

The next question was a little bit more difficult, and even though some got close to the correct answer, no one got it exactly right. The question was, after Alabama and Auburn met for the 12th time in 1907 how many years went by before they met again? Now McElvy the esteemed former Managing editor for the STJ answered 27 which was not even close. Stewart the bank manager and the STJ columnist was close, but not quite there with 48. Perkins the physical therapist and columnist was closest with 43. Willet last, but not least was the worst out of the bunch with an answer of 26. Now any die hard Bama or Tiger fan should know this it was 41 years.

The last and final trivia question was. What Iron Bowl running back rolled up the most yards, and what school did he play for?

Everyone got at least one part of this one right except. McElvy had Bo Jackson and Auburn University. Stewart had Bo Jackson and Auburn University. Perkins had the Auburn University part right, but the wrong back. He had Brent Fullwood. Wilett had Bo Jackson and Auburn University.

The last question was not trivia related, but it did hit close to home for each of our lucky fans. I wanted to know what the Iron Bowl meant to each of them.

First up as you could guess by now was the Alabama alum McElvey. &uot;I think that the state as a whole has their priorities in the wrong place,&uot; said McElvey.

Next up Stewart who kept it short, but to the point. &uot;It means 365 days of happiness, or 365 days of misery to me.&uot;

Perkins in his columnist style said, &uot;It is an intense rivalry that you grow up either pulling for one side or the other, and win or lose it is something that you have to live with 365 days a year.&uot;

The STJ super sales representative had a slightly different view on it.&uot; It is a time for friends to come together, and get their differences off their chest.&uot;

Whether your team wins or loses remember it’s a game, and try not to pout or gloat too much on Saturday night. I know that is like asking an alcoholic not to take a drink, but all fans deserve a break.