August 29, 2009
My husband, Al, is a true "Dye-Hard" Auburn fan and an Auburn University graduate. I am delighted that he is my guest writer today.
We are celebrating football with "Score For Your Team Football Carnival" over at "Alabama Bloggers". Our lovely host for the carnival is Rachel. The carnival starts the week of August 31st. Be there!
***And now, heeeere's Al!!!***
Well, that special time of the year is near. The mornings have turned a little cooler, the 'men talk' has turned to 24/7 conversation of how well their favorite team will fair this fall, and every school in the state has the obligatory sign out front that reads “ Go Bulldogs, Tigers, Cougars, Wildcats, Roll Tide, and an assortment of wild creatures. I was traveling down State Highway 49 the other day and had to laugh as I saw the middle school kids at Reeltown practicing for their first game. These little fella's helmets made up half of their body size.
Next Saturday, the college town of Auburn, Alabama will swell from a population of 40,000 to approximately 130,000 with the arrival of 90,000 football starved fanatics. It will be an interesting debut in a number of ways. While brats and steaks cook over charcoal, discussion will be dominated by how Auburn’s new coaching staff will succeed. Yes, optimism will be rampant. Auburn had a sad divorce last December. Beloved Coach Tommy Tuberville, one of the most successful college coaches for the last ten years resigned or was fired depending on whose version you want to believe. Don’t feel too sorry for him…he was given a $5 million dollar check to buy Christmas presents (fire me, please!).
In walks Gene Chizik. Who you ask? Well so did Auburn fans when he was announced last December. Oh, he was the defensive coordinator here five or six years ago, and went on to the University of Texas, and then had a not so glorious two year head coaching career at Iowa State. But a funny thing happened. He hired an infectiously enthusiastic coaching staff, players love them, fans have bought in, and now everyone is on board. Of course, the first game hasn’t been played.
Next Saturday will begin with packing the car. Checking, and then double checking, that everything is loaded. Stadium seats, hats, sun screen, coolers, tail gating chairs…and last but not least tickets. Then after the 30 minute drive, one of the more challenging chores of the day, finding that good shady parking spot. Then everyone will discuss other on going games as the band drum choir warms up in the background. One and a half hours before kick off, one of the more unique traditions occurs, Tiger Walk. Fans will form two lines stretching from the athletic dorm to the entrance of the stadium. Players and coaches will stream down the middle as five year old to seventy year old Auburn fans high five them, with a heart felt War Eagle salutation.
We enter the stadium about 45 minutes before kick off to witness the unquestionably most unique Auburn tradition. Watching the eagle fly around the packed stadium and descend to the 50 yard line to a chorus of War Eagle. (Nova a 10 year old Golden Eagle, and Spirit, a Bald Eagle, share that duty) .Now it is time for some football.
Hopefully, this debut will have a happy ending. First games, you never know. Assuming the good guys win, we will stroll down to Toomers Corner (the original main intersection of the campus) to watch celebrating fans adorn the old oak trees with toilet paper. Then, it will officially be football season.
War Eagle! Al
The always present pimped out Auburn van
Tiger Walk is Electrical...So much energy and excitement
WarEagle VI, Soaring proudly over the sea of orange at the pregame activities!!!
Chizik "Coaching Them up"
Mario Fanning on his way to the end zone in 2008. TOUCHDOWN...AUBURN!!! _______________________________________________
Chizik and Defensive Lineman Nick Fairly
Celebrating a Day Victory at Toomer's Corner
A Night Celebration at Toomer's Corner
No vehicles allowed here - only fans and toilet paper!!!
Ending the long, hopefully victorious day, with a big glass of the famous Toomer's lemonade is the perfect finishing touch.
War Eagle from Blue Creek Home