To See Where You Are Going You Have To Know Where You Have Been

By Posted on: June 4th, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 10 Comments »

                                                                       The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are also known as the Wrambling Wreck From Georgia Tech and they have a gold and black tin lizzy to ride around the field in to prove it. Auburn and Tech played every season from 1906 to 1987,  only missing the 1943 World War II year. Because of conference game differences the game has been played very few times since 1987, with 2005 being one of the exceptions. Auburn-Tech was the season opener for AU that year and the students rekindled the tradition of the “Wreck Tech” Pajama Parade marching from campus to downtown. Actually, with the number of people I see in stores in their pajamas these days, wearing them to a pep rally is not really unusual. How did the tradition get started, read on.

In 1896, Georgia Tech was to play in Auburn on November 7th. The Tech football team, reportedly sans a coach was to ride the train from Atlanta to Auburn. A group of students decided it was time for some shenanigans. It was rumored that John Heisman put them up to it but I can’t confirm that. If he did, it was the ultimate act of gamesmanship for a coach. My gut feeling is that just like today, some adult beverages led to the idea.

The students, still dressed in their pajamas greased the train tracks with lard and when the train carrying the Tech players tried to brake it slid halfway to Loachapoka. The players had to hike back to Auburn carrying all their gear. It obviously was a tiring hike and they had very little energy left to play a football game and were pounded by Auburn 45-0. Google maps shows that from Auburn to Loachapoka is 6.8 miles. If I had to walk 3 ½ miles carrying my football equipment I would be too pooped to play football even in my younger days.

The game was played on a hard clay field behind Samford Hall before just a few thousand fans. Early in the game L.E. Byrum blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and the rout was on. AU led 22-0 at halftime and never looked back. Some people say that AU should have won the game by a large margin anyway but the long hike had to have an effect.

Tech officials were pretty steamed about the incident and only agreed to come to Auburn again when AU officials warned students that they would be expelled for any further midnight activities. but the Pajama Parade became a permanent tradition every time Tech came to town. Since the new conference schedules make it hard to fit ACC teams into the schedule I doubt we will get many, if any chances to continue the tradition. In my opinion, that is a shame…the rivalry was a great one for a lot of years.

Stop me if you have heard this one

What’s three things you will never hear a Bammer say? 1) Nascar is boring 2)I don’t think duck tape will fix that 3) I’ll take Shakespeare for 1000 Alex.

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  1. DBAU81 says:

    The Tech series was a great one. For a very long time, it was played in Atlanta every year. That era overlapped with the time that the Auburn-Alabama series was suspended, and for many AU fans of that generation Tech was a bigger rival than Alabama even after the Iron Bowl resumed. I wish there was some way we could resume the series. I’m sure the fans of both schools would much prefer to watch them play each other instead of some of the patsies now on the schedule.

    • mikeautiger says:

      Amen! Where’s the beef in our schedule instead of less filling. Dump the patsies lets strap it on!

  2. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    Lots of great stories from those games. There were several years Auburn was the State Champion in two states. Which might lead to the confusion with some outsiders not knowing where Auburn is truly located.

    KEEP THIS SERIES GOING MYAUBURN, I LOVE IT!

    WAR EAGLE!

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      Thanks KB. It is tough to come up with stuff that is this old. I have plenty of books so I kind of have my own research library. Everyone I have written has had a “research paper” feel to the work. It is fun though.

  3. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    GaTech is one of my favorite games!! Could be because I had been accepted to Tech to study architecture and came to AU for the annual football game and guess what?! I fell in love with Auburn!! No surprise there! And never looked back. I came from a big GA family and so I was outcast either way! Well, still am today. ;)

    That would be a great game to keep around and will help fill in some of the cupcakes. With all the alumni in Atlanta~ there is still a great rivalry there.

    War Eagle Always!

  4. AETiger AETiger says:

    As a student, I loved the Wreck Tech week. It was one of those traditions that made AU unique. It is a shame that the games between GT, UT & UF have gone by the wayside and in return we get the pleasure of playing Ole Miss, Ark and A&M yearly. No tradition in those games. Since I have lived in ATL since graduating, I would love to see the series resume. Heck GT is so much closer to AU than any other SEC school, besides Bummer. Yes, I was at the ’87 game when Aundray Bruce took over the game & Fyffe yelling “Tillman, Tillman, Tillman”. I was also in Grant Field in ’85 when Bo took over the game; that was the “Bye, Bye Bo” game. Conversely, I was also in the newly expanded Grant Field in 2003 when we were humiliated 3-17 by an inferior squad & in JH when GT put it on us again (Mega-tron game) in ’05. So yeah, I would love to see the Jackets back on the schedule. As a matter of fact, JJ do something right; more Jackets, Seminoles; less LaTechs, Utah States, WaStates, La-Monroes and while you are at it use some of our political clout & get us in the SEC East. Since we have to deal with this bloated conference, at least get us back to our traditional rivals. UA, I could care less at this point if we ever play them again.

  5. AubieCE AubieCE says:

    My dad was graduated from AU in 1951 and Tech was the AU rival in his day…
    He hated Tech like most hate Bama…
    Not that he had any love for Bama, but Tech was the enemy….

  6. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Dude, Wreck Tech week was LEGENDARY to this young and impressionable Tiger. And yes it’s sad that we don’t get to play those games anymore. At the same time, students can embrace the present and start new traditions, in the spirit of the old.

    The obvious pep rally tradition aside, I have never understood wearing your pj’s outside of the house, in public, to stores. It’s like, what you couldn’t find 2 minutes to throw on some sweat pants or jeans and a t-shirt??

    In the joke, #2 is the correct answer, right? ;)

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      I could have put several more things on the joke ie., “wrestling is fake” or “where is the closest Wal Mart” but I chose to be brief.

  7. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Before the series ended, the Auburn – Tech rivalry was the second oldest rivalry (behind AU – UGa.) in the deep south … Man I miss that game. Good stuff MyAuburn.