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Thursday, December 4, 2014

When You Lose in the Ironbowl

Auburn merchandise
In Alabama the stores are empty on the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving. That's when one of the biggest games is played here in the South--The Iron Bowl--between Alabama and Auburn. Locally owned stores close about noon. Lesser chains have the game blaring. Only a few women and small children are out and about, even in WM. All day long, whole families are decked out in the colors and emblems of their school. Even on Sunday the families pour into the store proudly announcing their choice by their colors. No other games in this town are celebrated like this game of rivals.

All this Auburn merchandise was just dumped in three carts in the front of Walmart by early Sunday morning when I went to get a paper. Auburn lost. Alabama merchandise was still on the shelves. How insulting for us Auburn fans. However, nothing can withstand Christmas. Today, most of the Alabama merchandise was in carts up front, too. This all looked like inexpensive Christmas gifts for Auburn fans. My children and I are Auburn fans. However, I never want anything football.

My son is the diehard Auburn fan. I just support him. The girls are fans to a lesser degree. Yes, I shopped in these carts for my child and two of my grandchildren. I used my Walmart $10 gift cards.

A little story:
When my son was about ten, daughters 8 and 3, niece 8, I and my two sisters went to the Mid-South Fair. We went to the rodeo almost every year. The Fair had a new stadium or concert hall where the rodeo was held. We sat up near the announcer, where we ordered tickets.

Every year the announcer says, "Let's here it from Mississippi!" Mississippians screamed and yelled, standing, waving and jumping. He goes through the whole of the mid-South states. My children, my two sisters, and a niece were all yelling right beside the announcer, "What about Alabama?" We did this after every state he announced.

Finally, the announcer yelled, "Let's here it from Alabama!" We yelled with the rest. Then, I told my son to yell, "War Eagle." He did as the stadium went silent, and his voice carried all over the stadium and a murmur arose from the crowd. From across the way, a man yelled, responding, "Roll Tide" We were quite thrilled with the response.

About five years later, I met a man who was from Memphis or something. At any rate, we started talking about Memphis, my hometown. The rodeo came up. He went every year. I told him we did too for a long time and started talking about us yelling for them to call our state, Alabama. He said he was there that year when those people were calling for Alabama, and he yelled "Roll Tide" when someone yelled "War Eagle." I was astounded I met the man who responded to my son.

I am sure all states have their strong rivalries.

Okay, it is just a family story. Would like to hear the one about Bear Bryant?

Your turn
Is football merchandise ever on your shopping list? Can you get it reduced by 75%.


  1. Football or Soccer? What we call football you call soccer, I think, and nope doesn't interest me. I'm not into sport. Music is my thing.

    1. Oh, sports don't interest me in the least, but I do want to hear who won just to figure how happy or sad my son will be. He is an English teacher who also coaches at the high school where he teaches.

  2. When my sons were younger Alabama jerseys were on our Christmas list whenever they outgrew the one they had, and it is just possible I may have gotten my granddaughter a monogrammed houndstooth jumper before she was born. Just maybe anyway!

    It is also possible that we were in Oregon for Thanksgiving and all wore our traditional game watching duds while people from the northwest just looked at us in amazement. (Do these people actually not yell while watching their team on TV?)

    Whether you are an Auburn or an Alabama fan you are going to have a Sunday after the game when your team was the loser and the "stuff" is reduced the next day. I guess it is truly just the way the ball bounces!

    1. Anne,
      I have a friend who is an AL fan and is in the master's program in Tuscaloosa. He said he knows he will get a new AL item from his nephew every Christmas--hat or tshirt or sweatshirt.

      They don't dress for the game and yell? Wow. I thought something awful happened in WM when I heard screaming from multiple people and they were running. No, AL just wond.

      I have a houndstooth scarf that I took the A from and wear it. I need to find an Auburn pin for it.

      I did get a few gifts from the cart of reduced stuff, so it was good for me.

      That is cute, putting her in houndstooth.

      Anne and I are on opposite sides, but we understand each other.

  3. Sport? Meh. Not for me - so neither is the sporting merchandise.
    Love that you met up with the 'Roll Tide' man though - such a small world...

    1. EC,
      Sports only interest me because of my son. My son was smiling and amazed when I told him about the Roll Tide guy.

  4. I made the GIANT mistake of asking Joe to teach me about football....he took it to mean EVERYTHING about football. Every time I thought I had it figured out, there'd be a foot outside of the line, or a knee hitting the ground before the elbow and I gave up trying to figure out all the rules and rule changes.

    I used to pass the football in a beautiful spiral that made my dad proud. Now I wish I had asked HIM to explain the rules. (But they're probably not the same rules now as they were then)

    Joe was going pro. He had it made. Scholarship and the whole nine yards until two things happened: He broke a boy's leg and left him limping the rest of his life, and Joe's dad hit hard times and needed his boy to get a job and help.

    So, no football memorabilia here. Ever.

    1. lotta joy,
      I have made the mistake twice of asking what was happening, what are the rules. No more. I can go to an Iron Bowl party and just take a book, looking up when the instant replay comes on.

      Too bad about Joe's not getting to the pros. But, you might not have met him.

  5. We are the least sports oriented family ever. It could be 98% off, and we'd still pass it by.


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