Many years ago I asked Gene Stallings, the former Alabama head coach (1990-97), what made the Iron Bowl—Alabama vs. Auburn—the most intense rivalry in college football.

“That’s easy,” Coach Stallings said. “It’s the people of the state of Alabama.”

He further explained:

“They talk about this game on New Year’s Day.

“They talk about it on Memorial Day.

“They talk about it on the Fourth of July.

“They talked about it on Labor Day.

“They talk about it on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

“They talk about it and live it 365 days a year. And if you don’t live in the state of Alabama you can’t possibly understand.”

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