No other sport has the passion, emotion, and excitement that goes along with College Football. And few places can match the level of passion that is felt inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on game days. The nation’s 10th-largest on-campus stadium is filled every Saturday with over 80,000 adoring fans. Or as we like to call ourselves – family members.
During last week’s pre-game press conference, new Head Coach Gus Malzahn said it would be great, “to be back among the fans in the stadium.” Only some one like Coach Malzahn, who has experienced the unique JHS atmosphere, can relate to the depth of feeling behind that statement. There’s just no place like it any where on earth.
With the sluggish economy and other things demanding my time, I have been tempted in recent years to drop my season tickets. Then something happens to me at the first game as I am awash in a wave of utter emotion and passion that is Auburn Football. The entire game day experience is intoxicating. The sights, sounds, and smells are something that cannot be denied and being in Jordan-Hare is the highlight of of it all.
It’s still great to be in Jordan-Hare even on a rain soaked night like the 2009 West Virginia game or on a hot and humid night like this year’s opener against Washington State. Saturday was the most oppressively humid game I can ever remember attending in 37 years of being a season ticket holder. Yet the Family showed up and was loud and passionate in support of their Tigers.
Despite the horrific humidity it was great to, finally after nine months, be back in Jordan-Hare. The atmosphere inside and outside was at it’s usual high level of anticipation and excitement. And being a night game just added to the mystique.
The Washington State folks were blown away by the atmosphere. WSU student Kevin Massimino told Phillip Marshall of AuburnTigers.com that it was an awesome and incredible experience that he will never forget. His testimony is typical of visitors attending their first game at Jordan-Hare.
After Auburn played Syracuse in 2002 their Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel, came away astonished. Crouthamel said, “You can’t be anything but envious when you have that kind of support. When you talk about the epitome of what the college football experience is all about … that’s it. Auburn is the epitome.”
Auburn game days have an almost spiritual, transcendental quality that extends beyond the limits of ordinary experience. If that statement seems over the top, consider the now famous quote about Jordan-Hare from Bud Poliquin, an objective sports journalist who covered the 2002 game for the Syracuse Post-Standard.
“Believe me on this. Please. I have descended into college football’s Grand Canyon. I have stood in its Alps. I have gazed at its ocean sunset. I have attended a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. And I’ve been changed forever.”
If you are an Auburn fan, and you never have been to the Tigers’ Football Cathedral, you owe it to yourself to experience it at least once. This past Saturday, my family and I were blessed to be there for Gus Malzahn’s Head Coaching debut. Seeing the coach get his first win was fun but I gotta tell you, even more than that it was …
Great to be back in Jordan-Hare!
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