Iron rivarly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today, televisions across the state will all be tuned in to see this year’s Alabama-Auburn game, or as many know it, the Iron Bowl.

No matter what the game is called, one thing is clear. Sides must be taken.

For some, this is an uncomplicated problem.

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“My whole family is diehard Alabama fans, so if I ever even dreamed about being an Auburn fan, I would probably be excommunicated,” said Courtney Blankenship, an employee at Santa Fe Cattle Company.

Troy University Foz Williams echoed those sentiments, albeit from a different perspective.

“I was raised to be an fan Auburn by my dad and grand dad, both of whom went to Auburn,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

However, in some situations, the rivalry can divide a family.

Take, for instance, Doug and Christa Kitchens of Troy.

Doug is an Alabama fan, while Christa bleeds orange and blue.

“We draw the line on Thursday, and that’s when we divide,” Christa Kitchens said.

The couple has been married for two football seasons, during which time Auburn and Alabama have each won once.

“I’ve had one win and one loss with her, so we’re even right now,” Doug Kitchens said.

“Last year, it was loud on my side and quiet on her side.”

Christa’s silence could probably be attributed to the lopsided nature of the game. Alabama won last year’s Iron Bowl 36-0.

However, prior to that, Auburn had won five straight over Alabama, a time that still irks some Tide fans, while sending Auburn fans into sweet recollections of years gone by.

“It was great back then,” Christa Kitchens said. “I had a good time, but payback may be a little bit rough this year.”

The Kitchens will be making the trip up to Auburn for the game, as will Williams.

“To be in the student section during the Iron Bowl is an amazing experience,” Williams said. “You can barely hear anything when the crowd gets going. This will be my third one and I am hoping to stay undefeated.”

The rivalry between the two schools can turn ugly at times.

“Two years ago, after the game, I was in Auburn, and after the game there were people driving by yelling things at me and throwing stuff at me,” Blankenship said.

“That’s the worst ridicule I’ve ever gotten.”

No matter last year’s result, the trash talk between the fans of the two schools is already at a fever pitch.

“I am predicting a repeat of 1989,” Williams said.

“’Bama came into Jordan-Hare Stadium undefeated, and while Auburn was not quite as good as Alabama, they still won. This year, Auburn will win 34-28.”

Blankenship said Alabama will have to play down for the game to even be in question.

“I haven’t really kept up with Auburn because they haven’t been that exciting,” Blankenship said.

“I guess if Alabama shows up cocky, it could be a close game.”

However, for Doug and Christa Kitchens, something much more important than pride is on the line.

“Loser drives home,” Doug Kitchens said.