Home / Columns / @KennySmith does the SECCG… from the arena! (with comentary by Kenny Smith)

@KennySmith does the SECCG… from the arena! (with comentary by Kenny Smith)

And the Tigers are going to play for the BCS Championship!

We did not go to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, but instead chose to save a few bucks and watch it in the brand new Auburn Arena with a few other folks who stayed in town. Since the game was a monstrous destruction of South Carolina, and since there will be time to discuss the game at length — and with more skillful dissectors of the game, anyway — I’m just going to reprint the Twitter updates and concentrate on the euphoria.

Because this was fantastic and as glorious as a silly little game should get.

So the Twitter thoughts are in blockquote below. Anything in bold are after-the-fact additions.

Now young men become legends, legends immortal, where memories are cataloged for an eternity. Get it, Tigers.

Inside the Auburn Arena. The Lady Tigers lead Temple, we’re set to see AU win the SEC Championship.

Temple has a one point lead. The crowd comes alive. When Auburn Arena is at capacity this place will be obnoxiously loud.

Temple escapes with a win 62-61. The Wave had three players in double digits. Tough break for the Lady Tigers.

They are lowering the HD screens in the very noisy Auburn Arena. It makes a beeping noise. Modern Marvels ain’t got nothing on us.

I challenge Auburn to make every away game an Auburn Arena spectacle. Back me up on this, Tiger fans.

Because this is silly, but it is fun. Yes, people were waving their shakers about something that was happening in a different state, but it didn’t matter. Everyone was in this terrific little moment. And if road games became 10,000 people inside the arena they could sell tickets for two bucks and make a run on concessions and we’d all have a great time. If they charged $3, however, I would stay home. Know and understand your price points, friends.

There might have been religious conversions as Cam Newton dropped a bomb in Darvin Adams’ hands.

I did hear several “Oh Lords!” and various other prayers of exultation.

For it was GLORIOUS.

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Newton with all day finds Onterrio McCalebb for the score. Wes Byrum makes it 7-0. Bodda gettas abound.

One more of those and we say Zac Etheridge is playing out of his mind.

I don’t think it was a coincidence, the way that side played and how instrumental Etheridge was early. He set the tone in this one. And let us say in no uncertain terms that we have found that thing which has alluded Auburn all season: a complete game. We have seen it and we have trembled.

Auburn leaves a large man uncovered. Even Stephen Garcia won’t miss a fullback open like that. 7-7.

I kid, but it is true.

Cam Newton is a magician, Eric Smith is tougher than a Northport pork chop.

You see, it is funny because I imagine all the food in Northport, a “suburb” of Tuscaloosa, to be really bad. And Eric Smith is a bad, bad, dude.

Cam Newton thinks your spy is useless. And he is not in charge of any international spy rings.

Not that he’d get caught.

Cam Newton is an Auburn man among Carolina boys.

Oh hai, Cocky. Meet Mike Dyer. You may know him as a man who breaks Bo Jackson’s records.

How demoralizing this must be. “Here’s the two in our one-two punch. Consider his bonafides. Wanna quit yet?”

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam Newton on a 6-yard plunge. 14-7. And, now, AUHD is piping in War Eagle after the score.

Darvin Adams is returning punts. There will be no drops.

I apologize in advance.

I shop at the same grocery store as Darvin Adams. He doesn’t drop stuff there, either.

Truly, I am sorry.

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Newton to Adams! 55 yards! 21-7.

The game was long-since over, I called it on that third down where the Carolina defense couldn’t stop after they punted, but the fun was just beginning.

Fifteen minutes are in the books and the Tigers are looking fine. AUHD is drowning out commercials with TWill’s Tiger Walk.

It grows on you. I like the Pat Dye part.

Rub some Tussin on it!

Cam Newton got dinged. Posses were formed. That Carolina defender was probably thinking about changing his identity. No one would blame him.

Gary Danielson? Shut up. Accusing Carolina of taking dives is tacky.

It is one of those things that, if the Gamecocks were doing it, he could say “I pointed this out to you earlier.” But if it didn’t happen, the comment would be mostly forgotten. It didn’t happen. The comment was never revisited. I didn’t forget. Gary Danielson should be ashamed of himself.

Meanwhile, we learned 21 points is the most any team has ever scored in any quarter of the SEC Championship game. And we’re still just getting settled in.

And now Cam Newton is angry. Also, Auburn’s defense is forcibly in the game.

Garcia garcias (Don’t they make his name a verb by now?) and Spurrier is ticked. Daren Bates intercepts.

Cam bleeds. He is human.

This tidbit is sure to go down the memory hole.

Carolina’s kick, like their offense and defense, is no good.

Cam is smiling again. Carolina trembles. The entire state.

I jinxed Darvin, and I am sorry friends.

He’s better now. Glad my apology was accepted by the football gods.

That guy is so good and so dependable it was shocking to see a brief hiccup in his game. And then, just like that, he’s back, everyone is comfortable and we’ll never again have to revisit the two most unexpected drops you’ve ever witnessed.

I would love a Kodi score and a Mario score and a Caudle score in this game.

I’m a softie. This is a blowout. Let’s call our shots. Those guys all deserve a moment to celebrate.

Carolina caps off a big stand by driving the field for a score near the end of the first half. 21-14, Tigers

In retrospect this seems odd, doesn’t it? Looking back it doesn’t seem possible this was at one time, albeit ever so briefly, a one score game.

Who’s day is it? TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam2illa to Adams by way of TZach. Quit now Spurrier! 28-14, half.

Terrell Zachery maybe didn’t get a hand on that Hail Mary, but that was my call at the time, so I’ll just use it as a reason to celebrate him, too. Meanwhile, HAVE YOU EVER IN YOUR LIFE KNOWN EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO GO JUST AS YOU HOPED FOREVER, AMEN? Today was Auburn’s day.

In the second half Newton will throw a chest pass.

I love the Dr. Pepper promotion. It should be at every game. That young lady was great and she won (a LOT) of money. Good for her. She dropped a dynamite promo in Dr. Pepper’s lap at the end, too. Everyone is happy. Except Carolina.

Marcus Lattimore is putting Carolina on his back.

If that had gone on just a little bit longer it might have given the orange and blue reason to worry. And then I think South Carolina put him on the sideline for a while.

You get the feeling that Danielson, an aerodynamics expert, is just making it up as he goes along.

Truly, AUHD is great. I just wish they’d had the chance to take one of those Sports Synch radios and run that through their equipment so we could listen to Rod Bramblett and Stan White call the game. Or if they couldn’t do that for technical or licensing reasons, just turned down the audio so I could listen to the six-year-old Bama fan sitting nearby trying to talk Iron Bowl smack. That kid would have been better than Danielson. “The air flow in the dome is impacting how the players run and play and breathe. Also, a butterfly flapped its wings in New Brunswick and declared Cam Newton eligible.” Just stop, Danielson.


There’s a guy sitting in front of us who keeps turning around for high-fives. And he keeps asking me, not his two friends, just me, “How does he do that!?” I don’t know, bub, but I hope he does it forever.

That referee is trying to keep Emory Blake down.

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam Newton trucks the entire state of South Carolina. 35-14.


That’s culture. A friend on Facebook says his darling young daughter has added two new words in the last hour. “Cam” and “Darvin.”

Cam Newton joins Tim Tebow in the 20-20 club. Twenty rushing scores and 20 passing TDs in a single season.

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! AC with the pressure, T’Sharvan Bell with the pick six. 42-14.

Word. RT @WBE_Jerry That pick was courtesy of a blitz drawn up by Ted Roof. 14 pts vs. this O w/this many possessions in game is excellent.

Mike Dyer is a beast!

Time for @supurmario27!

Grace, power, etiquette. LOVE YOUR CAM NEWTON.

We have this theory, a friend and I, usually applied it to old famous high school footage from people like Bo Jackson, James Bostic and Stephen Davis running over people clearly not their equal. They were obviously going to be stars. Cam Newton is that on the collegiate level. We have another theory, this same friend and I, about the consummate politician, who must be on all of the time, because the cameras are always there. Newton just picked up that referee’s hat, gave him a little wink and smile and made him blush. And then he went back to today’s chore of ripping South Carolina from the mainland.

Gus Malzahn is drawing up a Kodi to Mario passing touchdown. Come on Gustav!

A guy can dream …

TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam Newton to Emory Blake! 49-14. Delirium.

Right about here, I think it was, that it really sank in. I texted my parents “Auburn is going to the National Championship!” and that was my moment of clarity. Odd, really. I’m generally a pragmatist about sports, but this entire year, since the Clemson win, there wasn’t a team that I felt could stop the Tigers. Despite that feeling, it had never really registered that this was the logical conclusion of that. It was a moving moment.

Now, back to beating down the Gamecocks.

I’m thinking of old skool Spurrier and we NEED to hang about 56 on him.

Cammy Cam Juice! Drink.

Sugar and Gatorade, Tracy. This team is so good we can do stupid sideline bits during the SEC Championship game against Spurrier.

Carolina pushes through a field goal. 49-17.

Did Bo Jackson just have some Cammy Cam Juice? Did the orbit of the earth change? (It could happen.)

Bo Jackson does not need whatever extraterrestrial growth hormone jet ski fuel is in that bottle. Only bad things could come of it. And then he might suit up and run for 218 Tecmo yards in the waning seconds of this game. On second thought …

Yes, Danielson, brag on that O-line. They more than deserve it.

He made a great point here.

Barrett Trotter’s got him some wheels too.

What do I have to sell to get Mario a few more carries?

And then …

Happy birthday Mario. War Eagle, sir.

I’m glad he got the chance to score on his birthday, near his home in a huge game. Do you remember forever ago when Mario came to Auburn? He was a high school quarterback. He was converted to running back. And then he was split wide. And then brought back into the backfield. And he’s been there the whole time, watching his playing time get trimmed during his senior year, loaded with talent, working on a second degree and doing what he’s called upon to do. People like that deserve a moment like this.

OK, defense, get it back for a Kodi score.

Same principle. But I have a vision that he gets one in Arizona to bookend the season.

Bo, Rocker, Pat Dye on the sideline. What decade are we in? Is Sullivan-to-Beasley around?

And then it was over. The team cheered and celebrated and got their trophy and all things in the world of football seemed possible. For a moment all past sins were forgiven. This moment was what everyone was waiting for, for decades.

For 1983, 1993 and 2004. For 270,000 alumni. For every coach and player from Shug to Gene. For Auburn and for ol’ API.

No pressure at all, eh guys?

And so we all left the Arena and made the nice little walk up the hill to Toomer’s Corner on a preternaturally warm December evening.

And what we saw there …

… was really remarkable.

By a stroke of luck we found our friends with whom we’ve been enjoying all of the home games this year. We took pictures and watched everyone just watching everyone around them. This felt more like an extended family reunion than a pep rally.

And, at least in the last 15 years, you’ve never seen Toomer’s looking as it did after this game. A bit more for posterity:

Standing in the intersection:


Standing near Biggin’s Hall, facing Toomer’s, looking through the old 1917 gates to Toomer’s Drugs:


The compilation video, put together by the talented people behind AUHD:

I kinda want this season to never end. War Eagle.

Kenny graduated from Auburn at the turn of the century. He worked in newsrooms across the region and then earned a master’s degree at UAB. He met and married a Yankee, who declared her Auburn allegiance at her first home game. She’s now on the faculty at Auburn. He’s finishing his PhD at Alabama and teaches at Samford University. See him online at www.kennysmith.org and @kennysmith.

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