I confess: I was the only guy in orange in Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday that blurted out “THAT’S A GREAT CALL!” when Utah State faked that field goal.
I don’t have any historical investment in the Aggies, but I have no problem giving them their due. They left it all on the field, right down there in the northeast corner where they saluted their fans immediately after Philip Lutzenkirchen, Emory Blake, Mike Dyer and company ripped their hearts out.
The Aggies have been so close. They were there again and it slipped away.
So I wrote Coach Gary Andersen an email, something I’ve never done before. I told him congratulations, despite the outcome. I told him Auburn’s savvy football fans noticed they played inspired football and they deserved the attention.
I finished it like this:
As an Auburn man, I must say that was a terrific scare, but a lot of fun to watch. I wish you and the program much success this year with the rest of your schedule. There’s a lot of talent and heart wearing the Aggies’ colors. We were proud to see it on display. I’m sure they’ll do very well.
And today, in the midst of preparing for Weber State, Utah State football coach Gary Andersen wrote me back :
Thanks for the e-mail. You are correct that was very hard to deal with. Auburn University and the fans have a ton of class!! I do wish you all the best. TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS
We could argue about what Auburn did or didn’t do on Saturday, but maybe we can agree on our new favorite WAC team.
They don’t appear on the schedule any time soon, do they?
Related: Auburn fans start “Un-Rolling Toomer’s” Tradition.
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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* Rare candids of Pat Sullivan at the 1971 Heisman banquet
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* Pompadours on the Plains: the 50s revival at Auburn
* The Great 1984 A-Day Race against Bo Jackson
* An interview with Auburn YouTube sensation Chris Lowe
* Former Auburn football player kills elephant with just a bow and arrow
* TWER interviews Paul Finebaum about Bo Jackson’s Heisman campaign
* Crowd shots from the 1973 Auburn-Florida game
* The Secret History of an Underground Iron Bowl
Watching the Aggies leave the field last Saturday, I made up my mind right then and there that they were my second favorite college football team. I’ll be rooting for them.
Tough loss, but his team played well, hard and in a us-against-the-world manner that make up many of my favorite memories of do-or-die Auburn teams of the past.
In the end, as a fan, there is nothing else you can wish for in a coach or a team. A victory won against such non-rival opponents is almost bittersweet.
Almost. But good luck to Utah State in the rest of their season.
why lie like that?
I was one of the heartbroken Aggie fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday. It was an amazing game. More amazing than the game was the respectful and friendly manner in which me, my brother, and my son-in-law were treated both before and after the game. I am left to assume that had the outcome been different, we would still have experienced the same hospitality. Thank you Auburn and fans for such a delightful experience.
In contrast, later that night, I attended the Boise State Game vs. Georgia. My experience there, cheering for Boise State, was disappointing. None of the same grace was evidenced or offered.
Auburn is now my second favorite team. Georgia is at the bottom of my list.
Glad you enjoyed your time on the plains. Wish your experience at the Boise/UGa game had been better.