Legends of the Fall

By Posted on: December 3rd, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 20 Comments »
iron bowl

Photo by Vasha Hunt, AL.com

It’s hard to put into words what the last two games have meant to fans of the Auburn Tigers. It’s hard to recall a team of ours this over-achieving with this big a can’t-say-die attitude.  From last year’s depths to this year’s soaring heights. Football magic occurred this weekend. To beat your most bitter rival in a way like that transcends the normal bounds of college football glory and fandom itself. With one win, and with one play, Auburn has jumped from the mere pages of sports headlines and the football media. She has entered the realm of pop culture and soared to nationwide–maybe even worldwide–stardom. Relish in that for a second.

The spotlight is bright but the glory is fleeting. We have another game in five days–even bigger than the last. Fame is fickle. The country reached their arms out to us to deliver them from the Alabama machine that had enveloped and consumed the sport. We delivered–in the most spectacular way of ways–and plays. Had we merely delivered the victory in an academic manner it would still be cause for great fanfare and celebration. But they got a game that is the stuff of legend. It’s okay if we accept their gratitude. As a matter of fact, I would have liked to see a little more of it in the BCS formula last night with us grabbing #2 in the computer rankings or either poll. I guess they’re going to wait one more week though. Hello? Is this mic on?

I’ve taken the time the last two days to soak up all the press we’ve gotten–from the big play, to the tiniest of minutia. I just can’t get enough. This is the reason why I am a college football fan. It’s why I take every loss with a dagger in my heart–so I can bask in the glory that is knocking off the #1 ranked, two-time defending national champions in the Iron Bowl.

Even with that joy, I’m tempered by the fact that I know plenty of good Alabama fans, and I can’t help but feel for their loss. We Auburn fans know what it’s like to lose this game–even get clubbed– but I’m not sure we know what it’s like to be knocked out of our third national championship by our biggest rivals. In my 29 seasons as an Auburn fan, it’s always been us knocking them from glory. And perhaps it’s getting to them. From the online meltdowns I’ve seen, I’m surprised that fan base hasn’t yet consumed itself in a bright crimson fireball.

Even Nick Saban, who has total control at the Capstone, can’t stand this element in the state and feels their burning enmity towards everything non-Alabama. Those bitter fans are the reason he’ll one day leave sooner rather than later. When he grants his wife permission to do interviews by proxy, you know the writing is on the wall. And now that those ingrates are questioning his coaching? Wait a second, Nick. To be fair, I think everyone is right now. Scoff at the luck thing all you will. There were cracks in your game plan Saturday that go to the core.

While I have a problem with a large portion of their fans, I still have respect for Alabama the program. We’re located across a two-horse state from the greatest college football program of all time. Many rivals in this situation just wither. If you ask a Georgia fan who their biggest rival is, you’re likely to be presented three distinctive, convincing cases for Florida, Georgia Tech, and Auburn. Alabama itself is the biggest rival for three schools: Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU. Alabama, however, will only tell you one team is their most intense rival: Auburn. And while the Tide enjoy an all-time winning record against every team in the SEC, no one plays them closer than we do. Face it. Without Alabama, the Auburn world doesn’t have as much joy. Especially on weekends like this last one.

In the SEC, one can’t rest on their laurels for long. We now have the SEC championship for which to contend. Our work is not done. Without that crown, we just beat our rivals in a slightly extended regular season. The conference crown is the number one goal each season and we must take it. We’ll take care of business this weekend and just leave our fate to a few other teams, voters, and computers. One reader lamented that it’s looking like 2004 all over again. I always said that it was that season where Auburn took one for the conference that continued to pay huge dividends during the SEC’s mighty 7-title streak. We got shafted once. Please don’t do it to us again in this, the last year of the BCS.  I expect to see Mike Slive lobbying starting Saturday evening for starters. We saved college football from the clutches of the Alabama juggernaut. Now it’s time to settle the bill, national media.

War Eagle!

What should be the nickname for the 2013 Iron Bowl?

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  1. friedca says:

    I hope it doesn’t become Kick, Bama, Kick just cause of obviously similiar it is to Punt, Bama, Punt. I would love for it to be just the “One Second Game.” Simple and to the point.

  2. mvhcpa says:

    Beautiful article, W.E.ATL.–you captured three or four different things that I was thinking here, in beautiful language.

    Michael Val
    (for whom “Kick, Bama, Kick” works precisely because it is similar to Punt, Bama, Punt; the parallels between this and 1972 are “amazin” to me!)

  3. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Great article, WEA. AR, I agree that the name should be “Kick, Bama, Kick” for the similarities to 1972. There is one big difference though. This team was fighting toe-to-toe with the other Tigers at the end, they just ran out of time. This team doesn’t have the word “surrender ” in their vocabulary. I think we will see that in the SEC Championship Game. And, NEVER FORGET, WIN OR LOSE,

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT MIZZOU !!!

  4. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Beautiful….just beautiful. I voted for ‘Kick Six’…just to be different as I’m wont to do…..

  5. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Great article as expected. I’d never heard ‘kick six’; I really like that one.

    I’d like to go on record at this time to say that no matter what happens Saturday, no matter where we end up in the BCS picture, no matter what happens in our bowl game…we beat the house and we are playing with their money and I love it. I will support our coaches and these players who deserve all the credit. I’m just a fan, not even an alumni. I didn’t make it to any of the spring workouts, my eligibility has been used up and I don’t do wind sprints anymore, therefore I will just respectfully sit back in amazement and admire what has been accomplished. Never a death threat, not even any hatred for our players and especially the not ones wearing the other uniform because they weren’t good enough to get a letter from Auburn. It’s not AJ’s fault he had no other choice than that ugly crimson color.

    I believe voters are weary of the SEC even though they know the SEC CC is the only team that could play with FSU and Fisher this year. I expect either Mizzou/Auburn to get hosed unless Sparty can pull an upset. It’s surreal that we are even having this discussion at this point. Either way our boys are winners in my book no matter what happens.

  6. AUAlum69 says:

    Good read WEA.
    Tigerstripe, I agree with everything you’ve said. I never thought that I would be thinking SECCG this year, much less NCG. I knew the future was bright, just didn’t realize that it would be so soon. Totally proud of the team and coaches regardless of what happens Saturday.
    Win. Tigers! Just don’t want Bama to backdoor into the NCG again.

  7. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    I voted for Kick, Bama, Kick, because that’s exactly what I was thinking when they lined up for kicks all night. Though I think “Deliver us Davis”, or “Nick’s Kick” would work too.

  8. wpleagle says:

    Wonder if anyone else has seen the petition being circulated by a Bama fan to force the NCAA to resume the game in overtime because Chris Davis allegedly stepped out of bounds!!!! How asinine can you get?????????

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..You know, Verne and Gary did replay the return Saturday, and Davis did not step out. There was at least a half inch to an inch of green between his shoe and the sideline. Some folks are just delusional, and can’t accept that they lost.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        ESPN also blew it up…it was crystal clear, there was no stepping out of bounds. Those Bama fans are ‘special’.

  9. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Good read WEA. Kick Bama Kick simply because it reminds them there are two. Although we could simply say it was the “never say never again” game.

  10. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    I voted for Hey Nick, Got a Second. Anything to get under the skin of a Bammer, although all of them do that. The petition is laughable. One of my AU buddies is ready to bet me any amount of money that UATs bowl game will be the last game Saban coaches in Alabama. His feeling is that Saban and Terry have had all the crap they can stand from the Bammer faithful. I wanted to take the bet but betting with friends is the best way to lose one.

  11. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I voted for “Kick Returned Around the World”. I would prefer not to have Bama’s name included. They already think our every waking moments are consumed by all things Bama. We just blew past Bama, in many more ways than one. Do not include them in any way shape or form. Even if it does rub it it in.

  12. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    We Comin’

    • WarEagleAtlanta WarEagleAtlanta says:

      During World War II, once the American air units were in place in Great Britain, they were to team up with the Brits flying daylight bombing missions along with the night missions. Before that happened, they dropped propaganda leaflets warning the Germans what was to come. At the bottom, the last line was, “We are coming”.

      That’s some cold-blooded stuff right there. And the probable original source of our phrase.

  13. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Just heard my favorite T shirt slogan yet of all the ones that have already been out there.

    Hey Nick
    Got a Second
    I want to run something by you

  14. AUJTJarhead AUJTJarhead says:

    Remember, Bama has never been beaten. Something has happened that stole away victory. Delusional does not begin to describe some of em’.