Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Growing up in Alabama, you've got two choices on who to pull for in the annual Iron Bowl - the last regular season football game for the Auburn Tigers and the Crimson Tide of Alabama. You can either fall in line with the family endorsement, or rebel and drift to the dark side, but once the choice has been made there's usually no going back. You've stepped over to one side of the line, and the veiled friendliness you emote all year to your in-state rival is placated through incessant backhanded comments and badgering, throughout most kinds of interactions. BUT...that one week a year when both teams finally focus on each other for the Iron Bowl, the veil comes off and the jabs become haymakers. Both of my parents went to The University of Alabama during the late 70s National Championship heydays of Head Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant - I was a Junior for Nick Saban's first year as Head Coach at Alabama, and in my 1st year of my M.A. program when he won his first National Title. Roll Tide 😉
All that being said, I couldn't enjoy my time working in Auburn any more than I do already. Since it and Alabama are the largest universities in the state, a lot of people end up going to one of the two - and a lot of my friends did the same. I have been visiting Auburn since I was a freshman in college in a social sense, and almost as long from live production standpoint. They are in the process of updating their football facilities, and have made it much friendlier for television production. There is also a new wing for differing media pictured in the top right of the photo above ↑, and not to mention the recent construction of the new basketball arena. However, the most impressing aspect of the trip was the hotel and accommodations provided by The Marriott Grand National Resort in Opelika, right outside of Auburn.
Oh yeah, there was a football game as well (kinda)... Auburn crushed Arkansas 34 to 3.