Yes – it’s another Thom Gossom post. And why not? When have enough access with a former player to get him to take your calls, to write a column for your website, to sit down with you for your first attempt at a podcast, you milk it (especially when you can tell the desk guy at the Hotel and Conference Center no thanks, you don’t need anything, you’re just waiting to kick it with the guy in Fight Club).
And so it was that Thom, during his most recent meeting-packed business trip to the Plains, texted in enough time for me and Offbeat Auburn’s Kelly “Shotgun Mic” Walker to work our magic. It went pretty well.
The gist of Thom’s story has been told before, of course, not only in his memoir “Walk-On: My Reluctant Journey to Integration at Auburn University” but in an in-depth feature I wrote two years ago that – for those still interested – we are today posting on TWER (.com) for the first time. But in talking with him this go round, I wanted to get a feel for how things had changed for him, not just since the storied 30-year reunion of the “Amazins'” in 2002 which brought a degree of closure for him and kick-started the writing of “Walk-On” in earnest, but since publishing the book, since getting out there, since making the book tours and shaking the hands and War Eaglin’ with the Auburn Family he has only recently begun to really know…
… and, yeah, to see if I could get him to open up about that Mexican prostitute and other stories edited out of the final draft. And to dish on Edward Norton.
So… with the exception of Jerry’s and Hey Jenny Slater’s Doug Gillett’s tag-teaming on last season’s bangin’ (and hopefully returning) Five For Slive SEC Football Podcast, consider this The War Eagle Reader’s first foray into podcasting – the first of many, I’m afraid, because like Kelly has been saying: it’s just too easy. We’ll soon have this subscribe-able via iTunes… all that stuff… if it’s not already. In the meantime, you can enjoy it right here:
*Full I-just-like-talking-about-myself disclosure: I helped Thom with the research for “Walk-On,” which goes a long way in explaining TWER’s preoccupation with the early-mid 70s (though being so preoccupied got me the job in the first place, so maybe not). But I’ve apparently gotten rusty: in the podcast, I introduce him as having come to Auburn in 1971. He came in 1970.
John Boggs says
Heck, I was a walk-on with Gossom the same year. (I was about the last of the straight-on kickers ever to play college ball)
I live just down the way from Thomas and John Mardis and remember walking back from football practice many a time and being sort of amazed and amused by the first two black dudes I had ever spent any time with. i connected better with Mardis and was a little put off by the “black power” stuff that Thomas put out. Later, I got to know Thomas a little better and found him to be a really good guy. Ironically, I thought for sure that Mardis was going to be a star player-big, strong and tough. Who knew?
I did enjoy the book. It brought back tons of memories. I was hoping he’d at least mention the 37 yard field goal that I nailed against the Bama freshman squad (my personal highlight) but I guess he didn’t think it was that critical to the storyline.
Please pass along a “howdy” to Thom.