"We started having legendary one-on-one battles at practice. Our one-on-one practices became so intense ... we were going so hard that they took our helmets from us. They took my helmet and they took Deuce's helmet. Because if he won one, I would run right back up and I would call him back up. And then if I won, he'd call me back up. We probably would have gone about five or six times in a row before we had let anybody else go. Finally, coach Stallings was like 'take their helmets. Let somebody go, because these two here, they will go all day.' Even coach (Bill) Oliver, he came over one day and took my helmet and said 'this is not going to go on today. You two are going to hurt each other. We need y'all out there.'"
The population inside Birmingham's city limits has fallen over the past few decades, due in large part to " white flight " from the city to the surrounding suburbs and loss of jobs following industrial and railroad restructuring. The city's formerly most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white,  has declined from percent in 1970 to percent in 2010.  From 340,887 in 1960, the population had decreased to 242,820 in 2000, a loss of about 29 percent. By 2010, Birmingham's population had reached 212,237, its lowest since the mid-1920s, but the city has stopped losing residents.  That same period saw a corresponding rise in the populations of the suburban communities of Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Alabaster, and Gardendale, none of which was incorporated as a municipality until after 1950.