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WINNING FROM BAMA: Listen to a recording of the 1956 Beat Bama pep rally

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I’d claim the SEC Championship 10 years from now in an argument about stats or division superiority or something. “Auburn won in 2010.” But I won’t feel it unless. And you won’t feel it unless.

So we must.

One of the things that makes the oath worth the effort is to think that it all began in Genesis. Our fathers were fighting their fathers and our grandmothers were fighting their grandfathers and on and on and on into the sepia foundations of America and the world.

Which is why it always sucks to hear the officially licensed gatekeepers whip out their “Well, Actuallys” in reunion DVDs or gameday programs or lecture series’ to tell you that for a variety of reasons the soul-wracking hatred and marrow-sealed contempt Auburn harbors for the University of Alabama was until the early 60s was really, kind of, you know, reserved for Georgia Tech and Georgia and blah blah blah.

And yet… listen…


Listen to the living, heaving, sword-in-the-air spirit at the Beat Bama pep rally in 1956. Hell rides on the voice of mic man Jimmy Crain. He has given his voice and the Lord is using it. Auburn has beaten Alabama two years in a row, by scores of 28-0 and 26-0. They’re a year away from a national championship. They’re 60 minutes away from beating Alabama 34-7. They’re a year from beating them 40-0. They’re two years away from Bear Bryant. In the mid-50s, Bama was a ghost of nothing.

Now let us listen to Shug… and you tell me what he values:

“Now let’s go up to Birmingham with one thought in mind. And that’s to win from the University of Alabama. We annually dedicate the Alabama ballgame to the senior members of the Auburn football squad. This I couldn’t truthfully say is the greatest group of seniors we’ve ever had but they are on par with any seniors we’ve ever had here at Auburn. In other words, after the game Saturday, they’ll just take their place alongside the other fine and great Auburn football players that have gone on before and have won from Alabama. Now, no matter how many ballgames that we here at Auburn have won during the course of any particular year, the season is absolutely not a success unless we accomplish what we’re going after this coming Saturday.  So I tell you once again: on to Birmingham. And let’s beat Bama.

War Eagle, Coach.

Now let us go to Tuscaloosa with one thought in mind – not Atlanta, not Kenny Rogers, not Dan Mullen, not Cecil Newton, not Thayer Evans, not Oregon, not Steve Spurrier, not the Heisman Trophy, not Gus Malzahn, not Urban Meyer, not Nick Fairley, not Gene Chizik, not Cam Newton.

Let’s beat the living, eternal hell out of Bama.

More Iron Bowl:

* Five Auburn fans named Chris Davis tell what it’s like sharing the most famous name in Iron Bowl history
* Were Auburn fans really pulling for the Russians over Alabama in 1977?
* Bama students did this to their own campus before the 1953 Iron Bowl
* Congrats, Auburn fans—you survived an earthquake
Cremated remains found in Jordan-Hare Stadium after Iron Bowl
Cam Newton ‘War Eagles’ throughout his post-game press conference Sunday after Iron Bowl
New York Post: Iron Bowl ending ‘greatest in the history of sports’
Pensacola bridge completely covered in Auburn graffiti after Iron Bowl

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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