Fans had plenty of leg room for Homecoming. - Peggy Rossmanith
Beating a bad New Mexico State team doesn't really change anything about the trajectory of Auburn's season. We accepted this weeks ago. In fact, I doubt you'll find an insult to hurl at us that will even have any effect. We're basically bulletproof.
Well, the good news is that Auburn won't go 1-11 this year. The bad news is that the Tigers might go 2-10. But remember, we've already been through the five stages of grief. Instead of rocking back and forth in the corner, mumbling incoherent rumors about buyouts, we're dancing in the middle of the room with martinis to the tune of self deprecation. That's right, my friends, we are in acceptance land, the most worry-free place of them all.
Instead of being angry that Auburn struggled in the first half against a terrible opponent, we get to be excited that they turned on the enthusiasm in the second half*. But that was Auburn's first regulation win of the season. Okay, tell me something I don't know. Really, throw any kind of stat at me about how bad Auburn is and just try to ruin the feeling of Saturday's win.
Because let's face it: In all likelihood, regardless of how anyone without significant ties to Auburn Athletics feels about it, Gene Chizik probably won't be the coach of the Auburn Tigers next year. Auburn likely won't win an SEC game. Auburn will probably have to fight to get its third win against Alabama A&M. Georgia and Alabama are possible in the sense that anything is possible, but there appears to be a gaping canyon separating possible and probable. Auburn hasn't been this bad statistically since [insert any random date for any random statistic here]. These are things that we already know. These are things we accepted weeks ago. Nothing anyone says is going to make it any worse.
Auburn fans are in the best possible position for a season like this one: comfortably numb.
What's left to do?
Uh, go to Toomer's. Duh.
I'm not trying to downplay the significance of how bad things are right now, but honestly the stats and doomsday articles have lost their effect. We already know the sky is falling. Check. Gotcha. Keep talking. All I hear is elevator music.
I had a freaking fantastic time at Homecoming. We started the day at Ag Roundup, where all the schools in the College of Agriculture plus several agricultural industries around the state gathered to show what they do and let us taste what they grow/raise. From there, we enjoyed plenty of leg room at the game**, threw a roll at Toomer's and ignored all other football that happened that day. Nothing else happened, right? No other big games of the century of the millennium of the universe? No? That's what I thought.
Would I have had such a great time if Auburn had lost? Probably not, but the difference would have been slight. I got to catch up with a high school classmate, spend time with my favorite people, and enjoy a beautiful day on the plains. The biggest difference is this column. Had Auburn lost, I probably would have just linked to YouTube videos from 2010.
I wear my numbness like a suit of armor. Every new "Auburn hasn't been this bad since..." factoid that a beat writer dug up and tweeted glanced off me like a sword blow delivered by Jaime's left hand***. Sticks and stones may break our bones but words are no match for the wonderful weapon that is acceptance.
I wish I had better news, Tiger fans. Unfortunately, it is what it is. Just enjoy the acceptance for now. Change is a-coming.
Until next time--
To hell with Alabama and to hell with all the rest/
*The Daren Bates stiffarm was a thing of beauty. I was so excited for him. It's his senior year (and what an unfortunate year for that to be) and we've just been waiting for him to break out. He absolutely refused to let anyone deny him his touchdown. Love his effort and love that kid.
**No really. Lots of leg room. In the student section. It was pretty sad.
(Photo courtesy of @murphtl)
If you look at the speck right under the orange flag, that's me standing up and cheering for my Tigers. I may be numb but I still love those boys like a mama.
***A Song of Ice and Fire? Anyone? Okay fine. Game of Thrones. Whatever. Read the books.