| FTBL For those who don't know

This is a segment of the write up...

The Beginning of a Rivalry (1893-1906)

Only 450 people were at Birmingham's Lakeview Baseball Park on Feb. 22, 1893, to witness what would eventually become the Iron Bowl. That historic game saw Auburn walk away with a 32-22 victory. Little did the handful of football fans realize what would develop from the first encounter.

From the time of the series' conception until a 6-6 tie in 1907, Auburn dominated, winning seven of 11 games.

The early years were highlighted by intense, hard-nosed football, promoting the traditional reasons the rivalry became so popular and important to football fans in this state. More than 100 years later, the game would become the state's great divider.

ESPN's Chris Low on the IRon Bowl:

It's a rivalry that is played out 365 days a year in the state of Alabama.

Families are divided. Best friends are divided, even spouses.

Mike DuBose, the former Alabama player and coach, described it best in the book "A War in Dixie."

"It's the kind of game I didn't enjoy playing in. The game is never over. You keep repeating it and repeating it and repeating it. … It's never over until you play it again next year."

Or that next week when fans on both sides crank up the vigorous and often heated debate from the previous Saturday.

Alabama versus Auburn is a way of life in the state of Alabama. Nicknamed the Iron Bowl, the game was played for much of the 20th century in Birmingham at Legion Field. Birmingham's reputation as a center for iron and steel production led to the nickname.

The first game in the series played at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium was in 1989 and a memorable one at that. Alabama was ranked No. 2 in the country and unbeaten coming into the game, but Auburn won 30-20.

Alabama leads the overall series 38-33-1, but Auburn has won the last six. Just in case the Alabama fans lost count, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville left the field a year ago after the Tigers' 17-10 win holding up six fingers.

And this summer, he reportedly flashed seven fingers after visiting U.S. troops in the Middle East and playing a little flag football.

Tuberville could sure use a seventh straight win Saturday over an unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Alabama team that has visions of playing for the national championship. It's been a forgettable season for the Tigers, and much of the storyline on the Plains has revolved around whether Tuberville would be able to keep his job.

Upsetting Alabama certainly wouldn't hurt his chances.

Legends are born in this game, whether it's Ken Stabler's Run in the Mud in 1967 or Bo Jackson's going over the top of the pile for the winning touchdown in 1982.

Football fans in Alabama remember what you do in the Iron Bowl. And while it may not be life-or-death, it's the next closest thing.
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