Friday, November 21, 2008

A little Iron Bowl weather History



From Today's Clanton Advertiser, "Maybe this year's Iron Bowl will do the series justice" by Brent Maze

"Probably one of the forgotten games of the 1980s was Auburn’s 23-20 win over ‘Bama in 1983. The biggest story of that game was the fact that Jefferson County went under a tornado warning, and no one inside of Legion Field moved an inch. Even James Spann wouldn’t have interrupted the broadcast of that game. I do remember seeing a video clip of the game that had a meteorologist talking over the broadcast as Jackson scored a touchdown."

Bill Murray's article about the 1983 Iron Bowl weather

James Spann's memories of the 1983 Iron Bowl weather

Dr. Tim Coleman's aricle and photos of the game in 1983
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Here are a few quotes from various fans on the TideSports.com forum:

"I was in MDB that year. Dr. Ferguson and the Auburn band director spoke just before halftime and reached an agreement: both bands left the stadium for their own safety at the start of the 3rd quarter. I agreed. It was nasty."

"I was there that evening as well and sitting toward the top of the south end zone at Legion Field. I can distinctly remember the announcement coming over the public address system that a tornado warning had just been issued for Jefferson County. At that particular moment, the rain was coming down in buckets and the wind was blowing so hard that it ripped the umbrella out of my hand. The game never stopped though and hardly anyone left the stadium looking for cover."

"My Dad and I were in the north endzone (the one Bo Jackson kept running towards Eeker). We stayed in our seats throughout! Classic game, tough loss."

"It seems like it was during the middle of the 3rd quarter of the '83 game at Legion Field that the sky opened up and the winds started gusting around 45 - 55 mph. Back in those days umbrellas were still allowed in the stadium and when the torrential downpour started all those umbrellas started going up. However, it didn't make a bit of difference because the wind was blowing sideways and would get up underneath your umbrella and turn it inside out. A few minutes later, the Legion Field public address announcer interrupted with something to the effect of: "Attention! A tornado warning has been issued for Jefferson County!" You'd think a tornado warning would be significant, but the game kept on going down on the field and NOBODY made a dash for safety down to any of the concourses because the score was pretty tight and nobody wanted to miss a single play!"

"I attended the 1983 Iron Bowl. When they announced the tornado WARNING, we just started scanning the horizon in between plays -- for funnel clouds. Big Grin But my father and I stayed in our seats. If memory serves, Bo Jackson had a field day. That Auburn wishbone was a fearsome thing to witness when #34 was in the backfield."

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