Phil Neel Saw This One Coming

The late and great Auburn illustrator Phil Neel created scores of memorable “Aubie” program covers in his time, but none of them proved quite as prescient as the magnificent one he created for the 1969 Alabama game. Bear Bryant’s team rolled into Birmingham’s Legion Field on a roll of five straight wins in the series, but by the end of the afternoon it was if the Tigers had followed the artist’s blueprint right down to the letter.

After a closely contested first half that saw Shug Jordan’s crew take a 14-10 lead into the locker room, in the second half the Tigers brought out the dynamite and blasted the hapless Tide right back to Tuscaloosa. Sophomore quarterback and future Heisman winner Pat Sullivan shredded the Alabama defense for 245 combined running and passing yards, the rest of the ground game added another 296, and “Aubie’s” defense forced four critical turnovers. At the end of the game, a gleeful coach Jordan tossed his fedora into the Auburn crowd, and the Tigers went on to the Bluebonnet Bowl with their most important win of the season under their belts.

Click here to buy a poster of this program cover.

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