There's few things in my 24-season career as an Auburn fan that I haven't seen. I've witnessed bowl games, road games, SEC championship games, Iron Bowls in the hell hole of Legion Field, and the inside of most opposing SEC stadiums that matter, but I had never taken in a Spring game. Not even during my four spring quarters as a student. A-Day didn't compete with the Miss AU Tan contest, did it? Because now I know why it would have lost out. They probably don't even have that raucous event anymore, and it's a damn shame! Maybe I would get back to campus more often.
It was great to meet up with the people that did come out, although the logistics were a lot harder than I imagined. We Georgians caught 40 miles of construction traffic on the way down, which delayed us quite a bit, and poor Jay's brother caught an appendicitis, which almost hurt as bad as the traffic. Regardless, we had a great time at Loco's, at the game, and for some margaritas afterwards. Looks like LSU Jonno is marrying into the Auburn family, so we're stuck with him for a while. I think I scored us an invite to the wedding, although his fiancee specifically ruled out an open bar after meeting me.
So walking down from the parking lot on Donahue seemed like Acid Reign and I's own personal Tiger Walk, albeit with a few drinks in us and no one lined up to shake our hand. Tickets were abundant. A few scalpers had rolls of them, and they were lined up all along the way. After trying to get them to budge off the $5 face price, I realized that they were actually university employees. Those vodka tonics from Locos were kickin!!!
As advertised, we did sneak in some flasks. I was a little worried. After all, it had probably been 20 years since I snuck liquor into the stadium. My M.O. the last decade and a half was to get loaded before the game. I felt like a student again! Although security looked lax, I did have a plan if they frisked me and found my flask. I was going to immediately leave the stadium rather than surrender my booty. I was carrying a lot more than $5 worth of Bacardi, so I would have gone to the other side and bought another ticket from one of those university scalpers.
I don't know what we were thinking walking into the stadium right at kickoff and going through the 50-yard line tunnel expecting some seats to be available. All it gave us was the scenic walk straight to the north end zone. I bribed Acid Reign into getting cokes for all of us by ponying up the dough, but he and Steve didn't get back until the 3rd quarter, which basically defeats the purpose of sneaking in a flask in the first place. It also shows you that in addition to the defense being undermanned Saturday, the concessions staff was, too.
We sat in section 44, mainly in honor of Ben Tate, but also because that's all the seats that were left. It must have worked, though, because he busted out that 46-yarder right as we sat down. Anyone with season tickets in section 18 better declare your loyalty before the season starts to either Kodi Burns OR Wes Byrum--for the 3rd year in a row. I used to think that was a big deal with them having the same number, but all it really means from a practical standpoint is that Burns will never be a holder for Byrum. Nor will Byrum line up in the backfield. Unless Caudle starts, or...Well, you get what I mean.
So what was the one big lesson I learned this weekend, other than it is possible to sit in close proximity to co-eds who are normally herded into the student section? It was that a program coming off a regime change isn't going to show you ANYTHING that opposing teams can prepare for all summer. If that was all that Malzahn had, then I want my money back. Of course, that wasn't all that Malzahn had. We didn't see half of it, and if we want to before the conference schedule begins in full in October, we had all better start watching Tulsa game film. Yea, it's either that or the fact that learning his dizzying offense takes more than three weeks.
And some other things I learned about A-Day this year:
- That although we didn't have the clout this year to have our spring game carried by ESPN, we still had more than the Mississippi's so we didn't have to have it at NIGHT.
- If I could figure out how the Byzantine scoring system worked during A-Day, I might have had the wherewithal to have stayed a math major instead of hopping to the College of business.
- My decision 20 years to never again arrive on game day going down College St. from the interstate was truly a zen moment.
- That if Jay, Acid Reign, War Damn Zach and myself were a game-day announcing crew, I'd be the sideline reporter.
And with the report from the cheap seats inside Jordan-Hare, back to you, Zach and Acid...