Setting up some Iron Bowl rules

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Iron Bowl rules around my house this past weekend were simple: no taunting, no calling names, no unnecessary roughness.

And, the person whose team won has to do something nice for the person whose team lost.

All this would change, of course, if Alabama pulled the upset and downed No. 2.5 Auburn. (USC being No. 1 and Oklahoma being No. 2, of course).

In the event Alabama would have won, all bets were off and I planned to parade around the house with a crimson and white shaker singing &uot;Yea, Alabama!&uot;

Unfortunately, the rules had to stay in place with Alabama losing the game, 21-13.

Whether you’re an Alabama fan or pull for that other school, there’s nothing quite like the week before the Iron Bowl.

Team records and past performances go out the window and it’s a whole new ballgame, so to speak.

My favorite Iron Bowl memory comes from 1998 and, oddly enough, has as much to do with Florida State University as Alabama and Auburn.

The sports editor of my old paper and I had gone to the game, which was held in Birmingham, the way the Iron Bowl should be.

I was decked out in my Alabama attire, ready to cheer on the Tide.

I went and picked up the sports editor, David, only to see him come out to the car wearing a Florida State ball cap and sweatshirt.

David is an Auburn graduate but like those strange folks you meet occasionally, had decided he liked Florida State.

I started in on him the moment he got to the car.

&uot;War chicken!,&uot; I yelled. &uot;You know we’re going to win and you’re too afraid to wear your Auburn shirt.&uot;

He pulled up the corner of his sweatshirt’s waistband. Underneath the sweatshirt was an Auburn T-shirt.

We arrived at the game and, despite early predictions of an easy Tide victory, Auburn jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead.

Then, before you knew it, it was 14-0. Things weren’t looking good.

Sensing an Auburn victory, David began joining in the Auburn chants around us.

Then, Auburn drove down the field again, this time kicking a field goal.

I looked at David, who by this point had taken off the FSU hat. Despite the cool weather, he peeled off his Seminole sweatshirt, suddenly proud of being an AU fan.

&uot;War Eagle,&uot; he said loudly.

And then, as they are apt to do in this rivalry, the Tide changed.

Alabama came back strong, scoring 31 unanswered points behind the running strength of Shaun Alexander.

In the end, the Tide was high, winning the game 31-17.

Me and the rest of the Alabama fans were screaming our heads off. Amidst the excitement, I looked at David, who had put his FSU hat back on after the first Tide touchdown. Now, the FSU sweatshirt was back on.

&uot;It’s cold,&uot; he said.

Funny, I didn’t feel the slightest breeze.

Roll Tide.

Leada DeVaney Gore is the publisher and editor of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter.

She can be reached at