There’s a day in Alabama that overshadows all others. When Alabama meets Auburn on the football field for the annual Iron Bowl the whole state watches.
Center Ryan Kelly has plenty of experience with the Iron Bowl, but he still struggles to communicate the significance of the game to his friends and family back home in Ohio.
“I think they have to come to one of the games, or just an Alabama game in general, to understand how big it means,” Kelly said. “People back home have the Ohio State-Michigan game, which is a huge rivalry, but back home you have 10 or 12 homes and pro sports, and down here you don’t have that, so this is all the people have. It means a lot to the people in the state and it means a lot to us.”
Madison, Alabama’s Reggie Ragland doesn’t have to worry about explaining the Iron Bowl to his family. They live it.
“It’s a fun week,” Ragland said. “Growing up in the state of Alabama and this rivalry, you’re either with Auburn or you’re with Alabama. There is no between. You’ve got to pick one.”
Ragland may play for the Crimson Tide, but his entire family doesn’t always wear the right colors.
“Sadly, my brother [Chris], he’s an Auburn fan,” Ragland said. “I don’t talk to him during this week sometimes. I try to stay away from him because he loves to talk trash and all that. Knowing him, he’ll probably call me in the next couple days talking about Auburn or something like that.”
Of course Ragland is not afraid to do a little talking of his own, especially when it’s with his own teammates. Some members of the team started joking with Reuben Foster and Rashaan Evans about being from Auburn.
“Oh yeah, it already started,” Ragland said. “Yesterday when we went through our workout, we were on them. Coach Cochran was on them, a couple of other guys were on them.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports