These never-before-seen photos taken (by the legendary Larry Parker) in either 1972 or 1973. We’re not surely exactly when or after what game. We’re not sure it matters.
What we do know is that absent any post victory traffic control, sitting on cars was almost as much the thing to do as rolling the power lines. And that the oaks were untouched. [Click to enlarge.]
UPDATE: So actually the when of it all does matter. Because if that indeed is a Nixon-Blount headquarters banner over Brightwell Shoes as TWER reader Paul Harris suggests (and it looks to be—12th photo), that means this is (as we were already almost certain of) almost certainly 1972—an election year. And since it’s not the “Punt, Bama, Punt” celebration, the nouveau theory (unfortunately given credence by Sports Illustrated’s recent story on Harvey Updyke) that the tradition of rolling Toomer’s Corner began in earnest when Auburn won the 1972 Iron Bowl (as some sort of hyuck-hyuck toilet paper tie-in to Terry Henley’s “We’re going to beat the No. 2 out of [then No. 2 ranked] Bama” comment) is thankfully—and commonsensically—false. Hooray!
UPDATE #2 : Reader Mike’s obvious solution to the date debate—blow up the date on the one visible license plate, duh:
Unless Mr. Kentucky had been driving around with expired tags for a year, 1972 it is. (Why didn’t we think of that?)
UPDATE #3: Yet another context clue as to the date was suggested to us by old pal Jim Woodall—check the movie listed on the Tiger Theater marquee. After much zooming and enhancing, we’ve determined that the moving picture in question was Nicholas and Alexandra, which was released December 13, 1971.
Auburn theaters were notoriously slow in acquiring new releases… but not two or three years slow. Again, point 1972.
UPDATE #4: Toomer’s Corner’s rolling did not start with ‘Punt, Bama, Punt’, says History.
UPDATE # 5: We found six more.
Now back to the show.
If you see yourself, let us know—we can send you a large version perfect for prints.
More Toomer’s: Fans in the 70s rolled cops at Toomer’s Corner / Hey Auburn fans, see you at the attractive intersection structure?
Related: Crowd Shots from the 1973 Auburn-Florida game.
* Erin Andrews’ Auburn boyfriend
* Erotic Auburn Beer Stein
* Pat Dye buying sunglasses
* Muhammad Al on the Haley Center concourse
* Playboy in Auburn, 1989
* Coeds. Watermelons. 1973.
* How Bama remembers “Punt, Bama, Punt”
Paul Harris says
It was 1972 – an election year – see the Nixon-Blount banner on the 12th photo.
Thanks for all these vintage photos.
wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane. I started a couple of years later in ’74 but the look of the town, the attire and the HAIR all took me back those 37 years in a flash. Some of the faces looked familiar but memory fades!
It may have been 1974. Red Blount ran as a Nixon-Blount Candidiate. I only read the one paragraph, but it was like saying I’m a Republican or Democrat.
Can you blow photo 17 up and look for a date on the car license plate?
It was also warm that day. 73, sayeth the bank sign. I nominate someone else to go through the weather archives at wunderground to try to determine which week it might have been.
I did it for the snow non-story last winter, after all.
OK, fine, I did it.
IF you subscribe to the notion that this was an away game celebration, AND that the temperature was at, or near, 73 as the sign in the background says, I can narrow it down to three possible games using the data included below.
Assuming this was 1972, and using the sports-reference.com schedule for the dates and the NWS historical weather data hosted on wunderground.com I determined that this particular set of photos came from any of the following games:
Sept 9 – @Mississippi State. 14-3 High-85 Mean-72
Sept 23 – Chattanooga 14-7 High-90 Mean-76
Sept 30 – Tennessee (@BHM) 10-6 High-89 Mean-77
Oct 7 – @Mississippi 19-13 High-78 Mean-66
Oct 28 – Florida State 27-14 High-69 Mean-62 (The sign might be just off?)
Nov 4 – @Florida 26-20 High-73 Mean-65
LOST to LSU
TOO COLD for Georgia Tech victory
TOO COLD for Georgia victory
TOO COLD for Bama victory
TOO COLD for Bowl Game victory (Gator Bowl – Colorado)
Tim Chambliss says
Man, those were great times. I remember that it was a distinct honor to drive through the guantlet in your car and have evryone banging on the roof. It was a special treat to fill the convertibles that came through with TP.
Of course, some dang fool would always light it on fire.
What’s up with all the bare feet.
My husband and I rolled Toomer’s when we beat Tennessee 7 – – 6. Could have been 1970, 1971 or 1972.
Barry Gordon says
The 7th picture down, that’s the tail end of my car! Email me if you want to chat further.