To See Where You Are Going You Have To Know Where You Have Been
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are also known as the Wrambling Wreck From Georgia Tech and they have a gold and black tin lizzy to ride around the field in to prove it. Auburn and Tech played every season from 1906 to 1987, only missing the 1943 World War II year. Because of conference game differences the game has been played very few times since 1987, with 2005 being one of the exceptions. Auburn-Tech was the season opener for AU that year and the students rekindled the tradition of the “Wreck Tech” Pajama Parade marching from campus to downtown. Actually, with the number of people I see in stores in their pajamas these days, wearing them to a pep rally is not really unusual. How did the tradition get started, read on.
In 1896, Georgia Tech was to play in Auburn on November 7th. The Tech football team, reportedly sans a coach was to ride the train from Atlanta to Auburn. A group of students decided it was time for some shenanigans. It was rumored that John Heisman put them up to it but I can’t confirm that. If he did, it was the ultimate act of gamesmanship for a coach. My gut feeling is that just like today, some adult beverages led to the idea.
The students, still dressed in their pajamas greased the train tracks with lard and when the train carrying the Tech players tried to brake it slid halfway to Loachapoka. The players had to hike back to Auburn carrying all their gear. It obviously was a tiring hike and they had very little energy left to play a football game and were pounded by Auburn 45-0. Google maps shows that from Auburn to Loachapoka is 6.8 miles. If I had to walk 3 ½ miles carrying my football equipment I would be too pooped to play football even in my younger days.
The game was played on a hard clay field behind Samford Hall before just a few thousand fans. Early in the game L.E. Byrum blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and the rout was on. AU led 22-0 at halftime and never looked back. Some people say that AU should have won the game by a large margin anyway but the long hike had to have an effect.
Tech officials were pretty steamed about the incident and only agreed to come to Auburn again when AU officials warned students that they would be expelled for any further midnight activities. but the Pajama Parade became a permanent tradition every time Tech came to town. Since the new conference schedules make it hard to fit ACC teams into the schedule I doubt we will get many, if any chances to continue the tradition. In my opinion, that is a shame…the rivalry was a great one for a lot of years.
Stop me if you have heard this one
What’s three things you will never hear a Bammer say? 1) Nascar is boring 2)I don’t think duck tape will fix that 3) I’ll take Shakespeare for 1000 Alex.