My boys went to their first Alabama-Auburn football game Thanksgiving weekend, and they were fired up. I don’t give two hoots about football so first I resisted these obnoxious flags and stickers, but later I relented and let the boys decorate the minivan for the drive from Birmingham to Auburn.
You can’t see the tiger tail hanging out the trunk, but you get the general orange and blue tiger motif. Though the van may look somewhat gaudy to those of you from outside the state, in fact the adornments helped us blend in with all the other cars traveling southeast on highway 280.
My sons weren’t done showing their spirit. Thanks to Bill’s purchase of some oily (and certainly not non-comedogenic) facepaint, they carefully applied orange and blue until they looked like
goofballs true Auburn fans.
Auburn won (I forgot the score) so that was fun for the guys, but their big news was that they had seen plenty of drunk people and heard prime cuss words during the game.
During the second quarter the Auburn fans shouted a favorite (yet nonsensical) cheer:
Bodygetta Bodygetta Bodygetta Bah
Rah Rah Rah
Sis Boom Bah
War Damn Eagle
Kick ‘Em In the Butt Big Blue!!
The boys were exulting in the coolness of being able to shout “damn” in the name of team loyalty. Then the situation got even better. Behind them a slurring Bama fan shouted, “What the f*ck is a weagle? That’s a f*ckin’ stupid cheer.”
The boys turned and stared. No one answered the fan’s question. (My mom, an Auburn graduate, could never give me a satisfactory response either.)
The boys weren’t looking for answers, though. They were mesmerized by the drunkard’s foul language and nearly empty Jim Beam bottle. Eventually the fan was evicted by the police, and Porter reported every cuss, sip and instance of littering to me in detail when they got home.
They had a marvelous time, and then it was over. For us, that is.
For die-hard Alabama and Auburn fans, the Iron Bowl is never finished. The rivalry thrives on controversy and talking smack, and fans can always identify something that happened before, during or after the game to get riled up about. I’ll let you Google “Fear The Thumb” to see how silly this stuff gets, if the following isn’t enough to convince you.
This year’s controversy was about jewelry. Actually, it began with one store’s attempt to sell jewelry, and has since descended into the usual mire of name-calling and trading insults. Here are the advertisements the jewelry store put in the paper before the game:
(click to enlarge)
While it was apparent that both ads were intended to poke fun at the schools, the Auburn fans felt that Bromberg’s went too far in when it insulted its grandmothers and accused its women of burping. Sensing a marketing misfire, Bromberg’s Vice President apologized, saying, “If we had known this would be so offensive, we wouldn’t have run the ad.”
He could have been accusing Auburn fans of slapping their mamas for all the good that apology did. The ads were gasoline poured on the heated competition, and fans couldn’t wait for the resulting explosion.
Auburn fans at Tiger Tales worked themselves into a lather:
Steve: Brombergs is a vanishing retailer in Birmingham, and they are true/blue
Alabummer Fans and alumni. Who gives a damned what they think of Auburn. They are not at that high a level of class to even comment on Auburn. They will be closing their doors soon, as people like them are dying out. Good riddance!
Jane: I am offended anytime someone refers to Auburn as a Cow College. I am a college graduate (registered nurse) and my father farmed (cattle) all his life. I guess some Bammer fans are too stupid to realize where their food comes from. Fred, I am an Auburn fan and have plenty of money– more than enough to shop at Bromberg’s, but will spend my money elsewhere.
Lynn: After listening to Nick Saban compare the Alabama football teams’ losses to several national tragedies, followed by the Brombergs’ classless, tasteless advertisement, it has become apparent that Saban, U of Alabama and Bromberg’s Jewelers are a perfect fit. Obviously, a person does not have to have class, nor the IQ of a houseplant to coach Alabama football or work for Bromberg’s…the mental giant that came up with idea sounds like an Alabama grad to me.
Meanwhile, at the TideFans website, the Bama folks were hooting:
TiderB: Although it’s downright hilarious, I don’t know why Bromberg’s thought it would go over okay with the barn.
Leeroy: I’m not surprised Barners are offended. They have been, for as long as I can remember (that’s a long time), walking around with a chip on their shoulder. I heard em’ Monday bright and early on talk radio here. They pretty much companied (complained?) about everything Bama per usual. They just won their sixth straight Iron Bowl and all they could talk about was our touchdown(they disputed it), and that Coach Saban didn’t give em’ enough props in his presser. Very sad folks, the lot of them.
dvldog: They are offended by people wearing shoes.
Leeroy: I think indoor plumbing fires em’ up too.
NativeTider: Barners can’t afford to shop at Bromberg’s anyway so what does it matter??
Tider@GW_Law: I wonder who read the ad to them.
As someone who couldn’t tell you from one year to the next who won last year’s game, it’s astonishing to look at the number of people who live and breath college football in this state all year long. They’ve raised the art of insult to new heights. The fervor won’t level off once the season is finished, because here football season never ends. It will be time to think about recruiting, and training, and then it’s time for the games again. The message boards will be full of Alabama fans calling Auburn a hick college, and Auburn fans accusing Alabama of being low class.
If you’re thinking about attending an Iron Bowl, pick a team, and remember to bring your supplies: fighting words and face paint.
(courtesy Jack Kratoville)