So here we are, heading into the last game of the 2013 college football regular season: the Iron Bowl. This year has gone by incredibly fast, but as I'm sure that we are all feeling the same way in that we wouldn't want this season to play out any different than it has. A 10-1 record with the No. 4 ranking the BCS standings. Five months ago, all we were asking for was an 8-4 season at best and maybe a win over one of the preseason favorites as just as little something extra. We were all willing to be patient, let this season play out and watch a team grow to be bigger and better next year.
Instead we were given something so much more incredible. Truly, this has been a season nobody could have predicted even in their wildest dreams. This team is quite literally capable of going from first to worst back to first all within the span of three years. Has there ever been a team, whether it be Auburn or any other college football program, that has accomplished something like this? If this has taken place before, then I guess I haven't been paying attention.
All I'm trying to say is this: Stand back and take a moment to absorb all of this, because it may never happen again.
You Can Fight
It would mean everything to me if we could take a holiday
Cos you and I bone tired every night isn't my idea of play
And even our smallest dreams is getting lean, never sees the light of day
So it would mean everything to me
You can fight but you won't always win
I first came across this song a couple of months before the start of the season. When it started playing through my headphones, the first images that sprang into mind were of the upcoming game on Saturday and the whole rivalry surrounding it. At the time, while I was counting the days till the beginning of the season, I wasn't looking forward to the its finale. Not because I was scared of yet another potential beatdown from the Tide on our Tigers or all the noise 'Bama fans would be generating leading up to the game. No, I was honestly just tired of the whole idea altogether. It is known that there was a 40-year break in the series and that it took a resolution from the state government of Alabama to get the two teams to start playing one another again. I was beginning to wonder, with all that has happened over the past few years, would it be such a bad idea to take a break again? I know it sounds crazy, almost defeatist, but I was entertaining the thought in my head for several minutes.
Out here in Houston, I don't have to deal with Auburn's rivalry with Alabama at the levels that those of you have to do back east. For a long time it was rare to run into a fan from either school, and when I would meet a Crimson Tide fan out here, we would chit chat for a few minutes and then be on our way. Over time, the presence of SEC football in Houston has grown. At first, the biggest group of fans that supported an SEC school was LSU, and that makes sense as Baton Rouge is only five hours away. Then you would see some Florida fans and some Georgia fans and a couple of South Carolina fans, but I think those fans just thought it was funny to wear a baseball cap that read "COCKS." As Alabama's rise began to take hold, so did its popularity here in Texas. But with Alabama's new found popularity, there were more and more Auburn fans, as well. I would always do a double take when I would see an Auburn sticker on someone's back windshield and then resist the urge to sideswipe every vehicle that had a 'Bama logo on theirs.
As the song played on I began to focus on the hook: You can fight but you won't always win. New images began to form in my mind, and they were no longer of poor showings in the past by Auburn, but of Tiger victories on their way. I smiled and I knew that it was only a matter of time. As I said to Aggie fans before Auburn played A&M, in this league, no one wins forever.
لا يوجد سلام على أبواب
The above is an old phrase that I came across some years ago. I cannot tell you where I found it or how I came across it (mostly because I don't remember), but I can tell you that it has stuck with me ever since. Yes, it is Arabic, and no, Auburn Jesus won't send you to Hell for reading it. The phrase translates to "At the gates, there is no peace (safety/security)." I have always interpreted the saying to mean that no matter where I go, no matter where I am, whether it is within the confines of my home, car, office or somewhere I have been dozens of times, that I should never be content with my surroundings.
So, I say this to any and all 'Bama fans who may be reading this: When you and the team you support walk through the gates into Jordan-Hare Stadium, you will find no peace there. You will be surrounded by 87,000 Tiger fans who will all be sharing one goal, and that is to watch your team lose. There will be yelling and screaming at such eardrum-bursting levels, that your team, the one that is -4 in turnovers on the road/neutral sites, will lose all sense of bearing and direction. The cacophony produced by Auburn fans is going to be so overpowering that snap counts will be lost, assignments will be confused and blocks will be missed. Not even Nick Saban will be able to be heard, and instead Auburn fans all around will be treated to the miming of a furious temper tantrum reserved for the most spoiled of toddlers.
You can fight, Alabama, but you will not win.