November 19, 2010
Auburn and Alabama don't play until next Friday, but with the Tigers off this weekend and the Crimson Tide casually flicking Georgia State away like a gnat Thursday night, Iron Bowl week is officially underway. And so it came to pass that Bear Bryant briefly donned a Cameron Newton jersey this morning in Alabama's "Circle of Champions."
In a state that does a lot of hunting and a little noodling, Bear blasphemy remains the most dangerous sport for Auburn fans, who risk life and limb if caught in the act. I'm not well-versed on Alabama code, but I'm assuming that – if it's not already a felony to impugn an image of the Bear with rival memorabilia within state lines – certain judges would be inclined to be somewhat ... flexible in their handling of citizens who sought retribution against the perpetrators of such irreverence. That's only a guess.
It's still technically a guess, too, whether Newton will actually take the field next week in Tuscaloosa for a make-or-break game in both Auburn's undefeated surge for the SEC and BCS championships and his Heisman campaign. But Alabama expects him to be there, and if Auburn didn't feel compelled to sit its embattled star last week against Georgia, there's no reason next week should be any different.