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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Every day

I sat down last week and after winning the NCAA Regional against Georgia Tech I reflected on the extraordinary losses our Auburn Family had in the days just before. I still pray for those who were left behind to carry on the family name, honor them and remember them. This however comes with pain and sometimes a want to just have it subside.

This was written last week and the artwork was completed after we defeated North Carolina in the Supers. To see this team and these young men come together behind this coach is truly inspiring.

I hope this captures and is a tribute to all of those who have passed. God Bless and please support and pray for those who need strength to get through the day.

If you have interest in a print, as always just let me know.

War Eagle! AURob

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tigers Win Atlanta Regional Championship

Thanks to some timely hitting and impressive pitching Auburn was able to move on to the Super Regional in Chapel Hill, NC. Our Tigers will face North Carolina.

Steven Williams was the Regional MVP finishing 6 of 13 with a double and a "Walk Off" HR in the first game against Georgia Tech.

Here's how they got there:

War Eagle!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Glorious Unfolding

Go Crazy, Cadillac. Go. Crazy.

When I first heard the news, like everyone else, I was devastated. I spent a while praying, "These kids need a parent! What are you doing, God?"  Of course, a while later, I heard the news that he had passed. I spent the next day reading the comments and tributes of people who knew him well or knew him.  The first thing I thought was, "God, why does this keep happening to us? Why would you take him and his wife? What about these kids?"

Artwork courtesy of @AURobUSA Used with permission. 

During worship the next morning, God presented this song to me:

"You called my name
Out of the darkness
Into your glorious day"

Glorious Day by Kristian Stanfill

Used with permission from @CFullman

I was comforted a little bit at that time. However, the more I read what people had to say, the more I was blown away. I did not know Rod. I saw him innumerable times at games. He was always doing his game day broadcast. Sometimes I would stop and listen for a little while. I wish I had stayed a few minutes longer. I wish I would've taken them time to tell him thank you or to meet him. I procrastinated writing this post. I used the excuse that I could not find a particular radio broadcast that I wanted. I still have not found it, but it was really just that I was not ready to write. I do not know why the days of Rod's life were fewer than we wanted. It does not seem to be that taking home two lovely people would be part of the master plan, but God's ways are not our ways. Here is what I do know. Rod radiated joy. He felt what we felt. He made us feel what he wanted. He had the ability to turn a phrase like no other person. He was generous. He loved Auburn. He loved our players. He made them feel important. He loved with his whole heart and let us know that he did. There is not a better Auburn man that I can think of. Rod got to do what he loved and had some really special calls. I have found it extremely hard to name a favorite, but if I had to name one, it would be this: "The view from up here is sheer perfection."

Used with permission from @kimt205

I did not know much about Paula. I know Rod spoke of her often. She let us love him too. That says a ton about her character to me. 

I do not know why we lost Philip, Rod and even players in 2012. It makes it hard. I will be honest. I really struggle with it sometimes. I know that God must have something really special in store for the Bramblett family and Auburn. I am trying to choose to trust Him. It is going to be a long road for his children and other family members.Would you join me in praying for the Bramblett kids and the rest of their families? Would you join me in praying for his friends?

" And this is going to be
A glorious unfolding.
Just wait and see
And you will be amazed.
You've just got to believe
The story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise
God has made to us.
And watch this glorious unfolding."
- Glorious Unfolding, Steven Curtis Chapman

This song means a lot to me. I know there is something great in store. God's timing is not our timing. Rod and Paula are not sad tonight, even if we are. 

Tomorrow, as Rod and Paula are memorialized, even if you cannot make it, let's wear our orange blue. Let's post our favorite phrase of his. Post a picture of the orange and blue sunset if you can get a photo. One day this week or next, let's do something. Let's do an act of kindness like paying for the next person's meal, coffee, gas or helping someone who you see that needs help. You can post about it or it can be completely anonymous. Rod loved with his whole heart. Let's do the same. 

War Eagle!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Not Once, But Twice A Tribute To Jim & Rod

Randy Comer:
It is Memorial Day and I am still reflecting on how fragile this life can be after the Auburn Family lost two of their own last Saturday evening. 

I now feel that a part of me will now be missing whenever Auburn plays a football game because Rod Bramblett will no longer be calling the games. It will be difficult for me to imagine today if anyone can match his talent at describing the play on the field. 

I first heard Rod calling baseball games in 1993 and I always thought that he would go on to another venue. I could actually sit in the stands, close my eyes and follow the game just listening to Rod. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Rod several times and he always remembered my name and asked about my family. I watched him many mornings prior to an Auburn football game taking the time to talk to people. Rod will be missed by the Auburn Family and I really hope the best for his two children. 

I will always remember Rod for two of his greatest calls in 2013. The "Miracle in Jordan-Hare" and the infamous "Kick Six". I will always remember where I was in the Auburn stadium when these calls were made. 

Here are the words of the infamous "Kick Six" that I keep on my I pad. I was one of those people on the field that night.

"Davis is gonna run it all the way back! Auburn is gonna win the football game! Auburn is gonna win the football game! He ran the missed field goal back! He ran it back 109 yards!"

"They're not gonna keep 'em off the field tonight! Holy Cow! Oh my God! Auburn wins! Auburn has won the Iron Bowl in the most unbelievable fashion you will ever see! I can not believe it! 34-28! And we thought a Miracle in Jordan-Hare was amazing! Oh my Lord in Heaven!"

War Eagle!

**A special thanks to @AURobUSA for editing and creating the tribute video. His work is truly appreciated.

Klell Lawrence:
The most difficult post I have ever attempted, bar none. 

Shaken with the death of Rod and Paula Bramblett,  I have wrestled with whether or not my thoughts were worth sharing. I was encouraged by the wonderful group of folks that write for our humble site to make the effort. So, here goes.

The people of my age that love Auburn have had the envious pleasure of hearing some truly memorable broadcasts of our Tigers. These calls gave us a sense of belonging. 

When the NCAA ruled a television ban against Auburn in 1993, we had Jim Fyffe articulating every aspect of the game including just how rich blue the sky was. 

For Auburn fans, we knew we had the best in the business working for us. Helping our minds visualize the entirety of the scene. Whether it be basketball or football. Then suddenly, Jim Fyffe was taken from us. 

"Every blessing has it's own little burden." - Unknown

Blessings being what they are, Auburn caught lightening in a bottle, not once, but twice! 

Enter Rod Bramblett. 

A friend of mine,  reached out in the immediate aftermath of our devastating news Saturday evening. "It's hard to follow a legend, and he (Rod Bramblett) did it." 

That resonates with me today. 

I have never heard anything but praise from those who knew Mr. Bramblett. Whether they worked with him, or met him in passing. He was a gentle spirit by all accounts. He will be missed. 

I can't think of a better soundtrack to blend the calls of these two Auburn legends, than that of the country music legend George Jones. "Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes" ENJOY!

***Editors note: We don't make a profit at this site. We haven't any rights to the music or the audio portions of Auburn broadcasts. They have been used simply for tribute purposes.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Senior Basketball Thank You- A Season Like None Other

Because Auburn Men & Women Believe in These Things

I needed a few days before I could write my senior thank you. One reason I have delayed writing it is because I do not want to say goodbye to these guys. This was an amazing season. The post-season was indescribable. I had so much fun watching basketball this season. Years ago, I fell in love with watching the NCAA tournament after I was able to attend the first two rounds with the pep band at USM. The tournament is always fun for me but this season will always be extra special. Even one day when I know Auburn will go on to win the championship, I will remember this team. This team built the foundation for future generations. As a whole team- thank you. What y'all did was so incredible. The theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts was in full effect. Even though I tried to delay it, the time has come to say my thank yous.

Photo used with permission from @AURobUSA

Bryce Brown- There are not really any words for the way you have changed Auburn basketball. It has always been fun to watch you play. Over the years, we have seen you become more accurate with your shots, learn to shake off mistakes and become a leader on the team. It has been an honor to root for you, Bryce. We have always heard about the hard work you put in long after practice. Thank you for everything you have done for Auburn. You have completely changed the culture at Auburn. I know you are going to do great things but we surely wish you did not have to go. Good luck with all of your future endeavors. I know you are going to do great things. You will always have a home at Auburn. Please stay in touch with your Auburn family and come visit when you can. War Eagle!

Photo used with permission from @AURobUSA

Jared Harper- Wow, what a season! We wish you did not have to go but we completely understand. It is time for you to go get yours now. I will never forget this season.There are way too many instances to mention, but we have loved and appreciated every second of your play at Auburn. I have so much respect for you. It has been a joy and pleasure to root for you. One day in the not too distant future, Auburn is going to win a championship. Your quiet leadership will not soon be forgotten.  One thing we always knew watching you was that you could make it change in a second. I will never forget "We've Got Jared." Thanks for being such a good sport about everything. I know we are going to see great things from you. Come visit when you can. You will always be home at Auburn. Thank you for everything.

Photo used with permission from @AURobUSA

Horace Spencer- When I think of Auburn man, you come to mind. You displayed being a warrior for Auburn and a loving dad at the same time. I think my favorite moment of you this season was when you got your head split open. I know it is probably not something you wanted to remember but when you got up and stared them down with blood running down your head- WOW! This season was so  incredible. Thank you for all of your hard work, time, and dedication. I know that the whole season, especially the post season was time away from your family. This whole season was a dream. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn. Know that you will always have a home at Auburn. I know we are going to hear great things from you in the future. Thank you. War Eagle!

Photo used with permission from@AURobUSA

Malik Dubar- We could always count on you for a laugh and a smile. There is something special about a player that can always build up his team. I wish you could stay around a little longer. This season was so magical. Not only the season but the team chemistry was also magical. I remember when you got smacked in the mouth and insisted you keep playing. What a warrior! We are going to miss your tenacity and basketball skills, but I think more than anything we are going to miss your personality. Thank you for your time and dedication to Auburn. Your hard work will always be remembered. I know we will hear about great things from you in the future. Please come visit when you can and stay in touch with your Auburn family. Thank you for everything! War Eagle!

Photo used with permission from @AURobUSA
Cole Blackstock- You are truly a champion. The heart of a lion and the fight of a tiger makes a terrific basketball player. I think we were all excited when you got your scholarship. You've proven over the last few years that a walk-on can make a difference. Of course, this year you were able to transition to scholarship player. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn. I hope you had as much fun playing as we did watching over the last few years. One day, Auburn is going to win a national championship and when we do, we are going to be able to point back to you and this team. Thank you for everything. Thank you for your hard work, your time and your dedication. Please stay in touch and come and visit often. We are really going to miss you. Thank you for everything! War Eagle!

Used with permission from @AURobUSA

Chuma Okeke- I do not even know where to begin. You really gave us a ton of joy this season. We were all devastated at your injury. Your sweet smile really stood out this season. While you are not as jokey and smiley as Malik, your smile is sweet and honest. Seriously, thanks for your hard work and dedication. The entrance you made into the arena at halftime vs Kentucky was super special. I know you did not feel like it but you came anyway for your team. I loved the videos of you advancing the team in the bracket. We can never express the appreciation for all you did for us this season. I hope everything goes perfectly for you. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn. Come and visit often. I know we are going to hear great things from you in the future. War Eagle!

Photo from my personal collection @tatershell
We Believe in Auburn and Love It!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ramblings From Afar

At the time of this writing, I am sitting in San Antonio, Texas. It is 6:30 in the morning, and my coffee is perfect company. 

I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you, and in doing so, take a brief escape from the coming day of hard physical labor that awaits. 

Tiger Woods:
While I understand the mix of emotions for Mr. Woods from some, because of his personal ( read private ) life drama, I can't help but be elated about his success at the Masters Tournament. From sports greatness, to wondering if he will ever be able to walk comfortably again, then a return to sports greatness after a surgical procedure, is the stuff that sports dreams, and movies, are made of. 

Speaking of golf, the Auburn Women's golf team has been on an upward swing. See what I did there? Anyway, after finishing second at the Clemson Invitational, the ladies have started the SEC Championships on a tear. If you are in the Birmingham area, and would love to see our Ladies in action, they are playing at Greystone on the Legacy course.

Auburn Football:
I have zero clue who the QB will be that starts against Oregon on August 31st, in Arlington, Texas. What I do know, is I saw real improvement in the throwing motion of Malik Willis, and Joey Gatewood. Not that I know enough to coach the position, more of an accuracy, and quickness of the release when throwing the ball. Both of these gentlemen seemed much better.

Bo Nix showed he can become a real dynamic force when he has the ball. It's no wonder he was highly sought after.

Our RB's look good behind a much improved offensive line. Hopefully the RB's can pass protect better this season.

The Tigers defense may not start out as strong as last season's unit, but by mid season they will be very good. Barring a lot of injuries, this defense can become great. 

That's all for now. 

War Eagle!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

My note to OUR Auburn MBB Team, thank you!

The morning after... It still stings. I feel terrible for our players. They earned an opportunity & for whatever the excuse they were not afforded it. Like so many others have said, this is life. They are Auburn men and thus I know they will have more opportunities. It's who we are. It does not make it right; it does not mean we should ignore it. It only means that we as Auburn men and women rise above it. We do not let any single person, group or event define us or limit us from reaching our goals.

This team was amazing. There is no other word for it. After a three game losing streak in February, of course the negative nanny’s were on fire on twitter. I have chosen not to go and pull those tweets as looking in the past at that type of brainless, easy, shallow rhetoric never matters much anyways. It only serves the person who tweets against our Auburn athletes, coaches and staff some type of false validation. The true Family, supports, believes, defends and loves Auburn.

This team chose to ignore the smoke and focus on what they knew they could do. They felt compelled to take care of some unfinished business after exiting the NCAA Tournament the year earlier suffering a blow out loss to Clemson and that drunk looking Tiger of theirs.

One team returned the next year and the other one didn't. Our Tigers had an epic run not matched before in history, for the simple fact no team in tournament history has beat Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky in back to back to back games. None! Spreading that blue blood all over the NCAA tourney floor.

Our team; led by our seniors Malik Dunbar, Horace Grant and Bryce Brown followed by Jared Harper, Anfernee McLemore, Danjel Purifoy, Chuma Okeke, Austin Wiley, J’von McCormick and Samir Doughty got the bulk of the minutes over the end of February and an absolutely perfect March that had them practicing in April for a Final Four Semi-Final game!

Wow, just wow! I was a coach once or twice and I know that Bruce Pearl who deserves more credit then the rest of the college sports world is giving him has to be amazed and proud of what he guided these Auburn men to achieve. I said perfect March! Look at this schedule and all of these games are “W’s”!

Yeah, I threw UGA on there because that is where the streak started and I wanted to just reiterate the fact that we swept the Bammers, the UGaly’s and the Vols in the same season.

Typing this is bittersweet. I am so happy and proud of these Auburn men but I cannot lie as I sit here in the Minneapolis airport on Sunday my heart aches that I pass on attending a Championship game. 

My Tigers mean to much and I support them first before I support anything or anyone else.

I will close with thank you for a season that defines Auburn Basketball and sets the bar for every Auburn player that takes the court wearing the Orange, Blue and White from now on, YOU did that! I can only hope next year’s team embraces what I know this team did embrace; If you don’t believe In yourself, who will? They did and we all got to come along for the ride. Now we all need to continue to believe and embrace the "valuable pain" - come back and finish it.... it is not how hard or how many times you get knocked down that matters... it is getting back up and what you do that matters. Make it three tourney's in a row! I BELIEVE!

War Eagle Family, much love and it is always great to be an Auburn Tiger. We love Auburn. So blessed.

AURob – just a pixel pusher!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Auburn Women's Basketball Thank You

Fearless and True

I have gotten a little behind on the thank you blogs lately. 

The Auburn Women's Basketball brought a new level of fun this past season.  Most Sunday afternoons, I watched WBB and when Auburn was playing, it was definitely a bonus. The group of seniors were really special to the program. Coach Flo and these seniors have brought a shift in the Auburn WBB program. These seniors have been amazing! It was so much fun to watch this team dance and win all along the way. This team was really special and I know these girls have blazed a path for others to follow.  These seniors deserve a special thank you. Even though they did not go as far as they wanted to in the tournament, it was a joy to see them get in and a joy to see them play. I cannot wait to see what they can do next year.

Photo courtesy of @AURobUSA

A very special Senior Thank  You!

Erica Sanders: I know things were not always easy for you, but you never took the easy path. You kept working. You kept your head up. I know that you are going to be successful whatever you do. Take these things that you have learned and done at Auburn and carry them with you wherever you go. Thank you so much for everything you did for Auburn. Women's sports do not always get a lot of attention. I appreciate your blood, sweat and tears that you left on the court. Things are definitely changing in Auburn Women's Basketball, and one day I believe they will go all the way. When they do, we can look back to what this group of seniors did. Thank you so much. It was a ton of fun to watch. I know you are going to do great things. Be sure to come visit us soon. You will always have a home at Auburn! War Eagle!

Emari Jones: My nieces play softball. They have never played basketball, but they really enjoyed watching you. They were pretty devastated when you got injured. I know things did not work out the way you wanted, but there are two things I know. You changed things at Auburn, and you are going to be fine. You have already proven that you can change things. Keep your head up and keep going. You did great things at Auburn. We appreciate all you did and are so glad you came to Auburn. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn. It was been a better place because of you.  I know one day Auburn is going to get there and it will be because of the groundwork you laid with your teammates. Thank you. Please keep in touch and come and visit often. You will always have a home in Auburn, and you will always have fans in my nieces and me.  War Eagle!

Janiah McKay: You have been my favorite player the last couple of years. I cannot give you any reason, really. It was so much fun to watch you all dance and play this season. You made it really fun to watch. You really put it all on the floor when you play and it was A TON of fun to watch. My nieces play softball and I love to show them the college athletes that are great students as well as athletes. Thanks for being such a great role model! Thank you also for everything you did for Auburn. I know that one day, Auburn is going to make it all the way and this group of seniors will be responsible for paving the path. Whatever success comes to Auburn in the future will be because of what you all did this year. Thank you for everything you did for Auburn! Stay in touch! You will always have a home at Auburn! Seriously, thank you for everything you did for Auburn! War Eagle!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Mosh Pit Revisited

Hello everyone, and War Eagle!
I can't believe it's the time of year I would normally be writing to you about spring football practice, or Bob would be writing about our women's softball team. 

For the second year in a row we are talking about basketball. NCAA March Madness, and our Auburn Tigers baby! The 2019 SEC Tournament Champions. That has a nice ring to it.

To think, it all started like this:

On that fateful day, March 18th 2014 Bruce Pearl jumped into a mosh pit of Auburn fans. Five years later, almost to the day, he jumps into a mosh pit at Toomer's Corner celebrating winning the championship. 

The Tigers made a run through the SEC Tournament making history along the way. Bryce Brown was named MVP, and why not. Setting the record for three point shots with 18.

Danjel Purifoy led from the bench with 10 points in just 10 minutes of playing time. Making clutch 3 pointers, and playing great defense. 

Auburn will face New Mexico State Thursday at 12:30 pm Central time. 


Friday, February 15, 2019

Changing The Mindset at Auburn

Gus Malzahn takes a beating sometime as the head coach of the football program at Auburn University. let's not kid ourselves though, it's a program. There are tons of moving pieces to any college football program, and coaching the team is just one part.

The head coach is the person in charge of the football team, and it's day to day operations. Recruiting, team functions, and scheduled practices, off season workouts all fall under the purview of the head coach. 

How the team travels, football facilities, and athletic administration are not duties for head coaches on a normal basis. Sure, he has a voice in facility amenities, such as a theatre, or how many meeting rooms and so on. The head coach does not have the final voice on whether he gets his wish or not. 

These decisions fall on the Athletics Director, the University President, and the board of directors. This is where the money flows to and from.  This also is where Auburn has fallen way behind. 

While Auburn may have better facilities than 97%*** of the college football world, it's the upper 3%  they wish to be recognized with. With every month that passes, Auburn falls farther and farther behind.

I have stated over and over recruiting is the life's blood of college athletics. My prediction is this: If Auburn continues to waffle on ALL of it's sports program facilities, it will continue a downward spiral. 

Yes. Auburn has sported some great teams in recent years. What current recruits see when they visit, is not the most modern, and certainly not the "coolest" facilities in the conference. WHY?!?!

Recently we have seen many top end recruits choose other places to play, and at least part of the reason is facilities.

Keep in mind, facilities in and of itself won't sway recruits when they can be compared to other top programs. It's when they don't compare, where the problems arise. 

The message recruits get is a lack of commitment  from the university, so why would we expect them to commit to Auburn? Those who lead Auburn must change their mindset as it pertains to facilities.

Track and Field, Softball, Baseball, and Football all are in desperate need of facility upgrades. It MUST get done!

Yes, winning cures a lot of problems. I won't argue against that. Facilities show a commitment by the university, no matter who the coach is. 

War Eagle!

*** statistical information not available = my best guess 💀