He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

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Sunday, December 05, 2010 

War Eagle!

I used to bleed orange & blue. That all ended 10 years ago. I decided to put the state of my soul over what football program I liked the most & moved back to Birmingham from Auburn & plug into my home church. And it was in Birmingham I met the inanimate love of my life, UAB. I started by taking one of the 2 AU decals off my truck & replacing it with a UAB decal, having one of each. Then, within a couple months, I was head over heels with the place & people of UAB. That is too personal to post publicly (somewhat kidding about that) but today I want to congratulate the Auburn Tigers, SEC champions.

I remember in 1991, after going to watch the Tigers get beat down by the Gators in Auburn that at the tender age of 12, my friend & I were extending the middle finger to any car with Florida flags, magnets or stickers. When one irate fan started shouting at my friend's dad to roll down the window, he was already so mad from the loss & thinking this Florida guy was taunting him, that he about had an aneurysm. After rolling down the window & first cursing the guy out for taunting him, the Florida driver proceeded to tell him that "his sons were flipping us off." Since I wasn't his son, he turned around & punched Patrick on the leg! And we started swearing we were only saying, "we're number 1," but that didn't fly. But Patrick did say he was the only one doing it, which allowed me to continue to come to future games. Patrick, where ever you are, thank you still!

By the next year I had matured a lot & after the most heart-breaking loss I've ever attended (against Georgia as the clock ran out near the goal line & they were in the top 10 & AU was unranked) some UGA fan (middle aged woman) whipped my eye with her pom pom outside the stadium. Patrick & I followed her & her husband from a distance, picked up a broken glass bottle piece, & placed it snugly under their rear tire, point up.

Two years later at 15, after Nix to Sanders at the Swamp knocked off #1 Florida, extending AU's winning streak to 18 games, I was riding in my friend's Jeep with the top down with my AU shirt off & waving it around my head screaming on the interstate when we got pulled over & I got a warning (b/c I think the cop was an AU fan!!).

My senior year of HS after a 1 point loss to Alabama, a dumb girl with a dumb Alabama hat thought it wise to say something dumb about the game to me (a win or loss against Alabama these days set the stage for at least 1 month of happiness or depression back then) within an hour after the game was over. I walked over to her & took off her dumb hat & walked away as she beat at my back & then felt a much stronger hit in the back of my head that wasn't from that dumb girl. It was from her dumb boyfriend who I didn't see. So I threw the hat in his dumb face followed by some saliva & the rest I cannot post.

Then came my 4 Fall semesters of AU football while a student there, & during the first 3, as well as the above stories, I was not a believer. Let's just say things escalated not being under the same roof as my parents & worship would be the best word to describe my emotion towards Auburn. I don't want to write about things that could incriminate me in possible open cases (kidding, I think).

I write all this to build my case as a past fanatic of the Auburn Tigers. My family goes back generations at the school & even on my wife's side, her uncle graduated from there & her grandparents (missionaries) met & married in Auburn (married in the church that planted my home-sending church).

I lived in Kentucky when Auburn had their perfect season in 2004 & didn't get to play in the championship, & it was then that I realized I had a lot of love for Auburn left. I got physically sick & worried watching particularly the LSU & VT games, & I realized that that was a bit ridiculous!

However, I moved back to Auburn in 2005. (almost) Everybody that lives there worships - yes, worships, AU in the way I once did. As I wore my UAB shirts or hats, AU fans, made not just a little bit of fun of me. Even one of my closest friends now asked, "do you really like UAB sports? Like you follow them & pull for them?" "Yes," I said, "I graduated from there & I loved it." "Hmmm..." he replied!

The fans started to remind me a whole lot of those Alabammer fans I despised, & after a while, it just got to be so obnoxious I couldn't root for the team anymore. I didn't want them to lose, I just focused on my Blazers all the more. And then came the clincher - attending an AU basketball game with my friend, an AU football player, for no reason, threw his pizza slice down on us. I was done.

Now, not living in Auburn anymore amongst the obnoxiousness & closing my facebook page & being blind to the obnoxiousness, I've been able to enjoy the Tigers in Japan, just my old school feelings handed down to me by my family, & pulling for AU as the world pulls against them.

Besides ESPN, it seems the most "cheating" outcries I've heard have come obviously from Alabama, South Carolina, & TCU fans. Alabama makes sense - fans thought they had a dynasty started last year & in 1 year's time, their rivals get a Heisman, Iron Bowl victory, SEC championship, & a shot at the title. South Carolina - 50% of their losses came from AU. TCU - sorry frogs, when a team beats 6 top 25 teams & you beat (1 or 0 I forget) you deserve squat.

And it needs to be said, Auburn was never even implicated in cheating from the get go - it was always looking at a player & a different university altogether in Miss St. As one wise man said:

"...Let's say the charge that Mr. Newton shopped his son and later got cold feet is true. This is neither a slippery slope nor is it unprecedented. The infamous Albert Means case is an exact parallel to the worst-case Newton scenario. Some coaches and boosters "shopped" Means to UAT (that is Alabama), but neither Albert nor his family benefited from that shopping expedition. So the NCAA blocked Means from playing with UAT yet allowed him to play at Memphis. Similarly, if Cam had ultimately played for MSU, the NCAA would have ruled the same way -- he couldn't play for the school tainted by the "shopping" but he can play elsewhere (Auburn)."

So sorry world, Cam Newton & the Tigers have legitimately been beating your tail all season long. Crying foul like babies just makes it more enjoyable & continues to give AU the fuel of "us against the world." Let's pretend that Auburn has been cheating - they must have an $800 million payroll to be this good!

Today, War Eagle!

Go Blazers - 2047 National Champs!

And Father, seriously, teach us Christians from the West to enjoy your gift of sports without finding our hope & joy in them!

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  • I'm DR
  • From Exiled
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