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Time to Give Thanks

By on November 22nd, 2017 in Football 27 Comments »

I remember years ago my grandfather telling me that life speeds up as you get older. I didn’t understand it then, but man, I do now. These Thanksgivings seem to roll around faster and faster. I swear it seems like football season started just a few weeks ago. We anticipate it all year, and it’s gone in a flash.

This year all Auburn people have much to be thankful for between the hash marks. I hope you’ll indulge me while I take a minute to give thanks for another year…

I’m thankful for Paul Elder (AubTigerman). As you know, I stepped aside at the beginning of this year. There have been a lot of changes in my life, and unfortunately Track’Em Tigers was something I needed to step away from for a while.

I’m not good with goodbyes. I planned to just walk away and be done. Paul has not and will not let me. He’s as fine a man as you’ll ever meet. He cares deeply about this site, and he’s made it his own—and by the way, it’s much better than I ever did. He’s pushed me this week to return and this column. I’m so glad he did. It feels good to be back behind the keyboard…

I’m thankful to have the most beautiful wife in the world. The best part about her is that the beauty on the outside hardly matches what’s in her heart. Next year we celebrate 25 years of marriage. It’s been far better than any lottery I could ever win…

I’m blessed to have a few more months at home with my daughter. A recent Auburn grad, she’s living at home until next summer when she marries her long-time boyfriend. Having the family under one roof for a while longer has been a gift from God…

I’m thankful for the little red-headed boy who’s not so little anymore. He still wakes up on fall Saturdays and makes the trip to campus with me. He slips off more to be with his friends but his making the effort to be with Dad means everything…

I’m thankful for another special Auburn football season. These are weird times. Either our Tigers are very average or among the best in the country. There is no middle ground…

I’m thankful for another Iron Bowl. What would our lives be like without it? Since Paul Finebaum left town, the rivalry has gotten better. While far from civil, at least now, normal fans on both sides can have intelligent conversations. Having that guy on the airwaves across Alabama was toxic. I still can’t believe such a bad person has made it so far…

I’m thankful Jay Jacobs is history. Has there ever been a more divisive person in the history of Auburn Athletics? His actions never matched his words. Maybe, just maybe, we are on the verge of having an inclusive athletic department. Here’s to hoping more house cleaning is ahead for that building on Donahue Drive…

I’m thankful to have a job where I travel across Alabama regularly. We really do have a beautiful state from top to bottom…

I’m thankful when I go a day without watching or reading the headlines. Try to stay away from the noise for a few days. It’s amazing what it’ll do to your outlook…

I’m thankful for this old white dog by my side—one that’s been with me through thick and thin. Like me, he’s getting older by the day but still doesn’t accept it…

I’m thankful I have plenty to do on NFL Sundays. I’m all for the right to protest and take a stand. When you do it at the expense of our flag and those who fought to protect it, I can’t be associated with you…

Finally, I’m thankful for that strawberry pretzel salad coming my way tomorrow. Last year, my wife was irked when I made reference to it in this piece. She said surely I had something better to say about her than her cooking. I hope I’ve made up for it this year.

Here’s to all of you having a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let the shopping be for a while. Take time to relax and be with family and friends. It’s what makes this week the most special of the year!


  1. Tigerpharm says:

    Another good one Jay. I know what you mean about changes and how they can be stressful but I’m glad to see you back on the board. I’ve missed your Monday column. Hope you and the TET staff have a good Thanksgiving!

  2. ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

    Very well stated as always, Jay! I am glad that ATM pushed you to this! And, yes, Paul is a prince of a guy!
    I was living and working in Georgia when Furman Bisher wrote his annual column and, selfishly, hope you will continue to acquiesce to our requests and this for many years to come.
    I’m thankful for many of the same things you state, Jay – and agree with you.
    I will go out later tonight and put a 20-lb fresh ham on the smoker (will have plenty at our tailgate on Saturday so, any and all, please stop by and partake) and I will make my creamed corn with jalapeños as one side – My beautiful, and obviously understanding, wife will handle the remainder. There may be some cheesecake left for tailgating but wouldn’t place a huge bet on that.
    One thing you can bet on is that I will be standing for our National Anthem as I continue to give thanks to those whose service continues to allow us to enjoy our lives.
    A great job, great kids, great wife, great TET family – you name it – I am thankful for the life I lead and the family and friends that enrich my life.
    Although, a big ole “W” come Saturday certainly won’t hurt anything! And the Saturday after that and, well, you get the point.

    And, as always –


  3. HillTopPlainsman says:

    Thanks Jay for another great article!
    TET is my favorite Auburn site, check it everyday. And your one of my favorite writers. hope to see more of you on here. Best wishes to you and the staff.

  4. uglyjoe says:

    Most relevant, I’m thankful for TET, Paul, the rest of the guys, and especially you Jay for the leadership to build something that positive affects a bunch of folks. Most importantly, I’m thankful for and to God, for my family and friends, and another year on the planet.

    Glad to read from you again!

  5. audude audude says:

    Well, for and old friend ( am eternally thankful I found you how long ago on Yahoo? at Football Saturdays in the South) whom I have never actually met, I feel rather a kinship to you Jay.

    I am thankful for a mother who had me watch the Punt Bama Punt game on TV here in Ohio and a father who although he was a UD grad and Basketball manager loverd Auburn as much as my mother. I am thankful we had that little floppy plastic record of that game so I could hear it over and over.

    I have been blessed by a wonderful wife who indulges, cajoles and pushes me to be better than I thought. I am thankful for 3 wonderful children, 1 at U S. Carolina, 1 getting ready for college and a sophomore. I am truly blessed and thankful to have my mother, a 1945 Auburn graduate, still with us.

    If it were not for Jay, ATM, Acid and the whole gang her at TET I would just be a bitter old lonely Auburn fan in Buckeye country. This has always been a great place to ready the good, the bad, and the ugly. But as it has been said “The truth will set you free”. The truth is what we all bring to the table here at TET.

    God Bless,
    War Eagle!

    • Tiger4Life says:

      I had that same floppy plastic record!
      Gardner Jett lining up for a 42 yard field goal…42 yard field goal…the kick is Good! with timeout on the field the score is Alabama 16- Auburn 3…
      Punt Bama Punt!
      War Eagle! 17-16!

  6. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    Like ATL_AU_FAN, I grew up reading Furman Bisher – and enjoyed him and his articles for more than 50 years – so having your Thanksgiving column to enjoy is a real treat.
    As a TET staffer, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the best Auburn blog anywhere. It’s a real treat to participate, and I thank you and AubTigerMan for the opportunity.
    Hope everyone out there has a great Thanksgiving. Win, lose or draw (for us ole farts who miss the honorable ties that sometimes were almost like victories), IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER!

  7. GreenvilleAUfan GreenvilleAUfan says:

    Always enjoy this post Jay.
    I’m thankful for:
    – My Faith
    – My Family
    – That there is no Auburn nation, only the Auburn Family
    – My father who I lost 2 yrs ago, he was a great dad and role model
    – That we still have my mother with us.
    – That I have this awesome site to come to daily to read about my Tigers.
    Keep up the good work guys, your much appreciated!

  8. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    Thanks for this post Jay. Really enjoyed it and really miss reading your stuff. I’m grateful for so much: faith, family, country, and for being an Auburn Tiger. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.
    War Eagle and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here at TET!

  9. wareagle3020 wareagle3020 says:

    Great to open up the site and see your annual Thanksgiving thoughts! Missed reading your Monday articles too, hope to see them back as well!

    Thankful for my God, my family, my second family with Aubtigerman and his wife and sons and their families, my TET friends, my church, and, my goodness, the list goes on and on.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone and WAR EAGLE!

  10. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Nice to have you at the keyboard again, your Monday posts were hard hitting, to the point, and always hit the nail on the head.

    I know I have not been around much but I have been reading and lurking. It has been one year since my Mom died and 3 since my wife lost her parents so both of us are finally back to normal, (well if you call us normal)
    I am thankful for Winnie, she is my best friend as well as my love. Thanksgiving is a very small affair in my house now, just me and Winnie. Son and daughter in law are in SC prepping for the arrival of our first grandchild, a little girl named Dema, (old family name). Daughter in law is have a difficult pregnancy so travel till after baby is a no no.
    Staying in our log cabin in the N. GA mtns for 4 days so it is just the 2 of us. Hi def satellite is working and the wifi will keep me on the Acid play by play.
    As I always say, my two favorite teams are Auburn and whoever is playing Alabama.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all the TET folks and WAR EAGLE.

  11. Tigers5711 says:

    I’m thankful for many things that:
    God is our provider and protecter
    That Auburn has always had gentlemen as head football coaches as some other teams haven’t had. I still remember Saban yelling “Keep going I hate those SOBS” ( and he didn’t use initials). This was in the 2008 Iron Bowl as he was shouting to his team to run up the score on Auburn on national TV.
    That nearly all visiting fans attending our games in Jordan Hare say great things about our fans
    That Auburn is known as the most Christianized non religious college in America.
    That Auburn is a friendly polite campus. I saw a GA student curse a ticket seller in Athens for no reason and a GA fan scream obscenities after every play at the Auburn game in Athens.
    A nation that will not tolerate dishonest and unlawful people in office forever.
    We live in a land that is relatively peaceful as the world is falling apart.
    A system of government that allows us to correct wrongs at the ballot box.
    This blog site that allows us to vent our love and comments about Auburn football.

  12. Im4Auburn says:

    I too look forward to this column every year. Just want to say I’m thankful for my family, and for Track ‘Em Tigers. Read it every day.Thanks Jay to you and all the staff for what you do for us, it means alot. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of TET!

  13. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I am thankful for Jay for giving me an opportunity to spew my wordy stuff on this website. Man, I can’t believe my tenth regular season of doing this gig is nearly over. Time sure flies! Thanks to Aubtigerman for holding this group together. We could have packed it in, after getting dumped by SB nation back 5 years ago.

    …..On a more personal level, I am so thankful for my immediate family. I tend to take them for granted, but my wife and both kids are really special. I’ll tell a little story, from this year. Last spring, I noticed a couple of stray cats hanging around the parking lot where I work. No one could get anywhere near them without them running and hiding under the forest of parked cars.

    ……One night, I noticed that they were hanging out under a big light, and waiting. In the summer, there is always a cloud of flying bugs under those lights. Well, the cats (very skinny) would wait for a bug to get zapped by the light, fall, and the cats would pounce on it and eat it. This was how they were surviving! From eating bugs, and fast food scraps careless people would drop in the parking lot.

    ……I couldn’t stand it, but I knew if I took them to a shelter, their chances of being euthanized were probably pretty high. So, I started bring cans of cat food to work. I would set food out, and once I got away from them, they’d come eat it. Boy, would they eat it!

    …..By August, I had one of them trusting me enough to come up and get petted, while I was putting the food out. The second, more nervous one did the same, in September. At home, we already had 3 cats in the house. Still, my wonderful wife encouraged me to bring them in! You never know about a wild animal, if it will be able to adapt.

    …..It wasn’t easy, but I was able to trap both, and my wife and kids were both awesome with their help, and acceptance of the two animals! As it has turned out, both animals are working out well. They use the cat box, and get along really well with our youngest kitty. Over the past few weeks, I think they have really grown accustomed to having food all of the time, comfortable furniture and such to sleep in, and people in the house who love them!

  14. Tiger4Life says:

    Great Thanksgiving article, and congratulations on your upcoming Silver Anniversary.
    Beat Bama!

  15. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    I'm thankful I can read your column once again Jay, you've been missed around here. TET's the best damn Auburn blog on the net. Many a morning I start my day out reading the latest post. I appreciate you, Acid and all the guys who write here.
    I’m also thankful for health, family, and friends. But most of all I’m thankful I was born an American and raised Auburn. Hope all you guys have a great Thanksgiving!

  16. BirminghamEagle says:

    Glad “It feels good to be back behind the keyboard” Jay because it also feels good to us to have you back where you belong. As MyAuburn said above, you have a way to say the things that need to be said, always reasoned and to the point. I’ve missed that. Hope we can be reading some of those editorials again. Here’s to you and your family having a happy Thanksgiving. War Eagle and beat bama!

  17. mvhcpa says:

    I am thankful for all of these great articles from this great blog-site, and the chance to share my own thoughts here—Jay, you created a wonderful thing here, imbued with the spirit that IS Auburn.

  18. Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

    Wow. Thanks for all the kind words. A lot of emotions flowing through me right now. You all have made my day. I’ve missed TET more than I realized. This site truly is a family. I hope all of you have an awesome Thanksgiving and an even better Saturday. War Eagle!

  19. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:


    So sorry to be late!! Nothing like a stomach bug hitting right the Eve of Thanksgiving, and having to rally to get a bounty ready for a house-full…but even for that, I am SO THANKFUL!! Life is good and life is full.

    Your Thanksgiving posts have always been my favorites. Since I first starting posting, gosh how long ago?, my life has seen significant change(s)–and y’all have been there with me. Heck, TET has seen many [wonderful] changes (we just didn’t always recognize it at the time). Life if funny like that. It often takes significant change or un-mooring for us to recognize what is important, how strong we truly are, and how much resilience and perseverance we actually possess. In a specific, but significant, part of my life, right now is one of those moments for me. I just envision myself being on the other side and looking back saying, “now, that wasn’t so bad was it?”.

    Thank you for creating this space and for the wisdom to assemble an incredible team of contributors.

    Peace be with you.

  20. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    For several years I surfed the innerwebz, looking for a site where an adult discussion could be had about Auburn University. The sites that I found were terrible. It was like Jerry Springer and Paul Finebaum had collaborated to flood cyberspace with anti-Auburn quackery. I was on the verge of giving up or creating my own blog when I finally came across TET. I
    don’t know how to express how grateful I am that this site exists. I can have an adult discussion about Auburn (or anything else for the matter). We can disagree without the discussion digressing into chaos. All opinions are respected even if not agreed upon. What more can you ask for in a blog? The fact that this is so can be directly attributed to Jay, AubTigerman, Acid Reign, ATL_AU_FAN, MyAuburn, and several others whom I cannot immediately recall, but who’s opinions I deeply respect and look forward to reading. Thank you for creating an Auburn blog for Auburn men and women.