Nothing injects fuel into a sport like a heated rivalry. And Auburn University has two of the greatest rivalries in all of college football.
Those rivalries reach a crescendo every year when Auburn plays Alabama in the nation’s fiercest rivalry game, the Iron Bowl; and every November as the Tigers continue their nearly 120 year old border war with Georgia in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
Over the years there have been close games, heated games, and controversial games. Auburn and Alabama series may not even be taking place today had pressure not been applied by the state legislature for the two to renew the series back in 1948.
Auburn’s had many games with Bama and with Georgia that have decided or denied one team or the other a championship. That fact alone would be enough to make those two schools our biggest rivals.
The rest of the nation looks at our state and wonders how crazy we seem to be over our football teams and over our football rivalries. We plead guilty to that charge.
What they often don’t see though, is that when one of us hurts – the other side usually responds with acts of kindness and compassion.
Like this week when the innocence of the Loveliest Village on the Plains was rocked by the senseless shootings by a crazy man that injured three and snuffed out the lives of three others.
Condolences have poured forth from all over and quite possibly the most have come from Auburn’s two biggest rivals. We have had several to come onto Track ‘Em Tigers and offer their support and prayers to the stricken families in particular, and to the greater Auburn family in general.
As I read some of those who left condolences on our message boards, I was reminded of something that Dawg Sports Managing Editor T Kyle King told me last November when I thanked him for putting up a tribute article after the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Jordan; Coach Jordan’s wife and a grand lady to the Auburn family.
“There are some things that transcend sports rivalries. Respect for Southern ladies and support for your neighbor in time of grieving, even if it’s the neighbor with whom you have been and will continue to be feuding, are two of them.”
On Sunday King once again put up a post on Dawg Sports titled, “Keep the Auburn Family in Your Thoughts and Prayers”
And on Roll Bama Roll Sunday, Managing Editor Todd graciously ended his post about the Auburn tragedy this way:
“There is nothing we can say about something as senseless as this, other than to offer our prayers to all those involved. War Eagle.”
Yes its times like these that transcend sports rivalries and reminds us what is really important.
To T Kyle, to Todd, and to all those who have offered support and prayers during these trying days …
We thank you.