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The Loop

It Just Means More

An astounding 80% of TVs in Birmingham, Alabama were tuned to Iron Bowl overtime on Saturday

December 01, 2021

It has long been said by card carrying members of the Southeastern Conference that it just means more. What is “it,” you might find yourself wondering. More than what, you might ask. Completely valid questions … but also completely irrelevant. How can you possibly quantify culture? How can you measure grit? It can’t be done, at least not in conventional terms. Instead, we rely on ancillary data and anecdotal evidence to prove or disprove the theory that SEC football is God’s football. Sellout streaks, coaching payrolls, and the proportion of Paul Finebaum callers going into cardiac arrest live on the air. All indicators of it meaning more, but all hopelessly bereft when compared to this unthinkable stat from Saturday’s instant Iron Bowl classic:

There’s no city on earth, outside of maybe Mecca, where over half its citizens are all doing the same exact thing at once. Places to go, people to see. Different strokes, different folks. You get the picture. And yet on a Saturday evening, at one of the busiest times of the year, Birmingham ground to a halt watching Alabama outlast Auburn in the most memorable Iron Bowl since the Kick Six. In case this still isn’t registering, we’ll repeat: 80% OF TVs IN A CITY OF OVER 200,000 WERE ALL TUNED TO THE SAME THING. You can’t get four fifths of this country to agree on who is legally president and the life-saving effects of modern medicine, but Tide vs. Tigers? No problemo.

For comparison’s sake, number-two Ohio State vs. number-five Michigan—a rivalry game so big it doesn’t even need a nickname—performed worse in Columbus Freakin’ Ohio:

So yeah, we’ll say it one more time for the folks in the back: It. Just. Means. More.