This game always lures former players back to the state to cheer on their alma maters. For Alabama, the enthusiasm starts officially, every year, on the Thursday before the Iron Bowl. That's when the Montgomery chapter of the Alabama Alumni association holds their annual golf classic to raise money for student scholarships.
So Thursday, we sent our own Alabama graduate, Beth Jett, went to Prattville to get the "Buzz" from the Bama faithfuls, something that turned out to be painfully funny for one former player.
It was a beautiful afternoon at Prattville's Robert Trent Jones Trail, sunny and warm. It was a perfect day for about 150 golfers to play a round. In the 4th Annual Alumni Golf Classic, we ran across several former Tide players, including linebacker Barry Krauss, who we figured would have "the buzz" and we were right.
This is not funny! In fact Krauss got the buzz about five minutes before we found him. "I picked up my cup and it had a bee in it. I didn't know it had a bee in it and it just stung my tongue. You can't even tell. You can't even tell, but anyway, I usually don't speak this way. I don't do this. We'll get through this," said Krauss.
When asked what he expected from the game Saturday, Krauss said he hoped Bama could pull off the upset. "You know we've done a lot of great things this year. Coach Fran has really focussed on the attitude and that's really turned around and it's always a big game between these two football teams. I've been fortunate to say that I never lost to Auburn. I went to the game last year and it was really tough to deal with, so hopefully a lot of those players remember that and come through. " Krauss was also hoping Benedril would come through for him.
As for the game's outcome Krauss says, "I think it's going to be tight. It's gonna be a good game and "definitely Roll Tide. They will win in their (Auburn's) back yard and that's what's going to be fun."
Meanwhile, other Bama faithfuls gave their thoughts of the team and what will happen Saturday. Alabama Alumnus Rush Rice had an idea to help the Bama defense. "We're gonna get Mr. Krauss to suit up and that will help shore up our defense. We're gonna be ok. I think Alabama's been unlucky this year. I think Auburn's been maybe a little bit fortunate this year."
Another alumnus, Paul James says, "Our offense is going to surprise Auburn. I think Zow will play most of the game and it's going to be a close game decided late in the 4th quarter." Graduate Eric Christie says, "I think we're going to do just fine Saturday. It's going to be a tight ball game, but somehow Alabama's going to find a way to win."
Elsewhere on the course, we found former quarterback Richard Todd who says he's happy with the two current Crimson Tide quarterbacks, "Tyler has had a good year and Zow came in and played really good last week. He's got some experience. Nowadays in college football, you need a couple of quarterbacks. You don't just need one." As for the outcome of the Iron Bowl Todd proclaimed, "20-to-17 Alabama."
Former Alabama defensive end ('73 to '78) Bruce Hodges says the score will be "21 to 18, Bama. Roll Tide."
And by the way, the Benedril worked for Barry Krauss. It was a good thing it did since he works as a television and radio announcer for the Indianapolis Colts.