State continues winning streakBy Tony Tsoukalas | 01/11/2012 11:03pm
What has three national championships, two Heisman trophies, a dead tree and a passion that holds it all together? The state of Alabama. The Yellowhammer State serves as the home to the past three national champions, with Alabama winning in 2009 and 2011 and Auburn winning in 2010.
“It's been that way for a long time,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said. “And I think it makes it special and maybe a little unique that we have that kind of situation, and I think it speaks volumes for the programs in the state that what's happened over the last three years has happened.”
Students from both schools might not always get along, but many recognize that the run has been special for the state.
“I definitely think it is exciting,” said Alexandra Tucci, a senior double-majoring in international studies and advertising. “Nowhere else in the country can you point to a state with that much success.”
However, with a rivalry as big as the Iron Bowl, some students view a state-rival victory as bitter sweet.
“I wanted Oregon to win,” Jake Appelbaum, a senior majoring in finance at Alabama, said. “But with that being said, looking back, it is pretty cool the state has won the last three. It is even cooler though that Alabama won two of those.”
Students from Auburn hold the same passion and find it just as hard to root for Alabama.
“I don’t know if it’s a good thing,” said Will Tillson, a civil engineering major at Auburn. “I would have rather Auburn win all three.”
No matter which side fans in the state of Alabama are on, there is an agreement between everyone that the passion for football in the state is unmatched anywhere else in the nation.
“I have many other teams that I’ve covered before,” Appelbaum said. “And they love their team just as much as Alabama, but there is something uniquely crazy about the Alabama fans.”
Alex Rayfield, a junior majoring in civil engineering, echoed Appelbaum’s thoughts.
“We live and die by it,” Rayfield said. “It’s just like that slogan, ‘At some places they play football, at Alabama we live it.’ It’s just a little bit different down here.”
With fans of both teams being so passionate, Tucci said it was good that both Alabama and Auburn have had the taste of success.
“As Alabama fans, we are used to winning,” Tucci said. “We are used to being No. 1. I think it is kind of cute that Auburn gets to claim a title. It’s really sweet.”
However, most fans had a hard time saying they could cheer for their rival if their own team was knocked out of the title race.
“No, [Auburn] had their year,” said Alex Rayfield, a junior majoring in civil engineering. “I’d give them one every half century.”
Some fans might not even consider it.
“Would there ever be a situation where I would pull for Alabama?” Tillson asked. “Probably not. I can’t think of one off the top of my head.”