Shoppers spend Black Friday buying Iron Bowl gear

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-Sports Mania in Jones Valley swarmed with sports fans getting ready for the Iron Bowl.

“It’s huge,” said Auburn alum Rett Bladen. “It’s going to be hard to top what happened last year. I doubt that will ever happen again. Just looking forward to it.”

Bladen graduated from Auburn’s pharmacy program in 2009. Raised a Georgia fan, he says he converted to the War Eagle life once he attended Auburn.

“The season didn’t go as well as we’d liked, but still a good season. It’s pretty much my favorite time of the year, football season,” said Bladen.

The last minute Iron Bowl shopping even reaches those who are yet to even attend college.

“I’m still in high school. My whole family has been to the University of Alabama,” said Becca McCoy. “I’d like to go there myself. I grew up my whole life wearing crimson and white so — roll tide,” she said with a smile.

Both teams — and their fans — are seeking bragging rights for the next year. But Friday, Sports Mania managers say they have been busy all day, and have seen quite a few ‘houses divided.’

“My whole family is Alabama fans,” laughed Ashley Nielsen. So when she graduated high school and became an Auburn Tiger, her mother committed to a life of parting ways whenever they shop together.

“She goes to the Auburn side, I go to the Alabama side,” said mother Penny Nielsen. Her daughter is bracing herself to be the only Auburn fan at the family watch party.

“There’s always little snide comments back and forth. We have fun,” said Ashley.

“We’ll be on the couch, all rooting for Alabama, except for the one over there,” said Penny, looking over at her daughter with a laugh.

Either way, all fans are ready for the big game, and Sports Mania says they will have score shirts available for purchase when they open Sunday.

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