A Season for the Ages
Photo by Julie Bennett/al.com
Has it really been a week? If the Kick Six was the pinnacle of Auburn fandom, then last Monday night in Pasadena was the bottom. Like many of you, I’m still learning to cope. I couldn’t bring myself to look on the internet or turn on ESPN until Thursday morning. It was a self imposed exile from what I love.
It hurt too much.
I may never be able to watch footage from that beautiful venue in Pasadena. But as the days slowly pass, I’m realizing how important this team has been to Auburn fans. They didn’t bring home a national title, but they did so much more.
Unlike the 2010 team, there will be no celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That’s unfortunate, because this team is every bit as deserving as that special group from 2010.
With apologies to the 1972 Amazins, these players are the most amazing. Hopefully we’ll experience more national titles, but it’s safe to assume that we’ll never see another season like this one.
I’ve never loved a team like the 2013 edition. The closest to them was the 1983 squad that brought Auburn its first SEC title in 26 years. They were expected to win. They had Bo Jackson. This team had each other and little more – at least initially.
Gus Malzahn’s first team not only entertained us, but taught us a lesson. We often tell our kids that if they work hard and believe in themselves, anything can happen. I wonder how many of us adults truly believe it?
A bunch of kids that everyone else had given up on made us all believe again in that life lesson.
I will never forget the heart of Tre Mason. A kid that most said didn’t have the size to be an every down back in the SEC, ran with his heart and let his legs follow. Outside of the 1985 Heisman winner, I’ve never seen a better one wear the Auburn uniform.
His performance in the Georgia Dome was the single best game I’ve ever seen a running back have at college football’s highest level.
I’ll always remember the Washington St. quarterback commenting that Auburn would be a top five team if it had a quarterback. I believe it’s safe to say Auburn has found one. You’ll never confuse Nick Marshall with Cam Newton, but he runs Gus Malzahn’s offense just as efficiently. And to think, we have another year with him.
Auburn may have had better offensive linemen on paper, but I’ve never seen a more dominant group than this one. Greg Robinson is the best I’ve ever seen at Auburn. There, I said it.
I’ll fondly remember Dee Ford dominating in College Station. Hearing play-by-play man Rod Bramblett describe Johnny Manziel as going down in a “heap” was music to my ears. For a defense that was roundly criticized almost weekly, I’ve never seen a more opportunistic group. If it could have only lasted a minute or so more.
Above all, we’ll always have Georgia and Alabama. Ripping the heart out of your two biggest rivals is as good as it gets for Auburn people. More than anything else, it signaled the return of Auburn football.
It can be argued that nowhere in history was the divide between Auburn and Alabama greater than following last season. What was expected to take years to overcome, happened in a span of one second.
Auburn is back. The foundation has been poured. We got much more than a national championship; we got our footing back and our future set. I don’t know about you, but I wish we were kicking off the new season today.
Auburn football is back in all its glory. And we owe the 2013 Auburn Tigers all the credit.
Well played men.