Generation X Deep South

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 35: the Iron Bowl (and other rivalries)

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Generation X grew up with some of the best college football rivalry games ever played. We watched them on big bulky TVs that might have petered out when the rabbit-ear antenna wasn’t positioned just right. Some of us saw them only in black and white, or listened to them on the radio with our granddads. A few lucky ducks actually got to go to the game. No matter whether the rival was in-state or just nearby, there was no way to anyone would miss out. And that’s especially true of the Iron Bowl in Alabama.

The Iron Bowl is well-known nationally as one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports, and GenXers experienced some of the best of those games. One of the most famous Iron Bowls is known simply by the phrase “Punt, Bama, Punt!” In 1972, #9 Auburn played #2 Alabama and won the game by a point (17-16) in a comeback that was made possible by blocking two punts.

Other memorable games were the 1982 “Bo over to the top” game and the first game ever played in Jordan Hare, in 1989. Among Bama fans’ best memories would be the 1985 game that was won by a Van Tiffen field goal.

Of course, the 1970s were still the heyday of Alabama’s Bear Bryant, who retired in 1983, and the early 1980s had Bo Jackson – considered by some to be the greatest athlete of all time – playing for the Tigers.

From 1970 to 1999, the Crimson Tide won 19 of the 30 games, and that included a winning streak that lasted from 1973 to 1981. Auburn has it own shorter four-game winning streak in the late 1980s. All but five of the games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham, and then an era ended: the last Iron Bowl at Legion Field was in 1998. Auburn hosted in 1999, and Bama began hosting their turn at Bryant-Denny in 2000.

Other rivalry games in the Deep South:

The Egg Bowl: Ole Miss vs Mississippi State

The South’s Oldest Rivalry: Auburn vs. Georgia

Alabama vs. Tennessee

Alabama vs. LSU

South Carolina vs. Georgia

Georgia vs. Georgia Tech

 

 


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews), fiction, poetry, and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

Generation X Deep South

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 34

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


I-630 cuts through Little Rock, 1969 – 1985

excerpt: “The first mile of I-630 that bisected Little Rock was completed in 1969, but construction was halted soon after. From the start, the project faced legal challenges and backlash from the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for its impact on the Black communities and businesses the road was displacing and isolating. Despite an attempted freeway revolt, the community failed to halt construction permanently, and the 8-mile expressway was completed and opened to the public in 1985.”

The death penalty in Florida, October 1972

After the Furman v Georgia Supreme Court ruling in June 1972, Florida became the first state in the US to pass a law that reinstitute the death penalty on the state level. This, of course, was not on the radar of most GenXers, the oldest of whom were seven at the time, but because other Southern states quickly followed suit, it meant that we grew up in the age of the death penalty. Today, all eleven Southern states have it. Alabama is the only state in the nation where a judge can override a jury and impose a death sentence when the jury recommended life without parole.

University Mall opens in Tuscaloosa, August 1980

The largest shopping mall in west Alabama opened on the site of the Northington Naval Hospital, which was demolished a few years earlier. The reason that it was possible for the mall to be built where it was, according to Wikipedia, is: “These [hospital] ruins were finally destroyed during the filming of the climactic scene of the 1978 Burt Reynolds film Hooper.” 

A “White Christmas” in Savannah, Georgia, 1989

an excerpt, from Savannah Magazine: “On Christmas Day, Savannah was still blanketed in white precipitation. It was the first White Christmas in recorded Savannah history. There hasn’t been another since.”

The Knoxville newspaper Fourteen Days, 1991

Though few details about this newspaper can be found, the Library of Congress’s records say that it was a biweekly published by “M. Freeman.” A termination date is unknown in all pertinent records.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews), fiction, poetry, and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

Generation X Deep South

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 32

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


“The time a young Prince Charles attended a Georgia Bulldogs game,” October 1977

The man who is now king was the first member of the British royal family to attend a University of Georgia football game. Quite an accomplishment!

The Crime in South Carolina, 1979 report

Published in 1980 by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, this report gives data “for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. They are broken down, when applicable, by type of weapon used, victim-offender relationship, value of property stolen, week of the month, etc. Victims’ age, race, and sex are noted.” Statistics are organized into tables graphs that provide nuanced information about crimes in the late 1970s. For example, from 1977 to 1979, about one-quarter of all murders happened on a Saturday.

The band Alabama wins Country Music Entertainer of the Year, 1982

Hunter v. Underwood, 1985

Though most GenXers, who were 20 years old or younger in 1985, wouldn’t have paid much attention to a Supreme Court ruling about the disenfranchisement of convicted criminals in Alabama, it mattered to the future of voting rights. Alabama’s 1901 Constitution took away the right to vote from any one convicted of “any . . . crime involving moral turpitude”— felonies and misdemeanors. However, according to this lawsuit, “the misdemeanors encompassed within §182 were intentionally adopted to disenfranchise blacks on account of race, and that their inclusion in §182 has had the intended effect.” Essentially, the suit contended that Alabama’s law was designed to prevent as many black people as possible from voting. The US Supreme Court agreed, and Alabama could no longer prohibit people convicted of a misdemeanor from voting. (Unfortunately, felons are still disallowed from voting in Alabama.)


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews), fiction, poetry, and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.