Alabama football: 10 Iron Bowl moments every Alabama and Auburn fan should know
Outside of terrorism and Hallmark movies, there are few things that I hate more than cliches. And there is nothing more cliche than articles like this, recanting the top Iron Bowl memories of yesteryear that we’ve seen thousands of times.
Did that sound convincing and smart? I hope so, because all I really meant was, “I’m not talking about the Kick-6 or “Camback” game anymore.”
All jokes aside, I think we’re all over the cliche countdowns and highlight clips we see every year. And if you’re not, then tune into ESPN College GameDay or the CBS pregame this Saturday, because they’ll be sure to show more than you can count before kickoff. That being said, I made a new list. Here are the Top 10 Iron Bowl moments that you should know and that aren’t talked about nearly enough.
1989: It’s the end of the world as we know it
The first Iron Bowl in Jordan-Hare. Bama came in No. 2 in the country and undefeated at 10-0. They left looking for a new coach after a 3rd straight loss to Auburn. I was 3, so I don’t remember this moment. However, I will never forget riding in the car with my dad years later and hearing R.E.M.’s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) on the radio. My dad immediately turned it off. I asked why. This was his response. “I hate that damn song. I’ll never forget losing to Auburn in Jordan-Hare back in ’89. They played that song on repeat until we left the stadium.”
Bad memories aside, that song slaps.
1997: I hate your stupid hat, Bruce
Full disclosure: This is the last time I cried watching a football game. Third-and-8, on their own 30-yard line, with the game in hand, Alabama decided to run a screen pass to the fullback, Ed Scissum. It was Scissum’s 1st offensive touch of the game. And, again, Auburn had no way to stop the clock. I know I said I hate cliches, but run the damned ball, man. Scissum fumbled. Auburn recovered. And the Tigers kicked a game-winning 39-yard field goal to win 18-17.
The man who called the play? Bruce Arians. The longtime NFL head coach who is widely revered as a “great” coach. A lot of Bama fans still hate him. I personally just hate his stupid hats. He looks like an Uber driver from Pittsburgh.
First line of tomorrow’s paper: “Bruce Arians wipes away pride of win with terrible post game interview hat.” pic.twitter.com/ceBdWHaJCW
— Ted (@AManNamedTyler) November 17, 2014
2003: Well that escalated quickly
The Iron Bowl is a 24/7/365-day-a-year rivalry. And no matter what the records are, as a fan, you go into the game every year with at least some inkling of hope that your team can win. For instance, in 2003 I spent the entire week convincing myself that, despite Alabama being 4-8 and Godawful, it still had a chance to win the Iron Bowl.
It took 13 seconds for that to disappear. Because that’s how long it took Carnell Williams to go 80 yards to the house on the 1st play of the game. The Camback game was tough. The Kick-6, awful. But there’s nothing worse than getting pumped all week for your biggest rival and watching Cadillac go through your defense like stuff through a tin horn on the 1st play from scrimmage.
1994: Shut up, Dameyune
The 1994 game isn’t talked about nearly enough. Two Top 10 teams. Auburn hadn’t lost since Clinton got in the White House. And Bama was undefeated looking for its 2nd natty in 3 years. The game was phenomenal, but the moment I’ll always remember happened late in the 4th. Down 7 in the final minutes, a frustrated Patrick Nix came off the field during an Auburn timeout. Freshman QB Dameyune Craig came off the bench to give him a pep talk and/or some advice, and right as Keith Jackson took us to commercial break, Nix yelled “Shut up, Dameyune!” I laughed hysterically.
2008: Fear the Dumb
I won’t pretend to be impartial and unbiased when it comes to Tommy Tuberville. I don’t like him. At all. You wouldn’t, either, if he beat your team 6 straight years. However, there were few things sweeter than how Bama closed out that 2008 season-long reckoning tour of revenge. All in all, 5 coaches were fired that year after playing against Nick Saban and Bama, but the coup de grace was Tuberville. He walked into Bryant-Denny with an ego that was somehow even bigger than his ears and holding up 7 fingers signifying his bold prediction that the Tigers were about to win their 7th straight over Bama.
*Narrator Voice* They did not. Auburn lost 36-0, and Tubs was fired shortly after.
— Mike Hays (@mikethays) November 19, 2016
1984: I waxed the dude
The whole series of games during Bo Jackson’s career were awesome. I don’t know why we only hear about “The Kick” and “Bo Over the Top.” The 1984 game (“Wrong Way Bo”) was also a classic, and an absolute coaching blunder if we’re being honest. On 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and I cannot stress this enough, with Bo Jackson in the backfield, the Tigers ran a sweep to fullback Brent Fullwood. Jackson, who was supposed to block, ran the wrong way, and freshman DB Rory Turner drove Fullwood out of bounds.
Turner would later infamously tell reporters, “I waxed the dude.”
Fun fact: I met Rory at a softball tournament that my dad was umpiring in Dekalb County, Ga., several years later after a foul ball he hit ricocheted off something and hit me in the head. Everyone seemed very concerned, but all my dad had to say was, “That’s the hardest you’ve hit anyone since you waxed the dude back in ’84, huh, Rory?” Thanks, dad.
2010: The longest fumble I’ve ever seen
The Camback was full of great moments, but I imagine none was more comical for Auburn fans than when Mark Ingram fumbled for what seemed like (checks notes) 780 yards. Surely, my numbers are off there, but I honestly don’t know. I had been drinking moonshine since 9 a.m., and honestly, it’s the only thing that helped get me through that day. Someone who was there and/or sober, please let me know how long that fumble really was. All I remember was it looking like Ingram rolled it down the sideline like a bowling ball, and it never stopped.
2019: Doink & D’oh
Bama losing to Auburn late because of a special teams mishap? Nooooooo. That game was such a tough pill to swallow for Bama fans. Playing without your star QB, and having to overcome so many mistakes, including 2 pick-6s. But what an absolutely hilarious, and loud, way to lose an Iron Bowl. A 30-yard field goal hitting off the goal post, and then having too many men on the field as you’re about to get the ball back? Bama special teams are the gifs and gifts that keep on giving.
Auburn reacts to Alabama’s missed field goal in 2019 Iron Bowl pic.twitter.com/8bPWdsqFcP
— auburn01 (@warEagle0011) December 2, 2019
2019: Brenda in the Bushes
OK, real talk: Has anyone checked on that lady in the bushes at Jordan-Hare? Because if you told me she was still stuck, I would believe you. Sure the game was great, but this was, hands down, one of the best memes, and hilarious moments, in college football all last season.
Throwback to last year’s Iron Bowl when two Auburn fans got stuck in the bushes trying to rush the field after their big win over Alabama 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/KWfyFUAZEs
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 24, 2020
2018: Dixieland Delight
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t care about sportsmanship. I care about winning. I don’t care about feelings. I. Care. About. Winning. That’s why 2018 will forever be my favorite Iron Bowl moment. Despite repeated warnings/threats from Alabama AD Greg Byrne all week that if any profanity were sung during Dixieland Delight, he would take away the privilege of singing it during home games, the song was sung. And that 4-letter word was said. A lot.
As time ticked down in the 4th quarter, and the velvety voice singing “Rollin’ down a backwood, Tennessee highway” came over the loudspeaker, something special happened …
OK, not really. The students just sang it even more obnoxiously than usual, inserting an obscenity between every single line for the duration of the song. It was horrible sportsmanship. And my God, was it glorious.