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"Ever To Conquer - Never To Yield"

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College football is almost here. Today begins the official start of fall football practice on the Plains and 'Fan Day' will be August 14th in the Auburn Arena.  As the 2011 season is fast approaching, I have found myself not only looking forward with great anticipation but reflecting back a little on what Chizik's Tigers accomplished in 2010.

It was the most exciting season of Auburn Football that I have ever witnessed. The Auburn Tigers had to come from behind in nine of their 14 games on their way to winning the National Championship.

Of those nine come back victories, none were more sweeter than the 75th Iron Bowl. Since I've found myself on the road this week with no time to do a column, I thought I would share my tribute to those Fighting Tigers from the article that ran on December,1st 2010. Here is ...

"Ever To Conquer - Never To Yield"      

     Img_8384-3_tinyby aubtigerman on Dec 1, 2010 12:00 AM CST in Football


Auburn defensive end Antoine Carter (45)makes "the play" causing Alabama running back Mark Ingram (22) to fumble the ball during the 2010 Iron Bowl Nov. 26, 2010. The Tigers went on to defeat the Tide 28-27.


After watching this year's Iron Bowl, my first thought was, 'I don't think I have ever seen a team that more epitomizes the Auburn Fight Song than the 2010 Tigers. I have been fortunate enough to witness some of the all time great ones in the past 52 years. Teams like the undefeated 1958 squad, the great ‘63 team led by Jimmy Sidle and Tucker Frederickson, the Sullivan and Beasley teams, the '72 Amazin's, the four SEC Championship Teams of the 80's, and the '93 and 2004 undefeateds. All great teams, but none of them came as close as this year's squad in personifying the phrase "Ever to Conquer, Never to Yield."

To say this team has no quit in them does not adequately describe the bunch. They have had to come from behind in eight of their twelve games and yet none of the comebacks were as dramatic or had as much on the line as this year's 75th Iron Bowl. The event, only four days old is already one of the all time legendary games of the Iron Bowl series. Historic is what it was; Bama has never lost a game where they led by 24 points and Auburn has never overcome a 24 point deficit to win. Jay Coulter says it may be the best Iron Bowl ever and after further review, I am inclined to agree with him.

No play in this year's Iron Bowl better typifies the spirit of "Ever to Conquer, Never to Yield", than Antoine Carter's not quitting when the big man ran after Mark Ingram and punched the ball out and into the end zone for a touchback.

The Iron Bowl usually produces a play that will go down in the annals of Iron Bowl lore as one of 'the' plays. They are the plays that will be remembered by a single phrase for generations to come. Phrases like "Punt Bama Punt", "Bo Over the Top", "The Kick", or "The Reverse to Victory".

This year's "the play" by Carter not only ended another Alabama drive but many, including Coach Chizik, believe it was the turning point of the game. Some have labeled it the defining play of the 75th Iron Bowl. I'm not sure that it will get that type of celebrated title. But I am sure that the play defines the very spirit of this very special Auburn Team. No single play in that historic game better exemplifies the "Never to Yield" line in the Auburn fight song.

Back in September I wrote the following statement about Auburn's comeback ways and it was even more applicable to the Iron Bowl as it was in the earlier games :

"Ah, the great American comeback. The great story about being down and almost out only to get back up off the mat and score a knockout blow; it's the thing legends are made of. I'm not saying this team will be legendary, but if they keep getting knocked down several times only to get back up and pummel their opponents in to submission ... then that label may be fairly attached."

With last Friday's historic win the team has now earned  that legendary label - no matter what happens in the next two games. Any team that could play through all the adversity they have had to endure the last few weeks, mount eight comeback wins (including going in to a rival's hostile stadium of 101,000 fans), spot the defending national champions 24 points in the nation's greatest rivalry game, shut that opponent down in the second half, and outscore them 28-3 to earn a come from behind victory is already ... yes legendary.

Now the Tigers are right where no one expected them to be before the season started; right in the middle of the SEC Championship week and one game away from the National Championship in Glendale, Arizona. This Saturday Auburn will have a rematch with South Carolina, one of the teams they had to come from behind to defeat earlier in the year.

After that game I wrote a piece calling them "Auburn's Cardiac Tigers."  In it I said that comebacks appeared to be the team's modus operandi. I was wrong. These Tigers m.o. is their determination to ...

"Ever to Conquer - Never to Yield."

  War Eagle!  Beat South Carolina!


Comments (from December 2010):

Ah yes, the great American comeback..

Very nice read. I enjoyed the comparison between Auburn, and that beautiful fight song.
I had often thought of this team more as Rocky Balboa.
Few gave us a thought preseason, and many laughed at Phil Steele’s predictions, and Kirk Herbstriet, although this team has prevailed through all wars, on and off the field.

Come and join me at

by KoolBell777 on Dec 1, 2010 6:18 AM CST reply 

      Dude, you are so right on!

      I was just thinking the same: 2010 Tigers = Rocky Balboa.

      by Tiger on the mountain on Dec 1, 2010 9:00 AM CST up reply   

Waaaar Eaaaagle.. Win for Auburn!! POWER of Dixieland....!!! Hey!!!!

by rn4au on Dec 1, 2010 6:19 AM CST reply 

This team is "Fearless and True"

Sounds like there are your favorite team. The 2004 team has been mine but I might be fixin to change. Thanks for a good read this morning.

by GreenvilleAUfan on Dec 1, 2010 8:44 AM CST reply 

      I don't know yet.

     Like most Auburn fans, I have several favorites. And a lot of times the top one is a favorite from our youth. I am particularly guilty of that. I have grudgedly held on to my all time favorite, the 1963 Tigers with Tucker Frederickson and Jimmy Sidle (even during the 4 SEC Championships of the ’ 80’s) . However, now for the first time since I was 15 years old I may be starting to waffle a bit. I Might know if ’63 is displaced by this bunch by the end of January.

"The reason you come to Auburn is because of Auburn people.This is a special place, from the coaches all the way to the fans" - Andrew McCain OT

by aubTigerman on Dec 1, 2010 12:50 PM CST up reply   

War Eagle! Beat South Carolina!!!

by Tiger on the mountain on Dec 1, 2010 9:01 AM CST reply 

Well -- Back home from spending Thankgiving in Detroit

Anything earth-shattering happen while I was away? :) Wow, cannot believe that football game – Had all of my Big 10 out-laws pulling for AU before the game was over!!
Aubtigerman, you are so very accurate

12 down; 2 to go — WDE!!
  DWWD -- WDE!

by ATL_AU_FAN on Dec 1, 2010 10:24 AM CST reply  

Crap -- I should have known better than attempting to add emphasis...


by ATL_AU_FAN on Dec 1, 2010 10:25 AM CST up reply 

It probably wasn't you...

the SBNation sites are having a time lately. Sometimes we can’t use the reply button, etc…
Hope you enjoyed your visit,

Come and join me at

by KoolBell777 on Dec 1, 2010 10:42 AM CST up reply  

This team is so inspiring.

Now – "On to Victory, Fly Down the Field" and beat South Carolina. Enjoyed this post.

by Im4Auburn on Dec 1, 2010 10:43 AM CST reply  

Again I'll repeat my self again...

These guys do not give up or stop until it is 00:00 on the clock—it is amazing to watch—WAR EAGLE!!!

Michael Val
(who works for the Department of Redundancy Department).  In the words of Kevin Scarbinsky, "If it’s Auburn against the world…good luck, world."

by Michael Val Hietter on Dec 1, 2010 11:13 AM CST reply   

Nice article, spot on...

War Eagle!!  Auburn Elvis

by AuburnElvis on Dec 1, 2010 11:39 AM CST reply 

The Tide knows they're about to get rolled. They're about to live through the bedtime story that Tiger fans will be telling their children for ages.

Wow. When I wrote that last week, I was just talking trash. I didn’t know it would turn out to be so prophetic.

An Auburn victory in Tuscaloosa, a SEC championship AND a national championship are defintely NOT part of 'The Process'.

by War Eagle Atlanta on Dec 1, 2010 12:48 PM CST reply  

I have often said WEA is a prophet.

War Eagle!

"The reason you come to Auburn is because of Auburn people.This is a special place, from the coaches all the way to the fans" - Andrew McCain OT

by aubtigerman on Dec 1, 2010 12:54 PM CST up reply

Well can you tell us prophet ....cuz we have to know...

How many licks does it take to reach the center of a tootsie pop?

by rn4au on Dec 1, 2010 5:19 PM CST reply