The Iron Bowl – Did you know that the Alabama & Auburn game was suspended for 41 years

[Here’s an interesting news article from 1910 pleading for the football rivalry between Alabama and Auburn to continue in Birmingham after being suspended.]


Alabama and Auburn have met in the Iron Bowl for so many years that we may not realize that the two colleges refused to meet on the gridiron for a number of years. Alabama and Auburn (Auburn was then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama) played their first football game in Lakeview Park in Birmingham, on February 22, 1893.

Lakview Park

800px-lakeview_park

The series continued through 1907 and was suspended for several reasons, some of which are related in the news article from 1910 below. The series was not renewed again until 1948. Today the series is considered one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports.

Howard College mentioned in the article below is now Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Football Comment

The Tuscaloosa News September 22, 1910

(By Atticus Mullin in the Birmingham Ledger)

The three Alabama colleges are certainly unfortunate in their relations to each other. This season there is but one struggle between Alabama colleges. Howard plays Auburn. Alabama refuses to meet Howard and of course all know of the long-standing troubles between Auburn and Alabama.

Right now is the time for all of these troubles to be patched up. Auburn should meet Alabama every year in Birmingham. Alabama should meet Howard every year in Birmingham. Howard should meet Auburn every year in Birmingham.

Every game between the Alabama colleges would be a paying one. The expense of Auburn to Birmingham is but little. Alabama’s expenses to Birmingham is very slight. It costs Howard nothing to play here. Then why in the name of common sense should the Alabama schools be running all over the south and as far north as Virginia to play schools when they could make money right here in Birmingham and give the local people a run for their money.

In spite of everything stated publicly to the contrary, Auburn’s reasons for not wanting to play Alabama have been because Dr. J. W. H. Pollard was the Alabama coach and Auburn men had formed a deep-seated opposition to him. This is the milk in the cocoanut (sic) as far as Auburn is concerned.

The reason why Alabama would not play Auburn, in the opinion of the writer , when sifted down, came to this very Coach Pollard. All known that Pollard has a strong inclination to have things his own way. Now that he is not with Alabama any longer, the writer sincerely hopes that the silly differences between Auburn and Alabama will be settled and that next year we can see these two colleges meet on the gridiron.

Let the Auburn and Alabama alumni in Birmingham come out publicly and say what they think about the plan of getting together.

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

35 Responses to The Iron Bowl – Did you know that the Alabama & Auburn game was suspended for 41 years

  1. Wish they still didn’t play.

  2. It was the Iron Bowl when it was played in Birmingham with the 50/50 ticket split. Now it is just like any other game.

  3. Bo ConwillBo Conwill says:

    I have this no my wall.

  4. Shannon says:

    It is better on the campuses. Birmingham was always a terrible venue for the game. The only people who wanted that were the people in B’ham.

  5. Best thing that ever happened was moving the game to Tuscaloosa and Auburn that is where the schools are let the locals of both cities reap the rewards of money spent on the local economy not just Birmingham

  6. I like reading about Alabama’s history. Lots of things i never knew

  7. Should’ve ended playing each other after 2010.

  8. We have one of the prints of this game.

  9. Ron Johnson says:

    There was never a 50-50 split in stadium tickets. Only the school tickets (mostly students) were split like that and that changed to alternating years with the schools getting the majority alternating before the move. A majority of tickets at Legion Field were sold to statium certificate holders that were purchased in order to finance the building of and additions to the stadium. Those were mostly owned by Alabama fans. I’m glad that it moved

  10. Very interesting to read

  11. Enjoyed this article. Thanks.

  12. i heard a story about that on the radio a while back

  13. j. s. hudson says:

    It’s interesting to note that the author stated that the games were played “all over the
    south” and “as far north as Virginia”. Real Virginians consider Virginia part of
    the south.

  14. j. s. hudson says:

    Sorry – left out part of my E-mail address in previous message

  15. Patti Buckner says:

    ROLL CRIMSON TIDE….

  16. Gwendolyn Tucker Lindsey, Amanda Leigh, Brad McDonald, David Lindsey

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