BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Almost an hour before the doors officially opened, a line of passionate college football fans dressed in their favorite gameday gear began forming outside the Alabama Theatre on Nov. 1.
They were there for the premiere of ESPN Films’ latest documentary Roll Tide/War Eagle, directed by ESPN’s own Martin Khodabakhshian and produced by Joe Tessitore and Bruce Feldman.
The film takes a look at the heated Alabama-Auburn rivalry, which has been dividing the state since as early as the late 1800s but has recently been catapulted to a new level over the last two years.
On the field, each program celebrated a national title, a Heisman Trophy winner and an Iron Bowl win. Off the field, the rivalry took a twisted turn, with a stunning tale of poisoned trees and a historic force of Mother Nature that brought both sides of this split state together.
More than 750 Auburn and Alabama fans piled into the Alabama Theatre and the crowd was treated to a traditional performance from the theatre’s organist, who played both fight songs.
Not long after the documentary started, it became obvious from the constant cheering and yelling of “Roll Tide!” and “War Eagle!” this was not your typical screening.
The fans cheered game footage alongside dramatic and funny interviews with their favorite figures including Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, and Nick Saban.
And when it was over, the loud applause was certainly confirmation that the film did the in-state rivalry justice.
Be sure to tune into Roll Tide/War Eagle on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.