Monday, November 29, 2010

New At Rivals: Ever To Conquer, Never To Yield

My column for the 2010 Auburn-Alabama game is up at Rivals' Here's a preview:

For those who follow this old series in daily love and hate, every season's game is all-important on they day when it is played, and during the 364 days immediately before and after. But once the ball is kicked off again, twelve months later, most of those games quickly fade into the rivalry's storied background. Even in the bitter and endless war that is Auburn vs. Alabama, wins and losses alike mean less to all involved as the years pass and the world moves on.

But now and again, there are those rare years and rare games that do not fade. The events of those days carve permanent grooves into our souls, scars that we will not just bear to our graves, but also pass on to those who were not yet drawing breath when the last seconds ticked off the clock on game day.

The memories of those days grow rather than fade in the recalling, passing on their cargoes of emotion from one generation to the next, retaining their power to cheer or chill as they quickly transform from news into legend. Some are given names of their own, like "Punt Bama Punt" or "The Kick," but in all cases, all you have to do is recite the year to readily draw either a curse or a cry of exultation: 1949. 1967. 1972. 1981. 1982. 1985. 1989. 2001. 2002.

And now, 2010.

There has never been a game like it. In a combined 236 seasons and over 2,300 games of varsity football, no Auburn team had ever trailed by 24 and won; no Alabama team had ever led by 24 and lost. Not until the afternoon Alabama will come to call "Black Friday," that is.
The rest is on the subscription side, but Rivals is offering a free first month to new subscribers coming over from FTB.

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