Alabama defeated Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday 29-13. I predicted they would win 27-13 on the AL.com podcast on Wednesday. So, basically, it went exactly as I expected - a low scoring contest with Alabama covering the spread. I was surprised Daniel Carlson missed a field goal. That was about it.
How angry can you be? Alabama defeated Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday 29-13. On Monday, Alabama fans are outraged that Auburn deliberately soaked the field so Derrick Henry, who finished Saturday's game with 241 yards, would fall down. On Monday, Alabama fans are violently angry that Rod Bramblett and Stan White, who broadcast for the AUBURN Network were biased on the radio. On Monday, Alabama fans are furious that Will Muschamp was seen swearing on television, one week after Nick Saban said that Georgia Southern ran through his team like "shit through a tin horn."
Alabama defeated Auburn 29-13 in the Iron Bowl on Saturday.
I have never seen a group of people that thrive on hate and anger with such fervor. Alabama won. At minimum, they'll play for an SEC Championship on Saturday, and they'll likely go on to play for a national championship. Alabama won the game. It wasn't particularly close. Congrats!
Please stop yelling.
All of that isn't very fun. I don't like what the Iron Bowl does to completely rational people, myself included. It's become exhausting. It's always going to mean something to me, but I'm tired of yelling about it.
It's been heated enough over the last seven or eight years, with the winner playing for a national championship almost each time. It got really heated and nasty and gross in 2010; Cam Newton, Harvey Updyke. It got really heated because the duration of those most intense years have been spent on Twitter, a platform that encourages interaction between complete, and often anonymous, strangers.
It got heated because sports talk radio encourages vile, hateful conversation. Here was a truly bizarre thing I noticed this week: there is a group of fans on Twitter that puts their "radio handle" in their Twitter bio. I actually saw this: "I'm a caller on 99.1 and on The UMP."
That's a real damn thing. The more distance time creates between myself and that world, the more ashamed I am that I actually did that as a job. I don't feel like it was as nasty back then. But maybe I was too attached, too insulated.
And it got heated when the thing was after Thanksgiving every year, too. There's an extra day to sit around and be mad. There's your family, who have no problem shouting hateful things at you because you have to love them when it's over. There's roughly 36 hours to just drink and be mad about football.
It's all gross and mean and hateful. Which is weird, since it's not even Alabama's primary rival.
Where does Auburn go from here? I don't know where 2015 went awry. It wasn't a disaster. It wasn't 2012. But it wasn't even as memorable as 2014. It just was. You can't convince me that the same staff that went to a national championship game two years ago and put together a decent year in 2014 improved its' defense significantly and suddenly forgot how to coach.
None of it gelled. There were a lot of things in place in 2015 to give everyone hope that it could be a special season, but it just never quite gelled. I hope that Auburn's postseason still has a Charlotte or a Memphis or, at this point, even a Shreveport in it, but I imagine Auburn will be bowling in my backyard, The Magic City, Birmingham. It'll be nice to have you in Birmingham! Let's hang out. Try the BBQ pork and the hot dogs.