I had the pleasure of meeting Takeo Spikes at Tiger-Time back in 1996 after LSU defeated Auburn 19-15 in the game made famous when the old Auburn Sports Arena, affectionately called "the Barn", burned to the ground across the street. It looked as if the stadium was on fire to myself and the other 87,000+ fans that night. Ill never forget it.
Another thing I want forget is how gracious Takeo was chatting with me after his tough loss. I told him I was sorry about the loss and I thanked him for his effort and I said that I thought he played a great game as he always did and then of course I told him War Eagle. He gave me a War Eagle back.
What I said was short and to the point but was probably still not what he wanted to hear from me or anybody else for that matter. He had a female friend with him and they just wanted to eat and relax and let his tough night sink in for a while before having to get back to the daily grind as a student athlete. His girlfriend who was with him gave me a look the whole time I was standing there like I was nuts for even walking up on them and to be honest she was right. It was nuts to walk up on them.
Takeo could have blown me off like the wind and never thought one thing about it. He could have done the same she had done with her piercing stare and I would have walked away no big deal because and he would have been right but he didn't. I'll never forget that. I remember more about that one small gesture then the fire, the close game or any other crazy event that G and I probably got into later that evening at the Supper-club.
Its now 15 years later and I'm in Ozark doing my thing and my Auburn play time seems like a million years ago. Mr Spikes 15 years later is still playing his game and playing it very well. A 14 year NFL career is something pretty special in itself. I take my hat off to you Sir for that alone.
There is another page to this story still unwritten that is the reason Takeo Spikes is still at it after all these years. I'm hoping I have another page or two to write myself but that's another story. HA! Takeo is searching for the playoff trip he has been denied for all these years. I wish him the best on his journey. If I know the fighter that Takeo is, I know he will get there with out a doubt.
Best wishes and good luck to you my Auburn friend. If you ever speak to your Lady friend from our Tiger-Time meeting I spoke of please give her my best apology and my best regards. Im hoping she is doing well. Thank You Takeo for the memory and thanks for just being you. When you and the San Diego Chargers bolt into the playoffs this year I'll be all smiles with a slight sigh as I remember Auburn 1996 @ Tiger-Times ...... WARRRRR EAGLE!!!! HEY!!!!!
Sincerely, JD Cotton II