Yes, it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me. In my absence, I failed to speak of Auburn’s close-call victory over South Carolina, and, most recently, an embarrassing thrashing to the hands of unranked Arkansas– at home no less!
Like a majority of my Auburn family members, I was angry. To be quite blunt, I was freakin’ pissed! Losing is ok, but only when you give your best effort. There’s not a soul alive that can say Auburn gave its best effort against the Hogs last Saturday. Hoover could have beaten Auburn last Saturday. Vanderbilt could have beaten Auburn last Saturday!
Now, do I love Auburn any less? NO! Way back in November 2004, I posted what being an Auburn Tiger meant to me. Now I know you can click on that previous link to November 2004, but allow me this moment to re-post what being an Auburn Tiger means to me.
The following was posted on AndyPalys.com on Friday, November 19, 2004
What it means to me to be an Auburn Tiger
Today while I was working on the wireless computer lab at CHS, a teacher, who was dressed in Alabama garb, noticed the AU logo sticker that I put on my Nextel. The teacher, who shall remain nameless, said, “I bet you’ll show that off with pride this year.” Without missing a beat, I shot back, “No. I will show that off with pride any year. Everyday. 10 – 0 or 0-10. Football or no football. I am always proud to be an Auburn Tiger.” He replied, “Huh… I wish I could say that.”
To be honest, that comment from an Alabama fan didn’t surprise me. I have encountered that many times. It seems to me that many Alabama fans are only “fans” during football season. When I say that I’m an Auburn fan, I am not referencing athletics in any way. I am a fan of Auburn, Alabama and Auburn University. To be an Auburn Tiger is far more that just pulling for the football team. Sure it’s fun to sit in Jordan-Hare Stadium with 88,000 of my closest friends chanting “Botta Getta,” Track ’em,” “Punt, Bama, Punt,” and screaming “Waaaaar Eagle” while watching Auburn annihilate Louisiana [insert 2-horse town name here]. I have also sat with 88,000 fans after losing, chanting, “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!”
Winning doesn’t make it great to be an Auburn Tiger. Loving Auburn Football doesn’t make you and Auburn Tiger. You don’t even have to be an Auburn alumnus. Being an Auburn Tiger means living the Auburn Creed. When I think of true Auburn Tigers, I think of several friends of mine. I think of my dad (did NOT attend Auburn), my wife (alum), Brad Foust (alum), Brent Barnett (alum), Maxine Barnett (did NOT attend Auburn), Ashley Bates (alum), Brian Barber (alum), Patrick Ray (alum), Jason Harbison (current AU student), Cole Cunningham (WILL attend AU), Vince Dooley, Charles Barkley, and Bo Jackson. Those people come to mind, because they LIVE Auburn. They LOVE Auburn. You can see in their eyes.
Why am I ranting about this? It isn’t entirely because of the Iron Bowl. Honestly, to answer my question, I have to quote the creed. The answer is because, “I believe in Auburn and love it.”
In closing, I’ll summarize my thoughts. Was I upset about last Saturday? Of course. Did it make me love Auburn any less? Not a chance. In fact, I love Auburn MORE. Each morning, I love Auburn more than I did the day before. That has nothing to do with football or any sport at all. Being an Auburn Tiger isn’t a fad. It’s a life. It’s in your blood. It’s in my heart.