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Thursday, June 27, 2013

You Were There: 2005 Iron Bowl

 This game was special in many ways. It's always great to beat Alabama, even in a simple game of checkers, but this year was special for a different reason. 

 Auburn's defense was showing signs of being very good. They had trouble playing consistently great, although when they were, they could shut down anyone in the country. Alabama ran into an Auburn defense that had it's ears pinned back, and ready to take down the Tide.

 While every Iron Bowl has a significance all its own, they only occasionally end up with true nicknames. Most of the Auburn games with nicknames are with LSU, such as the "Barn Burner", "The Interception" or the "Earthquake" games. This 2005 meeting of the Iron Bowl however, sparked the bumper sticker "Honk if You Sacked Brodie" 

 It was a very special day to play along the defensive front for the men in Blue!

List of Newly Enrolled Players

 Here are the names of the players who have enrolled in the summer semester at Auburn. 
 Thanks to for the list. 

Montravius AdamsDTDooly County (Vienna, Georgia)
Mackenro AlexanderSImmokalee High (Immokalee, Florida)
Cameron Artis-PayneRBAllan Hancock College
Peyton BarberRBMilton (Alpharetta, Georgia) High
Ben BradleyDTHutchinson Community College
Daniel CarlsonKThe Classical Academy (Colorado)
Elijah DanielDEAvon (Indiana) High
Devonte DanzeyOGHutchinson CC
Marcus DavisCBAmerican Heritage Boca-Delray
Kenny FlowersLBHutchinson CC
Johnathan FordRBNew Hope
Khari HardingSSanta Fe High (Edmond, Oklahoma)
Jeremy JohnsonQBMontgomery-Carver
Brandon KingSHighland (Kansas) CC
Carl LawsonDEMilton (Alpharetta, Georgia) High
Nick MarshallQBGarden City (Kansas) CC
Kamryn MeltonCBDothan
Deon MixOGSouth Panola (Batesville, Mississippi)
Tony StevensWREvans High (Orlando, Florida)
Cameron ToneyLBHuntsville
Dominic WalkerWREvans (Orlando, Florida) High

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You Were There: Georgia vs Auburn 2005

 When the time came for the "Deep South's Oldest Football Rivalry" Auburn had found its self ranked #15 in the country. The Bulldogs of Georgia however were ranked 9th, and heavily favored. 

 Auburn had opened the season with a loss to Georgia Tech, and reeled off five straight victories before a crushing overtime loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. A two game win streak had the Tigers feeling their oats however, as Auburn would not quit. After eight lead changes, and several questionable calls by the refs, our men in Blue were victorious over our cousins from Athens.

 Kenny Irons once again gave a tremendous effort with 179 yards while carrying the ball 37 times, with two TD's and a fumble.

 In this, the 109th meeting of these two storied programs, the Auburn Tigers would hold a commanding 2 point edge in the overall series. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

You Were There: Tennessee vs. Auburn 2003

 In 2003 Auburn was ranked 6th in the preseason polls. There was a lot of hype surrounding this team, and many had picked Auburn to win the SEC and contend for the national title. The Tigers were the only SEC team in the Top 10 during the preseason.

 A very tough opponent awaited Auburn in the opener, in fact, the first two opponents were going to be tests, and if the Tigers could somehow get past them two, they would possibly be 4-0 when Tennessee came calling to Jordan-Hare. Things didn't pan out that way as the team started flat, and lost both to USC and Ga. Tech. 

 Vandy was next, and Auburn looked as though they had righted the ship after easily dispensing of the Commodores, and lowly Western Kentucky the next week. Now all eyes were looking toward the visiting Volunteers. Could this Tiger team right the ship and salvage what had been an horrific start to the season?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Great to Be by Donica Knight

Auburn Creed 2013

I have been in Birmingham, Alabama since the weekend to assist my nephew with buying a car. We finally found a car within his price range and I took the car to the Express oil change location in Trussville, Alabama yesterday afternoon for an inspection and oil change.
 One of the guys approached me and asked if I had attended Auburn University because he saw the Auburn decal on my iPhone. I told him that I had attended Auburn from 1972. to 1976.
 He stated that he was Alec Brown, who I know from as a tight end who is going to walk-on to Auburn's football team this summer. Alec was a tight end for Hewitt Trussville and is looking forward to the experience.
 He was very polite and did a great job on my nephew's car. I look forward to watching Alec play. You can check him out on Twitter. He reminds me of another great tight end that is now headed to the St. Louis Rams to play. 

Welcome to Auburn University Alec. May you enjoy the experience as much as I did.


You Were There: AU vs. UF 2006

 2006 was a strange year for the Auburn Tigers. A preseason Top 10 ranking and a shot at another SEC Championship was in order. Maybe it was the pressure of being ranked so high early in the season, maybe this team needed time to jell. In any case they fell short of their goals once again under  the guidance of head coach Tommy Tubberville.

 The Tigers of 2006 had started out of the gate with 5 consecutive victories including a nail biter against LSU where they won 7 to 3. Then an inexplicable loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, who scored 27 points on what was supposed to be a very good defensive unit at Auburn. Tubberville hated losing, but especially at home. The Florida game started out much the same way until Coach Tubberville challenged his defense to "Man UP". Quentin Groves took it personally, and the results are worth watching. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's A New Day

With the start of the 2013 athletic season, we as Auburn fans, can hope against hope that the billboard campaign, "It's A New Day" will ring true.
  Malzahn has already brought a spark to the football field, with both the recruits that were signed and the promise of offensive fireworks.
 The hiring of Sunny Golloway may still be too soon to say how the baseball season will go.  Golloway brings a rather impressive 681-337-1 record to the Plains, but hurt feelings in Norman may raise some questions.
 Tony Barbee has yet to live up to the hype or expectations on the hardwood, despite a $90+ million arena.  His 35-52 record in his 3 years at the helm is not impressive and a 12-32 SEC record is surely not.
  Now comes word that Jerome Seagers, who transferred from Rutgers to Auburn following the Mike Rice fiasco, has now decided after one month, that he wants to be closer to home.
 The Auburn women's basketball program, under coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, seems to be headed for higher ground. A solid recruiting effort and a WNIT appearance should play well in the coming season.
 The hiring of Clint Myers from Arizona State as the women's softball coach should pay immediate dividends. Myers complied a stellar 427-102 record in eight seasons in Tempe and captured 2 National Titles.
 Recruiting will need to improve in order to bring that same success to the Jane B. Moore Softball Complex.

I stand with all of my fellow Tigers and proclaim that this is indeed.....A NEW DAY!!!!!!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You Were There: LSU vs Auburn 2010

 This game, they said, would be the real test of Auburn in 2010. After narrowly escaping Clemson, and South Carolina earlier in the season.
 Auburn was running into a buzz saw. Undefeated, and highly ranked LSU came to Jordan-Hare stadium looking to steal Cinderella's shoe.
 All they could grab hold of was air, as Cam Newton wove his way up the middle of the vaunted LSU defense, and then accelerated to the end zone with future NFL'er Patrick Peterson in tow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lifetime of Memories

If you've been an Auburn fan for any length of time at all, you've dealt with ups and downs sports at Auburn. 

 I have been an Auburn fan all of my life- my parents met at Auburn. My grandfather also went, but I don't think it was Auburn University at that time.

 I grew up in a small town in south Alabama. Now it is more a suburb of Mobile, but at that time, it was not really suburbia. I don't recall there being any other Auburn fans in my classes in elementary school. 

 Probably many of you had similar experiences. Please pardon me if I digress in my stories of my childhood experiences. One thing reminds me of another. No one I went to school with went to college games, except for me. They were all raging Alabama fans though.

 I didn't really think anything of it at the time. I remember getting ragged relentlessly over Auburn/Alabama stuff, but I always wondered why none of them went to Auburn games. Never crossed my mind that EVERYONE didn't go!

 I didn't realize how lucky we were to be able to do this.  My parents were strict with us. If Alabama won and people called to tease, we were to be gracious in loss. If Auburn won, we were NOT allowed to call and tease anyone. One incident resulted in my having to write the Auburn Creed because 'we didn't act that way.' We would drive up for one or two games a year and meet up with my grandparents and aunt and uncle.

 After parking- RIGHT by the stadium- (anyone remember? There was a tiny lot on the stadium side of Haley Center?) and then we would all walk over to Anders. My dad worked there while in college and my grandmother was good friends with Rosemary Anders.

 In those days, the eagle cage was in front of the stadium. We would always stand in line to 'pet' the eagle. Did anyone else do this? I have a picture of myself with the eagle, but my 80s haircut is so atrocious that I am mortified by the photo.

 There was also a place to eat in the basement. I think it was Haley Center. My grandmother LOVED Maryland Turkey. If anyone else can remember some of these details, I would love to remember better! Then we would go to Tiger Walk and go in the game about two hours before kickoff!

 We only went over to Toomer's sometimes when I was a kid. When I was older, I went more often. After the game, we would go eat dinner at Morrison's or Piccadilly or a place along those lines.

 One game, there was a terrible storm after the game. My sister and I have both discussed this...something hit the top of the car, but we argue about whether it was a power line or tree branch!

  I said all that to lead up to this- many memories of my childhood are tied together with Auburn football. There have been seasons of heartbreak, seasons of  disappointment, and seasons of joy. Through the ups and downs, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All-time Favorites

Our good friend Klell asked me to blog this week.  I don't have access to videos or anything like he does, so I thought I would just tell about some of my favorite players over the years. These are in no particular order. (Well, maybe the first one is in order)
1. Bo Jackson- When I was a kid, he was my favorite player. I was born in the mid 70s to two graduates of Auburn, one of whom was already a 2nd generation fan and graduate. We went to games every year and he is the FIRST player I remember. When I think of my childhood as an Auburn fan, I think of Bo. His athletic ability aside, he was such an exciting player to watch. My sister and I actually got the opportunity to meet him after the Sugar Bowl against Michigan.
2. Lionel James- My little sister and I had matching jerseys. She had a Little Train jersey and I had a Bo one. One of my favorite pictures of us is with our jerseys on in the parking lot of Jordan-Hare. It was fun to see the two of them together;  big, muscled Bo, and the smaller Lionel. He played with a big heart though and I never paid much attention to his size!
3. Tre Smith- It turned out that I watched this Iron Bowl in an appliance store, so I got to watch it on multiple large screen televisions. What I loved about him was that he came out of nowhere with amazing tenacity. It was fun to watch him run the ball all over the field on a giant screen.  I was in Hattiesburg, and most people there are not Auburn fans, but other store patrons got tickled to see how excited I was. I was jumping around all over the place!
4. Philip Lutzenkirchen- I loved watching Philip play. He was a true leader on the team from the time he was a sophomore. He played for the love of the game and for the fans- and for Auburn.  He was a leader on and off the field, especially with his work with FCA. He was also involved with children with cancer. There is a special place in my heart for athletes who give back. There are some guys who just have that IT factor and he happens to have it. I will miss him playing for our team, but he is one I will always root for, no matter what pro team he plays for.
5.Cam Newton- I can't do this list without Cam. I have never seen a player with such dynamic energy. He passed the energy on to others as well. The worse the media hounded him, the better he played. He made it super exciting to watch games. Every time he set foot on the field, he gave nothing less than his best. It was an incredible year to watch college football. I also was amazed to learn about the mentoring sessions that Cam set up with kids. I know people think it was part of a publicity stunt, but I hear he has kept in contact with them. That makes a forever mark on a young kiddo.
6. Nosa Eguae- Nosa has always played hard. He is talented. What I like about Nosa is that he plays for the TEAM and OTHERS. He rarely is about himself. He also spent a lot of time with FCA, even doing an internship with them. The world needs more Nosas! It would be a better place! He leads by example and plays with heart. One of my favorites!
7. Zac Etheridge- If you are an Auburn fan (and if you are reading this blog, chances are you are a fan), you know Zac's story. I had the opportunity to meet him at the Senior Bowl. He was amped up and very excited to be there. He was cheerful and fun with everyone. Zac reminds me of the kind of guy who could be your brother or best friend. I met his parents after the 2010 AU/UGA game and they were just as nice as he was. Determination and willpower aren't strong enough words for him. He is an example of God's grace with enthusiasm. He could have taken the easy way out and not return to football, but he did. He's coaching now and making a difference in the lives of other guys. Here's to you, Zac!
8. Chad Slade- Most recently, Chad has spent a lot of time with a young man with cancer. Even when it got tough and was obvious Thomas wasn't going to make it, Chad stuck by him. Thomas loved Auburn football and I know Chad's visits gave him some joy. I also like the way Chad carries himself. I look for big things from him this year!
9. Wes Byrum- Wes was good under pressure, even as a freshman. I won't forget the AU/FL game his freshman year. Florida fans were catcalling and gator-chomping him. The other coach called a time-out and tried to ice him out. Bam! He nails it for the win! In 2010, time after time, he was relied on to win the game. Anyone who said the 2010 team was a one-man show obviously didn't watch very much. We relied on Wes several times. In the championship game, I realized it was going to come down to a field goal. There was a shot of Wes on the sidelines and he had an ice-cold stare. I just KNEW at that moment we had won. Wes was in the zone!
10.Onterio McCalebb- Here is another player who has overcome odds.  He had to get some things straight grade-wise, and he worked extra hard to become eligible. He didn't grow up with ideal circumstances, but he always managed to keep it together while he was at Auburn. If you listened to his interviews, everything he said credited others. He would talk about the team, the coaches, or thank his blockers. He rarely took credit himself. I wish more players had this attitude.

There are many more players I love. This is just a list of ten of them that I appreciate.  What are some of your favorites?

You can contact me @tatershell on twitter 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You Were There: Auburn/LSU September 17, 1994

 I was asked to assist with the 1994 World Mountain Biking Championship in Vail, Colorado and I took the assignment without even thinking that it might interfere with watching the Auburn/LSU game. I realized my error in judgement and thought that I would be able to catch the game in one of the nice brewpubs in Vail. 
 I arrived in Vail and attended to my assignments anxiously awaiting the kickoff.  I finished up my day and looked for a place to watch the game. I was sure that there had to be a football fans in Vail wanting to watch some football; however,  no one in the bars in Vail or at the event seemed to be aware that college football games were being played in the USA on that Saturday.
 I finally located one of the news stations covering the mountain bike racing and was able to get an update on the game. They gave me a score of  LSU 23 Auburn 9 in the 4th quarter so I immediately thought that the game was lost.
 I returned to help out with a mountain bike race and made my way back to Denver thinking that Auburn had lost the game. On the way back to Denver on I-70, I stopped at a bar to get some college score updates and their TV was broken. May I say now, that I have learned to never take my HDTV or iPhone for granted.

 I probably went 5 hours without knowing any football scores for the first time of my life. I had dinner plans with friends in Colorado Springs later that night. I arrived for dinner and I was met at the door by my friends congratulating me on the Auburn win. I was surprised. Auburn had somehow come back to win the game against LSU that day 30-26.

 They were all watching the Colorado game, but I was able to see the replays of the game and I realized that I had just missed an important game of my life that I will never get back. I heard that Jim Fyffe was incredible that day.
 There were 11 total turnovers in the game for both teams and Auburn had 6 interceptions.  Auburn's offense sputtered all day and only had 165 yards and no touchdowns. It was another classic Auburn/LSU game and I will always regret not attending that game in Auburn on 9/17/94. If you were at that game, I am sure that you came away saying that it was one of the best Auburn games that you have seen. As for me, I only have the highlights on the internet and a stat sheet.