Ex-Alabama, Auburn players will play flag football for tornado relief

Graham Watson

An Auburn-Alabama tornado relief game was proposed back in May and somewhat pooh-poohed, but two months later both school's football alumni are taking up the cause.

Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com proposed an August scrimmage between Alabama and Auburn in an effort to raise funds for the damage cause by a major tornado that ravaged the state back in May. To do this, the school's had to get permission from the NCAA.

So to skirt all the red tape, former football players from both schools have agreed to play in a flag football game next month in Hoover, Ala. The HeartinDixie Alumni Day Flag Football Game will be Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at Spain Park High School.

Among the past athletes and coaches attending the weekend's events will be Bo Jackson, Cornelius Bennett, Pat Dye, Ray Perkins, Al Del Greco, Bobby Humphrey, Stan White, Gene Stallings, Joe Cribbs and Lee Roy Jordan.

Names of participating players in the flag football game have not been announced. Players must be out of college or the NFL for at least two years. Sanderson said the idea came from "A" Club members as they helped clean up tornado damage in Holt.

"A bunch of us said we ought to play a football game against Auburn," Sanderson said. "(Former Alabama linebacker) Darryl Fuhrman wouldn't let it go. He put together a group of guys and it suddenly became, 'Who knows someone at Auburn?'"

The game was initially planned for this weekend, which would have allowed Alabama coach Nick Saban and Auburn coach Gene Chizik to possibly attend. Richardson said they won't be present in August because of practices.

Tickets are $20 (plus $5 for parking) and about 40 former players will be on hand to sign autographs. All of the proceeds will go toward the HeartinDixie Foundation, which helps victims of the tornadoes.

The flag football game actually kicks off a weekend of events, which also included a benefit golf tournament and a golf pro-am.

The group that put this fundraiser together is considering making it a yearly event depending on how well it goes next month.