Home / Featured / The Duty: Earliest reference to Auburn football team as ‘tigers’ is in an awesome 1894 poem before the Alabama game

The Duty: Earliest reference to Auburn football team as ‘tigers’ is in an awesome 1894 poem before the Alabama game

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Walker Tichenor (front row, far left), Auburn poet warlord.

The earliest known instance of Auburn’s football team being referred to as “Tigers” is a poem written by Auburn quarterback Walker R. “Tick” Tichenor, youngest son of former Auburn president Isaac Taylor Tichenor, before the 1894 Auburn-Alabama game. Which we lost (because Bama paid professional boxers to beat us). But listen to that tone…

… and we were underdogs.

 

The duty of this eleven was

To put Tuscaloosa in tears.

There was Smith and Shafer and Johnny Glenn

And Brown and Williams too.

Many others with us came,

And wore the Orange and Blue

For eleven little tiger boys, lad,

For eleven little tiger boys.

Everyone’s mothers and their brothers

Just knew what they could do.

And eleven little tiger boys, lad,

Will break Tuscaloosa’s heart.

She is another that we will smother,

Before we drift apart.

 

Related: The best thing ever written about an Auburn football game.

More Iron Bowl:

* Auburn fan who ran onto the field during the 1969 Iron Bowl tells all!
* More like the BUST Bama pep rally…
* The Snorg Tees Girl in a 1987 Auburn Iron Bowl victory T-shirt
* This song about the 1969 Iron Bowl is awesome
* A rap about the 1989 Iron Bowl
* Aubie romances early 80s coed on Bear skin rug
* David Housel’s radio address before the 2002 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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