In the spring of 1786 Thomas Jefferson composed his famous letter in which his head argued with his heart. David Housel’s opinion piece printed in The Villager titled, “Ain’t No More Iron Bowl,” brings that eternal tug of war “between the heart and the head” to 1987.

At the great risk and danger in posing a counter opinion to my esteemed and loved friend, I say, “No, David, it is the Iron Bowl.”

Iron, by mass, is the most common element of earth. It knows no geography. Iron has been used since ancient times and plays a ubiquitous role in life, mythology, metaphor and folklore.

What event plays a more ubiquitous role in Alabama life than a contest between Auburn and Alabama, no matter the contest? 

Metaphorically, iron refers to traits—stern, harsh, unyielding, rigid, sturdy, strong, robust, hard. Is that not apropos to the spirit of any Auburn and Alabama contest?  

Iron is a powerful symbol.

Rudyard Kipling wrote:

Gold is for the mistress—silver for the maid—

Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.

”Good” said the baron, sitting in his hall,

“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.

I agree. It is Iron, David, that best paints the spirit of the annual clash between our two great institutions. Iron is the best symbol for the test of strength and will between these two institutions, uniquely so. Has nothing to with Geography or tickets.

“It is the Iron Bowl.”

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