Something to like, dislike with football changes

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, April 11, 2009

Football in the state of Alabama will have a very different feel to it next year because of two significant changes—one to the Iron Bowl and the other to the Super 6 high school championships.

One change will be great for all those involved; the other, well, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday it would move its annual football championships event from Birmingham’s Legion Field to the stadiums of the state’s two largest college football programs, Alabama and Auburn. Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa will host the games this year, and Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium will have its turn in 2010. The event, which has been held in Birmingham since 1996, will rotate between the two sites through the 2014 season.

While the number of schools that benefited from hosting the Super 6 shouldn’t have been limited to Alabama and Auburn, these sites will offer a more exciting atmosphere than Legion Field. Of course, UA and AU stand to gain plenty of positive recruiting exposure with many of the state’s best high school football players visiting campus every other year.

That’s good news for Tiders and Tigers, but the move of the 2009 and 2010 Iron Bowls to a new day and time will have plenty of fans scratching their heads.

To accommodate CBS, the rivalry game will now be played at 1:30 p.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving the next two years. That’s right, Friday. Yes, at 1:30. Other than maybe 4 a.m. on a Wednesday, it’s hard to think of a worse time to play what is the biggest sporting event in the state each year. Maybe that’s stretching it a little bit, but a Friday? Businesses across the state just took a huge financial hit because of the productivity that will be lost.

The only solution will be to make the day a state holiday. That way, businesses can at least plan for the losses and avoid every employee trying to call in sick.