A Day to Circle the Wagons
A few weeks ago in this spot I questioned the wisdom behind holding a final rolling celebration for the Toomer’s Oaks. Would fans be in the mood to celebrate and say good bye to something that’s meant so much? It turns out I got it wrong – big time wrong.
Saturday wasn’t so much a day to say good-bye as it was to proclaim to the world that Auburn is back. The picture above says it all. Nothing anyone says or does will keep Auburn people from loving this place.
After enduring nearly three years of negative, unsubstantiated attacks from the likes of Selena Roberts, Paul Finebaum, Danny Sheridan, HBO and ESPN, Auburn people sent a clear message to those who’ve worked so hard to cripple the program: You’ll never win; you’ll only make us stronger.
You can poison our trees, poison the air waves and with a poison pen.
Bring it on.
We’ll just punch back harder. We’ll call the cavalry home like we did Saturday. Auburn people came from far and near for a college reunion that’ll likely never be duplicated anywhere again.
Auburn has been hurting. Saturday was a time to circle the wagons.
It was a day to say we don’t care how many national championships you’ve won, you’ll never have this – ever. Try as you may, there’s no place like the loveliest village on the Plains.
Despite the worst football season in a generation and an athletic department in constant turmoil, Auburn has never stood stronger than it did Saturday evening. Close to a 100,000 people gathered to say, “Auburn, we’ve got your back.”
Saturday’s celebration won’t stop the critics. It won’t translate to nine wins this fall and it won’t make the issues in the athletic department go away. However, it was one hell of a show of strength that’s sure to piss off those on the other side of the state.
What makes Auburn so special is what erks so many others. Auburn is not just a football team. It’s not just a university. It’s a family. It’s walking down the street in Honolulu like I did this past week, and someone shouting War Eagle!
As hard as they try, they don’t have this in Tuscaloosa. They don’t have weekends like this past one. Try as they may to bring us down, we just keep coming back like a bad Rocky movie.
It’s enough to make some want to poison our trees.
And by the way, they’ll be back too….