If you mix an emotional rivalry game with alcohol and firearms there are eventually going to be some unpleasant outcomes. And it seems that Alabama fans end up killing someone after the Iron Bowl every 20 years.
The most recent incident happened after Auburn's wild 34-28 victory Saturday night. Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, of Birmingham was charged with murder Monday in connection in the shooting death of Michelle Shepherd, 36, shortly after 7 p.m. at an apartment complex in Hoover, AL. The two women were part of a group who were watching the game and they began fighting before it ended. This led to a confrontation in the parking lot where Shepherd was shot and died at the scene.
To be clear, while the group were reportedly Alabama fans and the dispute originated over the game, there are a couple of different stories from the folks involved about what happened. What it clearly wasn't was an execution-style murder for not respecting the Crimson Tide that a lot of the media are presenting it as. Still, it ain't a pretty look.
In 1994, No. 4 Alabama beat No. 6 Auburn 21-14 when the Crimson Tide was able stop a last-gasp scoring drive inches from a critical first down. A pair of neighbors in Greenville, AL began their own rivalry contest that ended with Richard Nicholas, an Auburn fan, being killed by a shotgun blast. Michael Smith, an Alabama fan, was arrested in connection with the incident.
According to police, Nicholas, had returned home after the game and found black shoe polish splattered on his car and toilet paper in his trees. There were also "an unfriendly message" on his answering machine concerning the game. Nicholas went to confront Smith (who also happened to be married to Nicholas' ex-wife) and was shot from inside the mobile home while standing in the doorway.
In 1974, Alabama beat Auburn 17-15 when the Crimson Tide was able to score on a pair of blocked kicks. During the second quarter of the game, Alabama kicker Bucky Berry scored a field goal which prompted a dispute between two men watching the game in Chattanooga, TN. According to police Blanche Sorrell then shot Paul Harris in the head two times with a pistol killing him. News reports did not provide the fan allegiance of the men.
Hat tip to The War Eagle Reader for info on the 1974 incident.