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It’s been five weeks since I’ve seen my Auburn Tigers play. I’ve watch a handful of SEC teams walk over opponents this bowl season. I’ve also watched a few fall short of carrying on SEC domination.
I’ll admit, it feels like anything could happen tonight when the # 1 ranked Auburn Tigers take on the #2 ranked Oregon Ducks in Glendale for the Crystal Football.
As a strong believer in karma, I’ve concluded that being overly cocky and rather boisterous about premature claims to the crystal football will only lead to an unwelcomed outcome.
No, Duck fans, this does not mean I am scared. (in fact, you should be scared because I’m going duck hunting next weekend with or without a crystal football).
This does not mean that your defense is better, faster, or more prepared. In fact, I strongly believe the opposite. Y’all have never seen the likes of Cam Newton or felt the sheer tenacity of Nick Fairly. Oh, did I mention Kodi Burns we’ve got too?
My karma beliefs do mean that I am doing everything in my power to up my Karma. Example: Friday, I let a Duck fan into my lane of traffic during rush hour. Today, I’m hosting a 30 people watch party at my home with a Glendale atmosphere and Gridiron Belle recipes; and I’m even letting an LSU fan drink out of my sacred Auburn cups. I didn’t swear when I broke my favorite serving dish on Saturday. I even smiled and wished Urban Meyer and Nick Saban well while they were on “The Experts” Sunday on ESPN U. I put an extra 5 in plate at church.
If karma’s not enough, I’ve been wearing my lucky Auburn t-shirt for 4 days straight (Sorry roommate). I have my SEC Championship travel outfit laid out to run errands in today and my gameday dress and scarf have just come back from the cleaners. Everything from my hair to my Auburn Orange unmentionables will be the exact same as they have been for every winning game Auburn had had this year. Wait, that’s redundant…they’ve won them all.
The only thing different is, I’m not there. I’m not in Glendale at the pep rally. I’m not on the Plains with Pat Manning, the way I was for the AU v UGA game. I’m not in Atlanta with my Daddy like I was when they won the SEC. I’m here, in Austin. In Big 12 country. And while there is plenty of orange in this town, it’s not the right orange.
So, I’ve done my best to bring Glendale to me. (Pictures on Tuesday)If I can’t be there with the team, I’ll just have to cheer louder to make sure they hear me!
Oh, but in case the karma, superstitions, and luck thing are not real, this is my favorite picture of the week.
Good luck Ducks. You’re going to need to waddle like a bat outta … well, like a Duck outta Glendale to survive Monday night’s history making. Either way, I’ll make up for any discrepancies next weekend from the duck blind.
WAR DAMN EAGLE!
If you told me that I had died and gone to heaven last weekend in Atlanta, I would have believed you; every person I saw was an SEC fan, my dad was my date, and Auburn won the SEC Championship.
If you were not blessed with the good fortune of walking through the golden gates of the GA Dome last weekend for the SEC Championship game, here is what you missed:
1) Visors. Everywhere. Spurrier’s team made it to Atlanta and his fans followed suit in excitement and wardrobe.
2) Creative but misleading t-shirts with “$CAM Newton” printed on them.
3) Grandparents. Age doesn’t matter when it’s once in a lifetime. For fans of both teams, there may not be another chance to watch their team in the SEC Championship game for a long time. Especially if they are 80. “We don’t have to win tonight. I’m just glad we’re here” said a lifelong gamecock fan.
4) BAMA fans wearing Houndtooth, Florida fans wearing jorts. Old habits die hard. I suppose they are just used to making the trip.
5) God Bless America. Times two. Done in SEC marching band fashion. The South Carolina and Auburn bands both took the field and played National Anthem together with more vigor and pride than I’ve ever heard. Is there anything more American?
6) Belles in pearls yelling “Go Cocks!” Lots of them. It still makes me wince.
7) Four Auburn sorority sisters calling the entire game on the field before the refs had a chance to blow their whistle. I don’t think these belles will need to read the Xs and Os chapter of the book.
8 ) No trace of cacophony by 70,000 plus fans. Four quarters of Southern drawls inside the GA Dome was a blissful melody.
9) Gamecock fans leaving in the 3rd quarter. How can you be a fair weather fan when it’s 72 with a chance of a championship inside the GA Dome?
10) Toilet paper being thrown throughout the stands as Coach Chizik wins his first SEC Championship during his second year as head coach, and the Tiger players parade around the field in front of the elated fans. Who needs confetti when the Plainsmen use two-ply to celebrate everything?
On Saturday morning at 8am on Auburn University’s campus, grills were cooking, tailgates were set up, crowds were gathering and fans were getting their weekly breakfast of champions—a Big Blue Bagel washed down with fresh lemonade from the counter at Toomers Corner.
And so the relaxed tempo stayed for the next few hours.
In true Southern fashion, no one in Auburn was in a rush. Not the fans at J& M and not the players on Pat Dye field. As was evident by the first two quarters when Auburn was trailing Georgia—clearly in no rush to seal the deal. Sometimes it even looked like Cam Newton was slow, but that’s just because his strides are 4.6 times as long as every other player.
During the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, there was a level of calmness. The tailgates were energized, but no rambunctious. During the game, the fans were loud but not deafening. The players were precise, but not perfect.
It came as no surprise that Auburn’s win over Georgia was going to be closer than a number 2 ranked team should allow. I was told not to be too nervous when Auburn was trailing going into the second half because it was only a matter of time before the bulldogs wouldn’t be able to answer an Auburn score. It was like over time—the whole time. Slow and steadily, inch by inch, first down by first down, Auburn put points on the board and sure enough, Georgia couldn’t keep up.
But the Auburn fans could. Their stamina was impeccable.
With another W, a trip to ATL to plan and toilet paper hanging from the Magnolias, the Auburn fans headed back to their tailgate for more celebrating. The white lights strung on the tents meant they were going to be staying for a while. Mainly because they have paced themselves the whole day and they were fully prepared for the marathon. A slow and steady day of fandom allows them to celebrate with tailgates late into the night on The Plains.
Just as we were told as kids, slow and steady wins the race. Coach Chizik’s mantra is “slow and steady wins the West.”
DJ Khaled may or may not know Cam Newton, but Cam Newton sure does know DJ’s Khaled’s hit song, “All I Do is Win.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWCXzyLp0Ds&feature=fvw
With phrases like, “can’t never count me out, so y’all better count me in” and “All I do is win, no matter what”, you can see why Cam, despite a dark cloud looming over his head right now, sings along the loudest. And why the Auburn family is still counting Cam “in”.
But Cam is not the only one singing along (try telling Nick Fairley that Cam Newton is the only one that “wins”). The anthem has been adopted by every player, coach and fan. Simply put, all Auburn has done this year is, well, win.
But what about this verse?
All I do is win, win, win no matter what
Got money on my mind, I can never get enough
Shhhhh, we won’t focus on this money verse. Most of us can’t understand the rappers delivery of each word anyway.
Surely, the entire stadium has no idea what is really being sung. Such is part of the entertainment of being in Jordan Hare Stadium while the Caucasian majority crowd is attempting to keep their shakers on beat with DJ Khaled and the talented players on the field. Comical, really. In a very motivating way.
The Auburn family shows unwavering support for Cam. “I Heart #2” pins, “Stand by your Cam” shirts and “War Cam Eagle” chants, Auburn is standing behind Cam Newton.
Two of my favorite quotes from the weekend:
“ Look, if we got him (Cam) for under 200k, we got the deal of the century.”- Diehard fan realizing that every SEC team has suspect recruiting methods, period.
“I’d spoon with Cam Newton. I’d even let him be the big spoon. And I would tell him how small I felt in his arms. Yea… I’d spoon with Cam.”- Heterosexual Auburn Alumni.
Many fans held their breath before the game waiting to see if Cam was going to start. That same breath was stored and used for 15 minutes of straight post-game adulation for the Tiger 49-31win over the Bulldogs. For Cam and every Tiger that went out on Saturday and played their hearts out despite the world outside of Jordan Hare Stadium.
I’m with Coach Chizik on this one… “Cam Newton is eligible to play football at Auburn University and that’s what he’s going to do.”
And this season at Auburn university, all they do is win.