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Football Saturday in January: A Day to Remember

By on January 24th, 2011 in Football Comments Off

Chalk up another win for Auburn. Saturday’s National Championship celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium was near perfect. Kudos to Auburn officials for putting on a show that had just the right mix of Auburn’s past to go along with today’s champions.

Cam Newton showed why his future may include more than just football. Following a slew of speakers including a governor, mayor and numerous athletic department officials, Newton was far more poised and at ease in front of the near capacity crowd…

Chalk it up to a rookie mistake, but new governor Robert Bentley’s mention of Alabama’s national title in 2009 went over like a turd in a punch bowl. While ending his speech by saying he was All-In, the Auburn faithful seemed skeptical at best about the Alabama graduate.

While Bentley says he’s proud the state has produced the past two national champions, the 78,000 in attendance would be far more satisfied with only one title as long as it was orange and blue…

Athletic Director Jay Jacobs’ inclusion of former Auburn coach Pat Dye and former athletic director David Housel was a class move. One of Jacobs’s biggest accomplishments has been to reunite the Auburn family. He’s got a unifier in Gene Chizik.

Seeing all the former players come back this season to be around the program has been reassuring for all Auburn people. Suddenly 2008 seems so distant…

While a number of former players took part yesterday, one glaring omission was former Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan. While it was understandable that Bo Jackson didn’t make the trip from Chicago, Sullivan’s absence left a small void.

You have to assume Auburn made an effort to include him. Hopefully, it was nothing more than a scheduling conflict…

Speaking of scheduling, it was a shame place kicker Wes Byrum couldn’t be in attendance. He was playing in the East-West Shrine Game. Byrum has his sights set on the NFL, so you can’t blame him for missing the event…

If I could pick two people to be at the celebration that weren’t it would be Jim Fyffe and Dean Foy. I can only imagine how much they would have enjoyed the day…

While I don’t make a habit of giving compliments to Alabama, the young man from Tuscaloosa who presented the ODK Trophy and sang the Auburn fight song at Saturday’s basketball game was a class act. He was gracious to the team and Chizik. I hope Auburn students will take note should the shoe ever be on the other foot…

Looking at all the hardware Auburn picked up Saturday afternoon, you have to wonder if school officials regret building the Hall of Honor inside the Auburn arena. While the layout is beautiful, it hardly makes a museum.

A few years back, I had an opportunity to see the storeroom where all the memorabilia that’s not on display is kept. The artifacts were amazing. Because of size restrictions, they simply can’t display it all.

I hope school officials will consider building a full-fledged museum at some point. What’s on display represents less than 10 percent of all the memorabilia in the school’s possession…

A thought crossed my mind sitting in my seat Saturday. The current scoreboard display shows pictures of the 1957 national championship team, Shug Jordan, Pat Dye, Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan, Terry Beasley and Outland Trophy winners Zeke Smith and Tracy Rocker along with Thorpe Award winner Carlos Rogers. Where are they now going to fit the 2010 team plus Cam Newton and Nick Fairley?

I know one thing; those are great problems to have if you are Jay Jacobs.

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