(photo:Vasha Hunt, al.com)
Auburn’s near miss in the National Championship Game has caused most Tiger fans to ruminate over the game and the 2013 season. I know it’s been a week and it’s time to move on but as I sit here at my desk tonight reflecting, I can’t help but think how grateful I am to be an Auburn Tiger.
That fact was driven home for me as I watched the Tigers return home in 20 degree weather to a hero’s welcome at the Montgomery Airport and later at the Auburn indoor practice facility.
Coach Malzahn told those gathered, that the Tigers success this year started with the 84,000 that gathered for A-Day. “I just want to tell you this: We’re all in this thing together. We’re truly the Auburn Family.”
I have friends who have told me they get a little tired of hearing that expression. But it is not only real, it is something very special. People who are not a part of it can not grasp the depth or the magnitude of what holds us together.
There is no Auburn Nation as with other schools, there is only the ‘Auburn Family’. I believe Auburn man J. Griffin Stewart may have said it best in his treatise a few years back when he wrote:
“Auburn is so much more than a city or a school or a team or a degree. It is something that, once you have experienced it, will live inside of you forever and become a part of what makes up who you are.”
Former quarterback Kodi Burns said as much when he returned as a Graduate Assistant last year,” I am Auburn,” Burns said. “It’s in me … once you leave Auburn, it never leaves you.”
That bond and that spirit are shared by Auburn people everywhere. It is a special quality that feeds the Auburn Family with courage, vitality, and an unflagging loyalty. Family gives Auburn people strength to face adversity in times of crisis and brings out a desire to celebrate together in times of triumph.
Auburn men and women have a deep and abiding love for Auburn University. It is a love that transcends both academics and sports. It is a love that is carried on not only in Auburn but by Auburn people miles away from the Loveliest Village on the Plains.
As an Auburn Man I was filled with pride and emotion as I watched the video of the team’s homecoming. I’m not ashamed to say that tears welled up in my eyes when I viewed over a thousand Auburn Family members, brave sub freezing temperatures to show support for their Tigers. I can admit that because, as Coach Malzahn said, “We’re truly the Auburn Family.”
Tags: AubTigerman, Auburn blogs, Auburn Family, Auburn Football, auburn Tigers, Gus Malzahn, Kodi Burns, sec blogs, Track 'em Tigers