When it comes to having extreme bias regarding the importance of the Iron Bowl, the annual battle for bragging rights in the state of Alabama, I readily throw myself on the mercy of the court and plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
The 365-days-a-year rivalry between Alabama and Auburn fans has been at the epicenter of my career for 30 years. I've seen it all during that stretch, but nothing compares to last year, when Alabama jumped out to a 24-0 lead at home, only to see it quickly vaporized by Cam Newton and company, with the Tide finally falling 28-27. This shocker, of course, likely led to Harvey Updyke allegedly poisoning the Toomer's Trees on the Auburn campus. More importantly, it propelled the Tigers to the BCS title, their first national championship in 53 years.
Trying to explain the ferocity of this rivalry to outsiders is challenging. I have caught a lot of criticism recently for comments made on the subject during the recent ESPN documentary, Roll Tide, War Eagle: "It's really the Israelis and the Palestinians living together in one place, day in, day out."