Birmingham is bringing the Iron to football crazy Alabama for another attempt at a professional football franchise. From 1983-1985 the Birmingham Stallions were one of the most successful USFL teams. Even though Birmingham was a smaller market (99th largest city in the U.S.) they were in the top five in attendance every year.
But when you are only an hour from Tuscaloosa and two hours from the University of Auburn, expect a solid, dedicated fan base. The big question is, will the Auburn and Alabama fans sit on the same side? Right now Alabama leads in roster spots six to three over Auburn.
Leading the Iron in the inaugural season at Legion Field in Birmingham is Tim Lewis, a former Packer defensive back whose career was cut short by an injury in 1986. He has been coaching at some level since that neck injury and is eager to get a shot as a head coach.
Some of the players to watch are Chris Davis from Auburn fame. https://bigrodandbearshow.com/2018/10/11/aaf-player-profile-chris-davis-birmingham-iron-db/
Also Blake Sims, former QB for the Crimson Tide. in 14 starts in 2014 he passed for 3,487 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the Tide, setting school records. That year they lost to Ohio State in the semi-final game. He played for two Canadian teams and even tried football in Australia until he was signed with the Falcons briefly, but as a running back.In 2017.
The man I want to watch is Ike Spearman, LB from Eastern Michigan. He led the Eagles in tackles his sophomore year before suffering injuries the next two season. Granted a medical redshirt, he came back and helped lead EMU to the first Bowl Game since 1987. He had several NFL camp invites, including the Vikings and Lions.
My small town, small college guy I am pulling for. Lonnie Outlaw from Rochelle, GA, population 1,112. He went to Miles College, a historic black college six miles from Birmingham. Lonnie is a 6’ 7” WR. Since college he has bounced around the Arena Football League where he has 25 career receptions.
The Iron will be playing in the geographic middle of the talent rich SEC. Alabama is always one of the most talented NCAA teams year in and year out and Auburn always wants to beat Alabama. But, when the Iron take the field, the Tide faithful and the Auburn fans will have, at least for three hours, a common cause to cheer for.