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What It Means To Be An Auburn Man

The post below was written by an Auburn man who goes by the moniker, Ghost of Hitchcock. It was posted on an Auburn message board yesterday and in my opinion, sums up best what it means to be an Auburn person and what Monday's contest means for all Auburn people. He granted me permission to repost it here...

My father is 83. He's wheelchair-bound and has expressive and receptive aphasia. He has been taking me to Auburn football games since before I can remember. A 1951 graduate of what was then Alabama Polytechnic Institute (but known as Auburn even then), he passed his tremendous love for Auburn football to me. He is the one responsible for me having witnessed --- in person --- the exploits of Terry Henley and The Amazins, Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley, Mike "Cap'n Crunch" Kolen and many, many more. My first bowl game was the Auburn-Texas Gator Bowl in '74. We thrashed 'em, 24-3.

I enrolled at Auburn in 1978 and was there through the football season of 1983. During that time, my Dad saw me do a lot of stupid stuff (including directing traffic in front of Eagles West Apartments after one drunken ballgame), but we would always talk Sunday morning about the game. In 1983 on New Year's Eve before we played Michigan in the Sugar Bowl two days later, he also saw me tempting Bourbon Streeters from the balcony of the old Quality Inn on Bourbon by pouring drops of Wild Turkey into the crowds. Folks were holding up their cups in anticipation. He just shook his head and walked on down Bourbon.

He was a season-ticket holder for enough years to have seats on the 50 on the east side of JHS. "Best seat in the house," he used to call it. And he loved it and he was always there. Never missed a game, no matter how much of a pushover the foe was.

On Saturday, I will fly to Glendale, Arizona to see our Auburn Tigers play the Oregon Ducks for an undisputed national championship. Dad can't go, but he knows that he will be in my heart. And his 1951 API class ring, which he RARELY takes off his finger, will be on MY finger. As I said, he has expressive aphasia, but the last several times I've seen him, he's looked at me with a grin on his face and held his hand up and spun that ring around and around. He knows I want to wear it as a tribute to him. And I will wear it proudly.

When the clock hits 0:00 on Monday night in Glendale, Arizona, and Auburn has won the 2011 national championship on the field, you can bet your sweet *** there will be tears streaming down MY face! Tears of joy that OUR TIGERS have reached the college football mountaintop and tears of sadness that my father --- the greatest Auburn man I know --- is not next to me to share in my celebration.