Fan's Iron Bowl streak ends at 63 games

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - There have been some pretty impressive Iron Bowl streaks on the field. Alabama started a 9 game winning streak in the early 70s. More recently Auburn won 6 in a row in the 2000s. But those numbers don't come close to a Montgomery man's individual streak.

Oakley Melton has seen quite a few Iron Bowls. In fact when he went to the game in 1948, he probably had no idea he'd make it to 63 straight Iron Bowls. "Last year was real disappointing," Melton said. The Alabama fan watched Cam Newton lead Auburn to an amazing comeback in Tuscaloosa.

This is a game that's rich in history. In 1998 Melton's kids told him he was going to his 50th straight Iron Bowl. So he came up with an idea. This was for Bama and Auburn fans. He created the Alabama, Auburn, perfect attendance club where there's only one rule: "Perfect attendance at all the games since 1948."

The group started with more than 30 members but is getting smaller by the year. He says it's a fun brotherhood. "We meet and have a lot of good communication before the games, but after the game the loser usually gets the hell out of town."

There are plenty of Iron Bowl classics that stand out for different reasons. "The 1948 game, the first one stands out. Alabama was a 13 point favorite and we beat them 55-0, the biggest win in Iron Bowl history. Nothing compares to 1985, Van Tiffin's long game winning field goal."

Others he'd like to forget. "The 1989 game in Auburn, it was hard, hard to get tickets. Plus the Tigers went on to upset the Tide 30-20. Then there was the Scissum fumble game (1997) we had a 2 point lead late in the game and fumbled."

Perhaps the biggest disappointment comes this year, and it has nothing to do with a scoreboard.

For the first time in 63 years Oakley Melton watched the big game from home. "It just breaks my heart. I thought of every way possible to do it...but I just can't get around good enough. I've got three herniated disks in my back, just constant pain."

So, Melton watched in his Lazyboy chair in his bedroom. And don't count him out just yet for next year. Who knows, he could start a new streak. "We'll have to see about that one."

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