(photo:Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Adv.)
Well, first and foremost, WAR EAGLE!
Wow, what a crazy ride these last 4 years have been for us as a family, Holland family and of course the AU family as well. I can’t imagine a more “high to low to high” period in Auburn football history to be a part of – not to mention all the last minute comebacks, miraculous plays, thrilling wins and championships won.
Auburn has been an elite program for a long, long time – much more-so than the pundits like to give us credit for – but these last 4 years…well, in my view, will have to go down at some of the worst and the best. But, it’s ending on a very positive note and we couldn’t have asked for any better.
The beauty is; I think it’s a safe bet that we won’t be seeing any “worsts” anytime soon. Coach Malzahn is here for awhile. This staff is AUsome. Our philosophy – offense/defense and team identity – is right for Auburn. That’s a great thing. This proud university, the football program itself, alumnus and fans deserve that.
How can one put into the proper context what we’ve witnessed this season. These kids – and I know most of them – what they’ve done…WOW. Remarkable. It’s hard to predict how history will reflect upon this team. I think it’s certain to say they won’t be considered Auburn’s best team by any stretch no matter how they finish. They won’t produce the “most” NFL players or garner the most post-season awards. I would have to contend, though, they will likely be favored as Auburn’s most resilient group of all-time.
Coming off of last season, these guys were hurting, deeply. They were looking for answers and moreover, hope. Coach Malzahn and this staff renewed that hope, that trust, by defining purpose and direction. The players provided the effort and courage AND they NEVER let go of the rope. Their will and determination has never wavered- not once – this entire season. We’ve seen no “deer in the headlights” moments. We’ve seen no turmoil. There’s been little to no off-the-field trouble. I haven’t seen any pointing of fingers, no sideline issues, no resistance to follow those in authority. That’s hard to conceive, honestly, literally right on the heels of such a monumental fall and influx of total despair. Credit belongs to those guys in the arena.
What we HAVE seen is commitment, unselfish behavior, poise, great effort, no fear and a total, without exception dedication to each other and the uniform they wear, the University they represent and the fans they play for. Congrats on a job well-done. All things considered, the best I’ve ever witnessed. We don’t have many seniors but my, my, my…what we may lack in number, they’ve sure made up for in quality. A HUGE thank you to those guys.
Yet, we still have unfinished business. The mission isn’t complete. There’s work to be done. If I’ve ever had total confidence in a staff and bunch of players to get it done, I’ve got it with these guys. Here’s to the conclusion of the ride…and my goodness, what a ride it’s been.