My first Auburn Georgia game was in 1994. It was disastrous. Auburn's 20 game win streak was ended as I watched from the ramp in the southeast corner. The next time I went was 1996. I saw Robert Baker make a big catch only to be lunged at by Uga V. Then I saw Auburn leading the game with seconds left and a UGA team with no timeouts give up a sack only to have the ref stop the clock since the ball came out and Auburn thought it was a fumble. That clock stoppage allowed UGA to come back, spike the ball, tie the game on a Hail Mary and then win in 4OTs. My first game in Athens (of what is now approx 40 games I've seen there) came the next year in 1997 when Takeo Spikes dominated Robert Edwards.
Flashforward to 2004, I graduated high school and went to UGA due to the Hope Scholarship (free college is good). My older brother had done the same and was actually the one who got my family tickets in 1997 but in the midst of Auburn's impressive win in 1999 in Athens he turned. He was no longer a fan who rooted for UGA unless they played Auburn he was a fan who rooted for Auburn unless they played UGA. As the Auburn-UGA game that year approached I wondered if the same fate lay in store for me. It would help that Auburn was undefeated and I knew going in that nothing would change on that day but I still worried about the future. Then Junior Rosegreen hit Reggie Brown in a vicious Rosegreen type way (this was targeting before there was targeting) and knocked him out. As Brown lay unconscious on the field and was being tended to the Auburn student section started chanting "Reggie, Reggie." The camaraderie and genuine care for a player for a player from the other team meant that I would root for Auburn for life, this was something that would never be done at UGA. This was solidified the next year when as I sat in the student section the drunk girl behind me cussed out Auburn every chance she got. I sat quietly as Auburn pulled out that miracle win. The next couple of years later I was heartbroken as Auburn lost in 2006 and sat wearing white in the student section for my next to last game as a student during the 2007 blackout game.
As I get ready to attend my 14th Auburn-UGA game, I'd like to remember something. This rivalry used to be a friendly one especially on the Auburn side of things (from what I know many UGA fans have always hated Auburn). That's why the recent developments, especially the 2010 game and aftermath, make me upset. I know "They started it" and other things have led to an increase in the hate but I still want to view it like the old days when Auburn fought Georgia but really only hated Alabama. War Eagle.