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To see where you are going, you have to know where you have been. (Mascot edition)

By on August 20th, 2013 in Football 20 Comments »

Auburn, along with quite a few other schools has somewhat of an identity crisis. We are known as the Plainsmen, War Eagles, and Tigers.

Obviously, the name Plainsmen comes from Auburn being known as the “Loveliest Village on the Plains” which it is just that. The name, meh.

War Eagles is also obvious but personally I like it less than Plainsmen.

What we really are is the Auburn Tigers and in my book always will be, and that brings me to the point of this post. The pic at the top was taken 6 years ago in Crossville, Alabama at a wildlife rescue sanctuary called Tigers for Tomorrow.  The owners of the non profit facility are Sue and Wilbur and they truly love their animals, especially the big cats. They have dozens of big kitties of all breeds and care for them until the day they die naturally. Nobody is turned away or put down at their place. We have visited several times and made donations also. In my mind there are not many worthier causes. A little trivia here, Cougars are the biggest cats that purr. Tigers make a sound called Chuffing. When they do that they like you or are happy.

The Tiger in the picture is named Wyatt. His pregnant mother was rescued by Sue and Wilbur and shortly after gave birth to 4 cubs. Their names are Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Annie Oakley, and Calamity Jane. When I first heard about the place my wife and I could not wait to go. We called, set up an appointment and headed to Crossville for the experience of a lifetime. When we got there Sue had a blanket spread out under a tree and asked us to sit down. She then whistled and called and 4 seven week old tiger cubs popped out from under the porch of their log cabin and came head over heels running out to us. We both frolicked around the ground with the cubs, rubbed tummies, and scratched heads for almost an hour. Sue had bottles of specially prepared formula to feed them and all four got their fill. That was pretty much the end of the visit because Tiger cubs want to do the same thing as we do after a belly full, Naptime!!

It was an experience we will never forget, most people never get to see a Tiger cub, much less play with 4 or them. The picture (Christmas card pic) was our last up close encounter with Wyatt as he was already getting too big to be a safe playmate. Check out the size of the paws at 3 months old. There is a picture of a full grown Wyatt on their website now and he is a regal beast indeed. Check them out at They are open to the public and I highly recommend visiting them.

Now, why the story on this site? I would be big time in favor of Auburn getting a Tiger of our very own. I am sure there will be many opportunities for a rescue situation and with our Vet school where could the cat be better taken care of than Auburn. What do you think?


Stop me if you have heard this one.

What are the four words Alabama fans say most often?
Bud Light and Roll Tide.


  1. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I think Auburn has needed a live tiger for years.

  2. WDErichie WDErichie says:

    Every time I hear “War Eagles” its like nails on a chalkboard!!!!!

    • War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

      I have heard some of our own “fans” us this term. SMH.

    • topangatiger says:

      Disagree. I don’t say it and I certainly get where you’re coming from, but it’s grown on me over the years. I don’t think it is very likely that AU will somehow vote to change from Tigers, but if they did, count me in. There are about one million teams called “Tigers,” and about zero currently called “War Eagles.” There are “Golden Eagles” at BC, and “Warhawks” at La-(something), but no War Eagles. Which would automatically make us the baddest-ass “eagles” (being the most warlike thereof) and the baddest-ass “war-ornithologicalspecies” (being the eagles thereof, doubtless the king of all raptors) on the planet. So, while I won’t be drumming up petitions or shouting “Go War Eagles” at the tv anytime soon, if it ever came to pass, I would happily don the gear and shout it along with the crowd. War Eagle, singular or plural. That is all.

  3. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Hey Bill, Tigers for Tomorrow is an awesome place and its definitely worth the trip for families. The have rescued animals of all kinds from the petting zoo that includes zebras, llamas, etc… As well as many predators in addition to the tigers. Bears, wolves, big cats aplenty…. And they work off of 100% private funding and donation. Y’all give them support by visiting their facility….Bill it’s grown in the last 6 years as well.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      I look in on their web site from time to time and have noticed the growth. Sue and Wilbur are special people and do a great job. We need to go back soon.

  4. restless6 says:

    So close to me, and I’ve never heard of this place. Sounds like a good hooky day.

  5. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    I say a partnership needs to be created with TFT and Auburn Vet School and bring Wyatt to live on campus for the last 4 games of every season… Make it happen Jay!

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      I would have to vote no on a temporary relocation. TFT has been the only home Wyatt has ever known and shipping him to different and loud surroundings would be quite unnerving to him IMO. We have no suitable habitat for him anyway.
      Besides, AU has the expertise and the ability to house and care for one of our own on a permanent basis. TFT and the Auburn Vet School already know each other well, but no one has ever broached the idea of building an ausome tiger habitat on campus.

  6. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    I have never understood why people use our mascot “confusion” as a reason to disparage us. When someone brings up the never understandable “gotcha” of “What ARE you guys? Tigers or Eagles?” I normally rebutt them with “Well, when your institution has been a viable, thriving, and historically relevant athletic entity for almost 120 years, you develop some nicknames and some traditions, both of which evolve and grow over the decades. All of which, we like to respect and pay homage to whenever possible. But for your edification, Tigers is the nickname and WAR EAGLE, is the rallying/battle cry — kind of like Go Dawgs, just more historically based and meaningful.”

    As for a live tiger at the games? Truthfully, I don’t think we need it and personally I wouldn’t want the bad press that I know we would get for caging such a beautiful animal and subjecting it to the stress of “The Junge” of Jordan Hare. We have one of, if not THE BEST Mascots in all of sports in Aubie, so I certainly don’t think we need another mascot and you are deluding yourself if you don’t think that the media and the animal rights activists would come howling down upon us for “mistreating and abusing” a live animal, regardless of how many other institutions have them. But what I WOULD love to see is our great engineering school, come up with and build an ENORMOUS animatronic Tiger that could sit/lay/stand/walk along the backline in the opponents endzone….ROARING when the opponents got in the red zone. If done right, if could really be cool and intimidating.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      Not sure if the animal rights folks would be on us or not, the Colorado Buffalo, Navy Goat, LSU Tiger, USC Rooster, other USC horse to name a few are not on their radar. There is precedent there.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      But I do like your animatronic idea. Our engineering dept could do it for sure.

  7. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    I contend that “War Eagles” is only used by the most ignorant and lazy *cough Brent Musberger *cough, when it’s on a professional broadcast.

    Other than that, it is said in a derivative way to incite an emotional response, or by those that lack the proper knowledge and need to be schooled instantly, so they can avoid the mistake in the future.

    We are the Tigers! Our use of the term “War Eagle” is both a rallying cry and a greeting. You can cross paths of complete strangers and say “War Eagle” and instantly a bond is made that says you are part of a very unique family. It is also a pleasant way to say goodbye 🙂


  8. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I am against the live tiger at games. I always feel sorry for the LSU tiger at games….in that tiny cage with all of those fans yelling and screaming. Seems not cool.

    That said, if we could get a live tiger exhibit with a posh enclosement, to help educate folks about TFT and Tigers, etc at Auburn (particularly in collaboration with the Vet School)–I see nothing but win.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      I see your point but couldn’t you make the same case for our eagle, small cage, let out to fly around a screaming stadium, then sit on a perch for most of a game.

      Remember in my article I said a “rescue situation”. He would lead a far better life at Auburn than where ever he was rescued from.

  9. restless6 says:

    A live tiger exhibit would be cool. The UNA Lions are cool. I saw them I their exhibit for the first time this year. Very cool!

  10. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I’m so glad you brought attention to Tigers for Tomorrow. My aunt Sandy works there and I have visited multiple times. I have “adopted” two tigers over the years, and have always enjoyed my trips there. I encourage all of you to make the trip and take a tour. Ask for Sandy!

  11. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I’d have to reluctantly vote “no” on a live tiger at games. Really, I’ve been amazed over the years how well the eagle flights have gone. Call me crazy, but I think the birds seem to enjoy it. A caged tiger in that bedlam would not be happy.