Scene and Heard: This Iron Bowl is for the dogs, not the cats
TUSCALOOSA — We all know what happened on the field.
No. 1 Alabama took down a struggling and beleaguered Auburn squad 52-21 on Saturday in the 83rd Iron Bowl to finish an undefeated regular season.
OK, so what else is new? Imagine coming into Tuscaloosa and seeing a billboard with two heavyweight champions.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is three wins away from a sixth national championship with the Crimson Tide and seventh overall (Thanks, LSU.).
Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder, a Tuscaloosa native, is preparing to defend his WBC title in a Dec. 1 showdown with challenger Tyson Fury, who hasn't fought in nearly three years.
A few hours before bell time, Wilder can watch Alabama try to put a knockout on Georgia in the SEC title game.
Just a few miles after that sign, another Alabama great has his name on the marquee.
Current Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones owns a car dealership in town, but can we get him a bigger sign? Or maybe an old-school picture of him shredding defenses while at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
A trip to the quad and the tailgate is filled with colorful characters ... and animals.
Alabama fan Piper Williams sits on a bean bag with her dog, Atlas, who is decked out in an Alabama collar and enjoying the cool temperatures on the fall Saturday.
A few steps over, Auburn fan Ron Sanford holds the leash to his dog, Tiger Jake.
Tiger Jake, a Maltese dyed to look like Auburn's mascot with a jersey to match, is a sight that delights the masses, even Alabama fans.
As Sanford walks his dog towards Bryant-Denny, fans pull out phones to get a picture. It looks like Tiger Jake is the pregame winner of this rivalry battle.
Sanford said he doesn't take his dog into the stadium anymore. A few years ago, some Alabama fans tried to kick him.
What's that all about?
Joe Geer is certainly on the list of great Alabama fans.
Geer was also on the Quad, tailgating with some burgers, chicken and an interesting batch of peaches that may not be suitable for children.
He tells the story of where his houndstooth version of the Alabama state flag went. It's now draped over the back of his friend, Alan Murr.
Apparently, Murr had a little bit too much fun during Alabama's trip to Miami for the 2012 BCS national championship game.
"We were at a resort in Pompano Beach," Geer said. "We stayed at the hotel where one of my friends owned. He took the flag and ran it up the pole. It's been on him ever since."
Alabama took out Notre Dame, 42-14, in Miami to win its third BCS national title under Saban.
Plenty of leis are shown around the neck of several patrons, all in different colors and sizes. Perhaps an homage to Alabama's next Heisman Trophy winner?
Time to settle into Bryant-Denny Stadium and the calm before the storm. Alabama, which spares no expense, used a helicopter to dry the field following a wash of rain.
Fans, young and old, fill the seats with seconds to spare before kickoff.
Streaks of Iron Bowl patronage began or continued. Hugh Overton extended his Iron Bowl streak to 60 years.
There are several big names in the house, starting with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. Did anyone ask him about public policy?
The Birmingham Iron of the new Alliance of American Football was represented by former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims and running back Trent Richardson.
G.W. Carver High graduate and Washington Redskins star Shaun Hamilton is among several former Alabama stars back home to watch the Iron Bowl. Former Alabama player and Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom was an honorary captain.
What the fans did witness wasn't much of a surprise. Alabama fans held their collective breaths when Tua Tagovailoa ran the ball. The Alabama receivers were dominant. The Auburn receivers kept dropping passes.
Alabama took home the victory, and now gets ready to play for the SEC title. Auburn will wait for its postseason fate ... if it even decides to go.
Another Iron Bowl is in the books, and Alabama gets to brag for another 364 days. That's life in this state.
Now, where's the way to the exit?