Win Or Lose Tonight, Auburn Still Wins

Jan 6, 2014 by

Win Or Lose Tonight, Auburn Still Wins

I just had lunch at my local Wing Stop, figuring it’ll be too crazy to get in there tonight with Auburn and Florida State University playing for the final BCS National Championship. I went in wearing a sweatshirt I received for Christmas heralding Auburn’s chance to play in tonight’s game, and ESPN was playing with no audio at both ends of the store. Across from me, two men spied me watching as Coach Nick Saban commented about Auburn’s defense. Auburn Logo

When I sat down, almost like he was trying to pick a fight, one of the men looked over at me and said, “They’re not going to win tonight.”

I greeted him and responded with, “We weren’t supposed to win the last two, either.”

That was the end of the conversation. It was like talking to a Bama fan up until Wednesday afternoon. (BTW: The best joke so far today–“How long does it take to beat Alabama?”–Answer: “A second, or Sooner.”) Where does such arrogance and outright anger come from anyways?

What The Man At The Table And Most Others Don’t Understand

I’ve been an Auburn fan since we moved from Atwater, CA to Montgomery, AL  in 1981.

In Alabama, you have two options, you’re either an Auburn fan or you’re “One of them.” (An Alabama fan.) Bama has a much longer tradition of winning than Auburn does. One of my friends, in a put down earlier this year, said, “Alabama seniors have won more national championships than Auburn.” Quite biting, yes, and true.

Tonight, Auburn has the chance to win it’s third national championship in the school’s history. No, that’s not as storied as Bama, or Notre Dame, or USC’s past programs. And yes, there’ve been many years at Auburn when we’ve had to just chalk things up to “next year.”

But here’s the part others don’t understand–Auburn was never expected to be playing tonight. All year long we were beaten down by Alabama fans and the news media. Bama fans, up until the last play of the Iron Bowl were constantly crowing about their being on the way to their 16th national championship. All they had to do was push pitiful Auburn out of the way.

So without the expectation of even being here, with a 3-8 record last year, a horrible showing in the Iron Bowl and one of the worst losses ever to Alabama, Auburn’s team this year did something special–they ignored what EVERYONE was telling them and they went inside for something all of us should do day in/day out–they found an inner strength and a determination to not let go of their dreams.


ESPN is running a nonsensical, non-scientific Twitter poll right now. If you think FSU is going to win, you Tweet #FSUWins, if you think Auburn, #AuburnWins.

In many ways, it feels like I’m back in the Alabama Governor’s Office today waiting for 7 p.m. when the polls close. Then all the pundits and nonsense can stop and the real poll can be conducted.

I hope Auburn wins tonight. But even if they don’t, I’m still going to be very, very proud of what this group of kids and our new coach have done. And we have about 320 more days to remind Bama fans of how long it takes to beat them…..


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Today’s Sports Section of #Auburn–Please clip and send

Jan 11, 2011 by


I’d like to ask if you’re reading this today that you do me a small, but very special favor.  Please pick up a copy of your local newspaper today and find the section in it about Auburn winning the BCS National Championship last night. 

I’ve been waiting for 31 years for last night to come and it’d be great to have a collection of clips/articles/pages of the newspapers around the country and globe even, marking this memorable event.  If it’s on your front page, would you just send the whole page?

If you’d be so kind to send them to:

Claxton Creative, LLC,
PO BOX 800844,
Balch Springs, TX 75180

It’d mean a great deal to me.  I’ll also mention you back in a thank you post for your efforts.



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Congratulations Oregon Ducks, And The Auburn Tigers

Jan 11, 2011 by

Wow.  What a great, great game. 

I’m Auburn thru-and-thru, but Oregon, you’ve got absolutely nothing to be upset about.  You played one of the best games I’ve ever seen.

And Brent Musburger and ESPN, I commend you and want to take back what I said before.  Musburger, you did a balanced job tonight and I appreciate it.

And now I go on to celebrate.  Congratulations Coach Chizik, Cam, Michael, Nick and company.  That was one for a lifetime.  .

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Auburn and the BCS National Championship Tonight

Jan 10, 2011 by

GAME TIME TONIGHT is 8:30 Eastern/7:30 pm Central on ESPN. Auburn v. Oregon.

UPDATE: I’ve written before on how I understood White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs protecting the interests of the news media.   I missed this the other day, but it’s a hoot that Gibbs says he’ll roll the White House if Auburn wins tonight.

I wasn’t born in 1957.  I’m told that’s the last time Auburn won a national championship.  Believe me, I’ve had dozens, if not more, Alabama fans remind me over and over and over since 1980 when I moved to Alabama for the second time in my life.

We moved back at the beginning of my sophomore year of high school.  In getting to know the mates in class, I’d ask who they were pulling for in the NFL.  Being a Dallas Cowboys fan since I can remember, it was just the most natural question I could ask.

Auburn or Alabama

But you see, in Alabama, there is no professional football team.  (Keep the snod Cam Newton comments to yourselves, please.) I was told, “We don’t follow the NFL here. You’re either and Auburn fan or an Alabama fan.  There ain’t no in between and there is nothing else.  Plus, the Falcons suck.”

And so in those formative years, I found myself following Auburn.  They began a run over Alabama in those days–though that first November Paul “Bear” Bryant beat Auburn and achieved his record setting wins or something.

Three years later, when it came time to choose where I wanted to go to college, there was only one place.  Auburn.

After college, when I began working in the Governor’s Office for Gov. Guy Hunt, an Alabama fan, and then Gov. Fob James, a star on the 1954 Auburn team, the loyalties for Auburn became more and more entrenched.  Being from North Alabama and hiring a good many fokes from up that way, members of the Hunt administration to me mainly were “Them.”  Being in Montgomery and so close to Auburn, I became to them an “Aub.” A “One of ’em.” And I became an easy mark.

Driving through east Alabama on one of the governor’s stops, someone looked at a dilapidated old country home and said, “Look, there’s the Auburn campus.” One of the security used to send me beeper messages saying there was a 10-54 in the road in Auburn.  (A dead cow.) Yeah, with Auburn having done so much for agriculture in the state, it was so easy for them.

Gov. James was different.  Well, he at least still pulled for Auburn.  And with him were more like-minded people.  I didn’t hear anything more about 10-54s.

The History of Auburn Sports

Over the years, I’ve seen Auburn so close to being able to break into the top, only to be let down by a bad play, a bad referee call, or the prejudices of the BCS system where a 13-0 record wasn’t good enough to get into the top game only to see Oklahoma field a team that played as well as a little league squad.

I’ve seen the incredible beauty of Bo Jackson running.  I’ve seen good quarterbacks rise up and become household names in Alabama where you could talk about them like they were regulars in sitting across the dinner table.  And I’ve seen them try so hard, and just not make it.

It’s been an up and down ride.  The ridicule. The crap the BCS pulled.  I’ve seen coaches come and go.  And now I’ve seen two great players, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton win the Heisman Trophy.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight’s game is going to be an emotional event for many, many people across Alabama and across the country, and around the world.  There are Auburn people everywhere, we’re probably just not as loud as fans like Georgia or Oklahoma.

We work hard.  We wear orange and blue.  And we confuse many when we yell War Eagle!” at kickoffs, or when we walk past someone else with an Auburn t-shirt or lapel pin, and then describe ourselves as “The Auburn Tigers.”

The stories are rich.  To ever see the Eagle fly from the stands at Auburn’s Jordan Hare Stadium down to the center of the field over the AU emblem stirs almost as much emotion in many as the playing of a wedding march or the national anthem. And to see the mascot, Aubie, usually a crazy guy in a tiger suit who has an uninhibited personality, hamming it up with referees, players, children and the hot hottie who’s gushing for him as much as he’s gushing for her, is enough to make you smile and say, “War Eagle” all over again.

Naturally, I don’t know what will happen in tonight’s game.  But I can easily get choked up like John Boehner winning a door prize at the pride I have of the guys who will be there on that field tonight, (most likely with Brent Musburger biasedly hyping Oregon).

There are generations of people around the world who have been waiting for tonight to happen almost as bad as Cubs fans long for a return to the World Series.  (I’m a Cubbie, too, so trust me, I get it in the Fall and Spring and Summer.)

Hopefully, things will go well tonight.  Even so, the 2010 football seasons has been one of the best rides ever.  We’re honored to have had you along.

War Eagle!

And ESPN, if Musberger sounds biased, I’ll just watch it with no sound.

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