To See Where You Are Going, You Have to Know Where You Have Been (Aubie Edition)
Before you get to the end of this post I highly recommend getting a box of Kleenex. If you don’t need them by the end, you are stalwart indeed.
Aubie actually came to be in 1959 at the hand of Birmingham Post-Herald cartoonist Phil Neel. He created the image for a football program on Oct. 3rd and Aubie became a fixture on the cover for 18 years. Personally, I always used to look forward to the program covers as they were always very well done with a great theme as well as great drawing.
Aubie was originally a four-legged Tiger but he was drawn upright on two legs in 1962. Aubie appeared au natural up until that time but modesty prevailed and human clothes were added in 1963.
He graduated off the cover of the program and on to the sidelines in 1979 when Auburn Spirit Director James Lloyd bought the first Aubie costume for $1350. He made his first appearance in the basketball arena during the SEC Tournament at the Birmingham Civic Center, Sonny Smiths first year as head coach.
Who wears the suit? There have been many “Aubie” over the years and it is a tough job to get and tougher when you get it. Tryouts are ardous with skits, impromptu sessions with the top three selected as Aubies or Friends of Aubie.
In 2007, Justin Shugart (Aubie) made a visit to UAB Children’s Hospital to visit a young girl who had just had triple-bypass heart surgery. As soon as Aubie entered the recovery room and took the hand of the little girl, covered with wires and tubes, she said, “I love you Aubie” She asked to lead her in some cheers and Aubie spent 30 minutes with the girl before he started to make his way out of the room. One of the girls doctors stopped him, hugged him, and said, “Aubie, you just performed a miracle. That little girl hasn’t spoken a word to anyone for the past four days”.
Short pause to wipe eyes.
Aubie makes over 300 appearances per year and is loved at every one of them. I think he is the best mascot of any team, anywhere.
Stop me if you have heard this one
You are probably a Bammer if your Dentist denies knowing you.