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Friday, March 22, 2013

'72 Iron Bowl: You Were (Not) There

1972 Auburn/Alabama Football Game -Unfortunately I was not there

I entered Auburn University in the Fall of 1972 and the best part of this experience was being given my packet of football tickets when I registered for classes. The student tickets at that time were $2 a piece and part of my student activity fees. What a bargain compared to today's prices1
 My first Auburn game was at Legion Field and Auburn defeated Tennessee 10-6. Coming from an Alabama family, I was hooked on Auburn after that game.
Auburn did have a special team in 1972 and I was in class with some of the players. No one was giving Auburn much of a chance in the game with Alabama; therefore, I decided to sell my tickets and go deer hunting that day in early December. I can remember that Alabama was ranked number 2 and a 14 point favorite.
I reached the deer stand that afternoon and placed my radio on a nearby tree branch to listen to the game. I even had a doe stop by to listen to the game with me. She seemed to be interested in the new sound.
I recall that Gary Sanders was the Auburn announcer at the time.
Alabama led 16-0 until Auburn finally kicked a field goal with less than 10 minutes left in the game.  The next Alabama drive was stalled and Greg Gantt came out to punt. The punt was blocked by Bill Newton and David Langner recovered the ball and ran it in for Auburn's first touchdown of the game.  I can still remember the crowd noise on that quiet afternoon in the woods just wishing that I was at the game.
Alabama got the ball back and was forced to punt once again and Bill Newton blocked the punt by Greg Gantt and David Langner recovered the ball and went in for another touchdown and Auburn went ahead 17-16. I remember that initially they were saying on the radio that Roger Mitchell had blocked the punt, but it was later confirmed that it was Bill Newton.
Alabama got the ball back and threw a pass that was intercepted by David Langner and Auburn came away with a historic victory.
It was a great win for Auburn that afternoon; however, I will always regret selling my ticket to that game. 
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