In Alabama, Auburn Tigers Help Storm-Stricken Rivals With Toomer's For Tuscaloosa
They say the rivalry between Auburn University's Tigers and the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football teams is closer to war than healthy competition.
However, opposing sports fans have put aside their loyalties to help fellow Alabamians -- regardless of team allegiance -- after tornadoes ravaged the community they share.
A support group led by an Auburn Tigers fan has reached out to the decimated city of Tuscaloosa, home of the Crimson Tide, to help any in need, reports NBC Nightly News.
Warren Tidwell, a resident of Auburn and Tigers fan, set up a "Toomer's For Tuscaloosa" Facebook page, where Auburn community members can view Tuscaloosa's post-disaster needs and offer a helping hand. Currently, the page has almost 80,000 "likes."
His organization has delivered truckloads of supplies over the past weeks, and countless others have received individualized help -- from clothing to transportation needs -- through Facebook messages and posts.
Tidwell told the Montgomery Advisor that allegiance to a particular football team "goes out the window" when providing disaster relief.
"It basically comes down to the fact at the end of the day we are human beings and we need to help each other."
Bill Byrd, a volunteer working in local disaster relief, agreed with Tidwell. Speaking about the team colors, he told NBC Nightly News:
"Just because a guy bleeds red and white for Alabama, and the other guy bleeds orange and blue for Auburn, doesn't mean a thing with this."