Here is your Iron Bowl prediction…but first

Sports in Paradise By Dale Jones

I spent the early part of this decade living in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area. One day on the golf course, a buddy of mine asked me to explain to him this “whole Alabama and Auburn thing.”

I asked him what he meant?

He told me he had never seen such a heated rivalry than affected so many different aspects of life.

So here is basically what I told him:

It’s like this – in the State of Alabama, you are assigned a team at birth. It matters not what part of the state in which you reside. Sex, race, eye color, hair color, economic class, none of that matters. What matters most is who your parents are for, and how strongly they want to guide you in the “right direction.” By the time you are able to walk or talk or tie your own shoes, you have become a Tide or a Tiger fan. Few of us remember the day that we “decided” to be a fan of one school or the other. The reason being, our decision was made for us long before we even knew what a football was.

There are Alabama fans who will choose to attend Auburn, and Tiger fans who will enroll at Tuscaloosa. Where they go to school changes nothing, because it has been instilled in their mind as to which team they should pull for.

My friend looked at me, with a dumbfounded look on his face and he asked, “Well, what if someone decides to change? You know, decides to pull for the other team?”

Suddenly, the look of wonderment came to my brow.



I don’t think that has truly ever happened before. Not to a real football fan, anyway.

Suddenly, in a tone of voice that sounded eerily like Tom Hanks I shouted, “There’s no changing in Alabama! You can’t change from one team to the other! Once a Tide fan – always a Tide fan. Once a Tiger fan, always a Tiger fan.”


It matters not that your star player sold his textbooks to a non-athlete, or that your coach has yet to win an Iron Bowl. So what if your team is on probation or if your athletics director is warming up the jet to visit another coach tomorrow? Whether your team has a dozen national championships or only went .500 the year before, two Heisman trophies or one, none of it matters.

Ranking? Doesn’t matter. Look at last year’s game.

Schedule? Yeah, right. This is the SEC.

Home field? Again, it obviously doesn’t matter.

I will make my prediction in just a moment, but I tend to agree with Coach Nick Saban who said earlier in the week that, “It says a lot for the football in this state to have two teams of this caliber playing.”

Folks, do you realize that we very well could have last years National Champs and Heisman winner playing against this years National Champs and Heisman winner on Friday?

Whether you bleed red and white, or you consistently use orange and blue toilet tissue, there has probably never been a better time than right now to be EITHER an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan. This is impressive stuff.

So – who is going to win?

I think there will be a single hero in this game. Who that will be remains to be seen because there are so many options. Cam? McElroy? Dyer? Ingram? Julio? McCaleb? I don’t know, but somebody – one individual, is going to step up and become the hero on Friday afternoon.

I honestly think both defenses are going to be vulnerable to two potent offenses. I expect fireworks, and at the end of the day, just like last season, the team with the ball at the end of the game is likely to win.

In one of the best Iron Bowls we have ever witnessed, Auburn 45 – Alabama 41.
—Dale Jones is a reporter / sports columnist for Gulf Coast Newspapers and a Member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association. You can reach Dale at


Add Yours
  1. 1

    Good explanation. Although, some people do let their kids choose which team they want. I was asked at age 3 to make my declaration. “Roll Tide or War Eagle”? War Eagle. (also the game is on Friday, not Saturday)

  2. 2

    Fixed it for him.

    But, I do think parental choice is probably the strongest predictor of team support. Just like voting tends to follow the same pattern unless there is a significant realignment event such as a war (Civil War) or economic collapse (Great Depression).

    I’d be interested to see if it followed similar lines in terms of religious denomination and fervor.

  3. 3

    It’s way more important than all that. Also, I agree that a large majority of the time it is the parents influence that is the deciding factor. I was just sharing my own personal experience. 🙂

  4. 6
    crimson hammah

    parental choice is #1 factor by far…but at teen yrs and how each team is doing at time can determine fanship and or intensity

  5. 9

    Dale’s full of shite. He got Bama’s score dead on, but no way in hell Aubie scores 45 on this defense. They only scored 28 on LSWho and we only gave up 35 in the worst game we played all year and on the road too. No way in hell. And another thing Budro, my dad attended the damn Cow College and for that I spent the first 20 years of my life as a dumbarse. Then I got smart, and yes there damn sure does exist someone who changed teams. Roll Damn Tide Roll!

  6. 10
    almighty tmc1

    Well I grew up in Northwest Alabama.
    I only knew 4 actual Auburn fans the whole time I was in grade school.
    Later on, I actually got to meet 2 Auburn graduates. Both of them were mildly retarded.
    I go there to visit from time to time and the “Auburn fans” I see are just the folks who are trying to be “different” and think they will be percieved as being cool or (sadly) that being an Auburn fan will make them stand out (or seem special.)

    Really sad shit.

  7. 14
    almighty tmc1

    You would think for an agricultural college they would have researched and realized that kudzu is the worst plant import ever. But no… that is too much like being right.
    Thank you for kudzu Auburn.

  8. 15
    almighty tmc1

    Do you know why most folks that know auburn hate Auburn?
    Its because everything Auburn does is a spectacular failure or underachievement. And yet they paint it as being the greatest thing ever.
    Auburn is a rotten burrito fart.
    I hope to God that the Feds and the NCAA bury them. I pray to God they lose their SACS accreditation. I hope Pat Dye dies of Chronic/painful hemorrhoids in the company of a toothless fat old hooker in front of a Fox news Channel film crew.
    I wish that Jay Jacobs and Phillip Marshall will come out the closet together.

  9. 16
    almighty tmc1

    Oh and by the way Coach Tuberville. That confidentiality agreement you signed with the Auburn BOT is null/void if they have been involved in criminal activity that can be connected to the Auburn War Eagle Football team. Think of it as a severance package bonus benefit.

  10. 17

    Doesn’t matter who wins or looses this year…its the game of the year from East to West and North to South. What a game it will be!!!!!

  11. 18

    To Crimsonite,

    Dale is full of WHAT?? lol

    Let me re-post a comment you made back in week 4:

    After the way Bama has started the season and the pathetic way everyone else in the SEC has looked, you have to question the intelligence of someone who thinks we will lose a regular season game.

    ….Just sayin’

  12. 19

    To Dale: Hey dude, I don’t control players attitudes. Nobody in their right minds would have thought the most talented team in the nation would lose 2 games for nothing more than attitude problems. USCe and LSWho were the flattest big games Bama has played under Saban. Go figure. And by the same token smarty, neither you or anyone else saw the Eagle Shite school as 11-0 after the way they played against Miss St and Clemson either. Now if you had predicted the score as Barnie 27 Bama 24, I might not have said anything. But like I said, only an idiot would predict the Goat Humpers to score 45 points on the best efficiency defense in the nation. Win or lose Bama will not allow Awbie 30 points. RTR!

  13. 20


    I would agree with you that (1) I did not see Auburn going undefeated and (2) pound-for-pound, Alabama probably has the most talented team in the nation.

    In my pre-season column I had Auburn losing three games, but I also predicted, before the season began, that Alabama would lose to South Carolina. As far as I know, I am the only member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association who made that call before a down was played.

    However, when I posted my column here at Capstone on game week, predicting a 34-31 South Carolina win over Alabama, you made two statements:

    … there is no team left in the SEC capable of lining up 1 on 1 and doing that. (beating Bama)
    … any one who thinks they (South Carolina) will score 30+ plus points on our D is a retarded jackass.

    The fact is, TWO teams have lined up and beaten Alabama and South Carolina scored 35 points on the Tide if memory is correct.

    So before you say I am “full of shite” or “a retarded jackass,” MAYBE you should take off your Crimson colored glasses for a moment and look at these games in a more reasonable manner.

    As for Auburn, I think they were FORTUNATE to beat South Carolina. I was on the sidelines for that game and the Gamecocks are absolutely one of the most physical teams I have seen in a long time. Unless something changes, I don’t see the Tigers beating them again in the Championship game.

    But cool it with the name calling dude. Relax. One thing we all know for sure, is that NONE of us knows ANYTHING for SURE.

    Everybody have a great Thanksgiving.

  14. 21

    I would think the 08 Utah game would qualify as the flattest…Just sayin…..

    This years team is NOT as good as last years…You can’t tell me that EVERY kid on Bamas squad doesn’t want to win.

  15. 22

    I think they do on Friday, BP*. Much like last year, how yall hang on to the farce that Auburn whipped Bama for 58 minutes. What will be the excuse when Bama controls this game and shuts down War Cam Illegal? Another moral victory? Don’t think it can’t happen. Can’t wait for your cocky ass team to get a black eye from Bama.

  16. 23

    I’m trying to forget the Utah game ok. And there was some excuse having lost to the Gayturds and the suspension of Andre the day before kickoff. I thought you were a Barner picking Awbie to win. Just pissed me off to see a thread started on CR that picked Barnie. As for the 35 USCe scored; as I said who could have figure the D would fall apart that bad without warning, although the Cocks recievers made several catches for the ages against perfect coverage and they have yet to that since. Just wasn’t our day and it was in Columbia and this team has not played well on the road. In BDS on the other hand it is a different world. Nor should anyone make the mistake of thinking the team will pull a USCe performance at home against the Awbies with the success of the whole season on the line. I would think the Miss St game would have laid to rest those fears. And still a perfect offensive performance by the Cocksuckers only netted 35 points. That’s a long way from the 45 at home you predicted. RTR!

  17. 25
    crimson hammah

    52 6 Bama over AU – Ingram,Kerry Murphy to have stellar games….guaranteed…

    but au and points is lock of the century bet soon if u r a betting man

  18. 27
    Gene diklik

    Bama shuts down Auburn just like we shut down Florida in the SEC championship last year. I’m not calling any score, I’m just calling a victory. I’m in the 8 th grade and am a Tide fan I have seen pictures of the crimson being wiped off me when I entered this world.
    And I have noticed all the Auburn fans at my school are in special Ed classes. ( that’s special education for all you Auburn fans it’s for slow children)
    I have been reading all the comments on this lovely site and have come to a fabulous conclusion . Auburn fans are just plain ignorant. And my mom taught me not to steal or buy stolen things.
    We should all leave Cam Newton alone cause he didn’t know it was stolen, he didn’t know he was cheating, he didn’t know his dad was doing that. It’s kinda funny how Auburn ended up with him though. You guys enjoy it while it lasts, your tainted little season . And I’m sure Cam will get the Heisman just to have it stripped in a few years after the truth comes to light. I do know one thing though, ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

  19. 29
    crimson hammah

    u stupid ignorant sluts:
    the sun rises in the east
    cecil was paid 180k by au boosters
    jody wright is a crimefighting whistle blower
    miss st is the victim of $camscum
    bama is an innocent bystander
    the early 2000’s was a probation mirage
    bama beats au 52 6 iron bowl
    saban will never lose to au again
    the earth revolves AROUND the sun
    pecking order is real
    the hammah told and will tell u everything.

  20. 31

    This is a very good explanation of just how pervasive the rivalry is in the state. But if you’re looking of a story of team-to-team conversion, look no farther.

    When my father was a child he was a die-hard Alabama fan. He once taunted a neighborhood girl who was an Auburn fan to the point of making her cry. Then he grew up and found that what he wanted to study, architecture, was best studied at Auburn.

    He was converted. There’s something about being on that campus that has an effect. To date, he’s the most passionate Auburn fan I’ve ever known.

    Similarly, after a period in high school of ignoring football utterly, I found my focus of study was best found at Auburn. All the team spirit that my parents tried to instill in me actually took hold once I found that Auburn isn’t just a campus, it’s home.

    So yes, being raised up with your team does have a great impact. However, there is something to be said for an amazing school having the power to sway people. 😉

    Happy Iron Bowl and War Eagle, folks.

  21. 32
    the exile

    overrated SEC this year– either Bama or Auburn loses to every single one of the following:

    Boise (despite their weak schedule)
    TCU (maybe– I’m not 100% sure on this one)
    Stanford (definitely. Best offense in football, and Luck is a more complete QB than Cam)
    I’ll admit that both Bama and Auburn and 3 or 4 other SEC teams would crush overrated Ohio State. Not sure about Wisconsin.

  22. 36
    crimson hammah


Comments are closed.