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Shug’s speech at the dedication of Jordan-Hare Stadium

It was 7 or 8 years ago, maybe. I walked in and no one was there, not that I could tell. There was a Heisman Trophy over to my left, and high up on the wall—he, him, The Man, shouting to his men: “Backs, run like a WILD man, like a WILD man turned a loose. Be sharp, be ready.”

Catching the five second clip in the video they had looped in the Lovelace Athletic Museum that day was the first time I’d seen Shug move, that I had heard his voice, and I wasn’t sharp or ready. The drawl, the warmth, the authority—I started crying. Who knows, I may have dropped to my knees. Laugh if you want—I’m laughing—but it’s true.

Needless to say, had this rare clip from October 6, 1973 of Shug thanking the gathered believers at the temple re-dedication been playing, I probably wouldn’t be here right now. Cardiac arrest. Rapture. Something severe. (Can’t see the video? Try here.)

I mean, dear God—”‘Fessor Hare”??? I mean, I know pronouncing just the “Fessor” was an elocutionary nick for Cliff Hare inspired by the molasses spillin’ out his own mouth, but man, there’s no way anyone could do it better than a man named Shug, i.e. Shug. And we even get a “Down through the years” in there…

I was so proud of it that I had to go ahead and use it, but when I coined “Shugasm,” this is what I was really thinking about… War Sweet Mercy Eagle. (And there are more coming.)

Video work by Allen Spain.

Related: Shug shakes his towel.

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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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