SI Vault
Edited by Richard Demak
September 30, 1991
Peering Through the Rings
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September 30, 1991


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This is a college football story. Though it isn't about three yards and a cloud of dust, it is about two yards and dust to dust. While none of the characters in the story advocate sudden death, each is prepared for it. And although there will be no mention of coffin-corner kicks, we will refer to people who get their kicks from coffins and who know coroners.

Ken Abercrombie is the president of the Loretto Casket Company, located in Loretto, Tenn., deep in the heart of the football-crazy Southeastern Conference. "The football fans in this area are so adamant, it's almost like a religion," says Abercrombie. And what's more religious than a funeral?

So it was that at a funeral directors' convention in Tennessee in June, Abercrombie unveiled a line of caskets bearing the logos of some SEC schools. He says, "The Tennessee casket, for example, is simply an orange unit that we have added white trim to. The inside lining is white velvet, and there is an orange T on the head lid."

For now, Abercrombie offers caskets in the colors of Alabama, Auburn and Georgia, in addition to Tennessee. But he plans to distribute other college caskets "as demand dictates."

At the Rainsville Funeral Home in Rainsville, Ala., Loretto's crimson and white model with a capital A on its lid can be yours for eternity for $2,100. Says office manager Kim Horton, "I would think that this is something that the die-hard Alabama fan would want."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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