• Iron Bowl: Fighting Words & Face Paint

    My boys went to their first Alabama-Auburn football game Thanksgiving weekend, and they were fired up.  I don’t give two hoots about football so first I resisted these obnoxious flags and stickers, but later I relented and let the boys decorate the minivan for the drive from Birmingham to Auburn.

    decvan

    You can’t see the tiger tail hanging out the trunk, but you get the general orange and blue tiger motif.  Though the van may look somewhat gaudy to those of you from outside the state, in fact the adornments helped us blend in with all the other cars traveling southeast on highway 280.

    My sons weren’t done showing their spirit.  Thanks to Bill’s purchase of some oily (and certainly not non-comedogenic) facepaint, they carefully applied orange and blue until they looked like goofballs true Auburn fans.

    readyforgame

    Auburn won (I forgot the score) so that was fun for the guys, but their big news was that they had seen plenty of drunk people and heard prime cuss words during the game.

    During the second quarter the Auburn fans shouted a favorite (yet nonsensical) cheer:

    Bodygetta Bodygetta Bodygetta Bah
    Rah Rah Rah
    Sis Boom Bah
    Weagle Weagle
    War Damn Eagle
    Kick ‘Em In the Butt Big Blue!!
    Hey!!!

    The boys were exulting in the coolness of being able to shout “damn” in the name of team loyalty.  Then the situation got even better.  Behind them a slurring Bama fan shouted, “What the f*ck is a weagle?  That’s a f*ckin’ stupid cheer.”

    The boys turned and stared.  No one answered the fan’s question.  (My mom, an Auburn graduate, could never give me a satisfactory response either.)

    The boys weren’t looking for answers, though.  They were mesmerized by the drunkard’s foul language and nearly empty Jim Beam bottle.  Eventually the fan was evicted by the police, and Porter reported every cuss, sip and instance of littering to me in detail when they got home.

    They had a marvelous time, and then it was over.  For us, that is.

    For die-hard Alabama and Auburn fans, the Iron Bowl is never finished.  The rivalry thrives on controversy and talking smack, and fans can always identify something that happened before, during or after the game to get riled up about.  I’ll let you Google “Fear The Thumb” to see how silly this stuff gets, if the following isn’t enough to convince you.

    This year’s controversy was about jewelry.  Actually, it began with one store’s attempt to sell jewelry, and has since descended into the usual mire of name-calling and trading insults.  Here are the advertisements the jewelry store put in the paper before the game:

    (click to enlarge)

    brombergsala

    bronbergsauburn

    While it was apparent that both ads were intended to poke fun at the schools, the Auburn fans felt that  Bromberg’s went too far in when it insulted its grandmothers and accused its women of burping.  Sensing a marketing misfire, Bromberg’s Vice President apologized, saying, “If we had known this would be so offensive, we wouldn’t have run the ad.”

    He could have been accusing Auburn fans of slapping their mamas for all the good that apology did.  The ads were gasoline poured on the heated competition, and fans couldn’t wait for the resulting explosion.

    Auburn fans at Tiger Tales  worked themselves into a lather:

    Steve: Brombergs is a vanishing retailer in Birmingham, and they are true/blue
    Alabummer Fans and alumni. Who gives a damned what they think of Auburn. They are not at that high a level of class to even comment on Auburn. They will be closing their doors soon, as people like them are dying out. Good riddance
    !

    Jane: I am offended anytime someone refers to Auburn as a Cow College. I am a college graduate (registered nurse) and my father farmed (cattle) all his life. I guess some Bammer fans are too stupid to realize where their food comes from. Fred, I am an Auburn fan and have plenty of money–€” more than enough to shop at Bromberg’s, but will spend my money elsewhere.

    Lynn: After listening to Nick Saban compare the Alabama football teams’€™ losses to several national tragedies, followed by the Brombergs’€™ classless, tasteless advertisement, it has become apparent that Saban, U of Alabama and Bromberg’s Jewelers are a perfect fit. Obviously, a person does not have to have class, nor the IQ of a houseplant to coach Alabama football or work for Bromberg’s…the mental giant that came up with idea sounds like an Alabama grad to me.

    Meanwhile, at the TideFans website, the Bama folks were hooting:

    TiderB: Although it’s downright hilarious, I don’t know why Bromberg’s thought it would go over okay with the barn.

    LeeroyI’m not surprised Barners are offended. They have been, for as long as I can remember (that’s a long time), walking around with a chip on their shoulder. I heard em’ Monday bright and early on talk radio here.  They pretty much companied (complained?) about everything Bama per usual. They just won their sixth straight Iron Bowl and all they could talk about was our touchdown(they disputed it), and that Coach Saban didn’t give em’ enough props in his presser. Very sad folks, the lot of them.

    dvldog: They are offended by people wearing shoes.

    Leeroy: I think indoor plumbing fires em’ up too.

    NativeTider: Barners can’t afford to shop at Bromberg’s anyway so what does it matter??

    Tider@GW_Law: I wonder who read the ad to them.

    As someone who couldn’t tell you from one year to the next who won last year’s game, it’s astonishing to look at the number of people who live and breath college football in this state all year long.  They’ve raised the art of insult to new heights.  The fervor won’t level off once the season is finished, because here football season never ends.  It will be time to think about recruiting, and training, and then it’s time for the games again.  The message boards will be full of Alabama fans calling Auburn a hick college, and Auburn fans accusing Alabama of being low class.

    If you’re thinking about attending an Iron Bowl, pick a team, and remember to bring your supplies: fighting words and face paint.

    rolltide

    (courtesy Jack Kratoville)

    facepaint2

  • Only In Alabama?

    I dare you to find anything in YOUR hometown that fulfills such a special need. 

    Figure 1: Side View: Is this what I think it is?

    bair1

    You have got to be kidding.  But hooray!  I was in the mood to wet a pole.

    bair2

    I love some wigglers, but  I’m in the mood for catfish.

    bait4

    Score!!

    bair3

    Get the frying pan ready – we’re about to have us a meal!

    Keep your eyes open for crazy cultural inventions.  I’d love to see the pictures!

    Two years ago in Tales From My Tiny Kingdom: Don’t you (Forget About Me)

  • I Knew I Was In Alabama

    At Jazzercise many of my fellow exercisers were decked out in red and white in honor of Valentine’s Day. The woman in front of me even wore perky red socks speckled with vibrant multicolored hearts and a red and white polka-dotted ribbon in her hair.

    It’s February. Football season ended months ago in other parts of the world. But red and white, coincidentally, are the colors of the University of Alabama, arch rival of Auburn University. Fanatic supporters couldn’t let the wearing of the enemy’s colors go unchallenged– even in the name of love– and so there were also women resolutely outfitted in Auburn’s orange and blue. I think their kicks were slightly more menacing, too.

    That’s one way I knew I was in Alabama.

    There were minuscule flakes of snow twirling from the sky. It was cold enough that a few piled on the roof and formed a tiny patch of white. The boys talked excitedly about buying sleds and going ice skating. I was able to capture a picture of the meteorological phenomenon that threw the guys into such a tizzy:

    snow

    That’s another way I knew I was in Alabama.

    Last summer I wrote about how it was June and I still had Christmas decorations up. In doing so, I showed a picture of my freezer, which held my frozen napkins, ready for ironing, a bag of lima beans, and a black garbage bag of unknown origin which I did not even stop to wonder about until a reader asked about its contents.

    napkins

    One of my husband’s friends who is a faithful reader alerted him that I was aware of the garbage bag, and it quickly disappeared. I thought no more about it until I was confronted with the shrimp-eating rat sitting on top of my clothes:

    squirrel

    You know you’re in Alabama when your husband spends good money to have a common rodent stuffed and mounted.

    As with all things though, it could be worse. I could be the wife in Louisiana whose husband came home with the record-setting fox squirrel.  Ugh.
    resized hunters