Iron Bowl Fans Streak – They’ve made every Iron Bowl since its renewal in 1948. But as the streak continues, extending to a remarkable 64 consecutive games this Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, their numbers continue to diminish. Now, just two fans are remaining from the group local attorney Oakley Melton put together in the 1960s.
“When we started it, it was about 50-50 between Auburn and Alabama fans,” Melton said. “I did a lot of research with the alumni association and the A Club. When I first started it, we honored the players who had played in the first game in 1948. We had a good turnout of players.
“We had a lot of fun together before the game. We always got together because after the game the loser was always ready to get the heck out of there.”
Over the years, their numbers diminished and Melton would get the group together on an irregular basis before the game in Auburn or in Tuscaloosa.
“The last five we’ve had the last couple of years were all Alabama supporters,” he said. “It just happened to work out that way.”
Of course, it’s not easy getting up and down the stands for fans in their mid-80s. Last year, the group’s last woman, Gloria Azar of Montgomery, stopped going to games. This year, it is Melton who will not make the trek.
“I’ve got to,” he said. “I’ve got a bad back with three herniated discs. I can barely walk. I don’t think I can enjoy it. It’s just not worth trying. And the doctor concurs. I’ve got such a good record. I don’t want to mess it up. But it’s been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed them all.”
If the game was in Tuscaloosa, the 84-year-old Melton might give it a shot. But exiting Jordan-Hare Stadium at the same time as 85,000 fans and trying to get back to a distant parking lot was too much to ask.
“He’s had a bad back for a few years now,” said his nephew Jim, whose own personal streak of Iron Bowls extends back to 1967. “It’s just breaking my heart. His streak is going to end at 63.”
That leaves Al Jones of Decatur and Dick Coffee of Birmingham. Coffee has kept alive his streak by going to the last Iron Bowl in Auburn in 2009 in a wheelchair. He currently has the longest active streak by a college football fan, attending 765 consecutive Alabama games dating back to 1946.