A house divided
Franklin County Times
There are only a few things that can test the strength of a family. In the state of Alabama, one of those is football.
Tomorrow, the state will divide again as the Auburn/Alabama football game pits brother against brother, mother against daughter and for the Fish family, father against son.
"Everything just stops for one day," Michael Fish said.
Michael has always been an Alabama fan, and takes it very hard when his favorite team loses a game.
"I used to carry it [a loss] around with me all week until the next game."
As Michael got older and started a family, he hoped to share his love for the Crimson Tide with his son, Brett.
But that didn't work out exactly like he planned.
Michael said his sister, Stephanie Oliver, has "corrupted" the 16-year-old boy, and lured his fanhood to the darkside – the side occupied by the Auburn Tigers.
"My sister has been trying to persuade all of my kids to become Auburn fans," Fish said.
Brett said his aunt was partly an influence in his decision to don the orange and blue, but there was also the attraction of good ol' fashioned rebellion.
"I watch all the games with my dad and it's just more fun to cheer for the opposite team as my dad," Brett said, noting that he has been an Auburn fan since the second grade.
Brett may have traded his father UA for an AU but he still wears his game-time emotions on his sleeve.
"After all four loses this year, I had to sit on my bed for an hour before I could get up and go on," Brett said.
Brett added that he had no plans on sitting on his bed after the game Saturday. He's more likely to be dancing in the streets.
Brett predicted that Auburn will earn their sixth straight win against Alabama tomorrow, 24-13. However, Michael said his teen son is wrong and that Alabama will be victorious, 21-17.
"This is our year. After last week, Saban is going to use the loss to motivate the team to win against Auburn."
Michael added that even though last week's loss against Louisiana-Monroe was not a national disaster; it was the worst loss he had ever personally witnessed. Brett is hoping this week's game will be just as bad.
Tomorrow the father and son duo will sit down to watch the game at their annual tailgate party hosted by Michael's sister.
"We have been going to watch the Alabama/Auburn game with my sister for 15 years," he said. "It's always blood, sweat and tears."
He added that regardless of what happens during the game, tempers usually cool off within a week in plenty of time for a happy holiday.
Auburn and Alabama meet Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium in the Iron Bowl.
The two teams enter the game tied for second in the SEC West, with the winner earning a winning SEC record for the season as well as a second-place finish in the division.
The Tigers will be attempting to win for the sixth straight time against Alabama, which would be the longest winning streak against the Crimson Tide in school history.
The game will be nationally televised by ESPN.