(photo: USA Today Sports)
As the fans stormed the field in Jordan-Hare Stadium, the unbridled joy of the moment came cascading down onto Pat Dye Field. The Auburn Tigers had just defeated their biggest rival to win the SEC Western Division Championship. All the emotions left over from the debacle of 2012 were released in those exhilarating moments after the game.
Words cannot describe what it was like to be a witness to No.4 Auburn’s 34-28 win over No.1 Alabama. In the days leading up to the big game, the 2013 Iron Bowl was projected by pundits as perhaps being the greatest Iron Bowl in history.
I’m a guy that scoffed at the notion of the media’s dub of the game as possibly the “Mother of All Iron Bowls.” Having attended the “First Ever at Jordan-Hare,” I just thought that there is no way there could ever be a day like Dec 2, 1989. And I still feel like that is true for Auburn fans who were present in ’89.
However, that day was really just big from an Auburn perspective. The 2013 game had something special for both sides. Never before has there been SEC and national championship implications riding on the game for both teams. While the ‘89 experience will forever be one of the top 5 most important events in my life, I have to agree that Saturday’s game was truly the “Mother of All Iron Bowls.”
The heroics of both teams were powerful and dramatic. From A.J. McCarron’s 99 yard touchdown pass out of his own end zone, to Carl Lawson stuffing T.J. Yeldon on 4th and one on the 13 yard line, to the now nationally famous 109 yard missed field goal return by Chris Davis to win the game with no time left on the clock.
Then the exuberance of the fans as they stormed the field, the band playing, the video on the jumbotron of great plays from this season, and thousands of Auburn fans singing a reverse “Rammer Jammer;” the words echoing around the stadium. It all made for a night to remember. Yes, it was a great night to be an Auburn Tiger. I just wished the entire family could have been there.
From the first row at field level to the top row of the upper deck, no one seemed to want to leave. It was the best celebration that I can remember since the ’89 Iron Bowl win over Alabama. In both instances the Auburn family had a lot of pent up emotions that made for a particularly loud and tough environment for their opponents.
It’s difficult to put into words the myriad of feelings we all felt at the end of that game. Being there in person or soaking it in from your living room, we all joined in the celebration.
Standing there in Jordan-Hare and immersed in the sights and sounds of the moment, it was hard to believe that we were just one year removed from one of the lowest points in the history of the program. Winless in SEC play in 2012; Auburn is now the No.3 ranked team in the country, SEC Champions of the toughest division in college football, and headed to the Georgia Dome to play in the SEC Championship Game.
Ain’t it Great to be an Auburn Tiger? War Eagle and …
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