So Auburn is bad. Really bad. Like, just gave Ole Miss its first SEC win in years (plural!) bad.
If you’re like me, you probably went through a range of emotions on Saturday. Maybe you refused to believe it at first. There’s no way this is real life. It’s a comedy of errors!
And then you got mad. Oh man, Chizik is SO fired! This is just embarrassing!
Maybe you tried to make a deal with the universe. Seriously, as long as ANYONE but Alabama wins the national championship, it’ll be okay. I’ll stop cussing and start recycling. Anyone but Bama!
You may have found yourself sinking lower into a football-induced black hole of sadness. //sips bourbon.
And then you finally landed in a happier place. A place where our record didn’t quite sting as much and our descent into the subterranean cavern below the basement of the SEC wasn’t constantly on your mind. I mean, I’ve still got my health. And there’s always next season. These things are cyclical, you know. Hey, remember that time in 2010 when we won the national championship? Remember how cool it was to see Cam fly? And how awesome it was to watch Josh Bynes command his defense? That sure was fun.
Sound familiar? It should. Auburn fans, in the course of one game, we made it through the entire Kübler-Ross model, more commonly known as the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. That range of emotions tells the larger tale of our season.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but our football team just isn’t very good this year. The Auburn Sky Watch 2012 © is officially at Threat Level Ahmadinejad: Total Nuclear Destruction Imminent. And you know what? It’s going to be okay.
I’ll give you a second to yell mean things at the computer screen.
All better? Good. Now just hear me out.
Undoubtedly, there will be some sort of coaching change made either during the season or at the end of it. How significant or insignificant that change is depends on the administration and its goals. Guess how much of a voice the average fan has in any of those decisions? If you guessed "less than none," you’re pretty close to correct.
We all have opinions about who should stay and who should leave and where the program is headed. Unfortunately, outside of the Internet, our opinions don’t matter very much. That’s why places like Twitter and CaM comment sections are great therapy: we get to espouse our beliefs and argue our points of view with people equally as passionate about our beloved Tigers.
But I am about 100 percent sure the administration does not give two craps about what I think. It’s tough to admit it, but I guess I can see why they don’t trust the opinion of an overly emotional, nearly twenty-five-year-old law student who thinks of all of the players as her children. Rightfully, I have no control over what happens on the field or what happens behind closed doors in the athletic department.
So I’ve just chosen not to let myself get bent out of shape about this season. My outrage and depression are just wasted emotions, taking energy away from my constant struggle not to be the gimpiest gazelle on the UA Law savannah. Do I wish we were better? Absolutely. Do I hope there are some significant steps made at the end of the season* to correct whatever the heck is wrong? You better believe it. Am I going to let the worst Auburn season in recent memory ruin my day/week/month/year? Not even close. It’s just not worth it. As much as Auburn football is a part of our lives, it’s just that: a part.
Non-Auburn fans, scroll right on down past the unabridged Auburn Creed and leave your “Stupid barner! ” comments so I can read them later. Everyone else, bear with me and read the whole thing. Remember what we believe:
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
Football is such a small part of that equation. It’s okay to criticize. It’s okay to get angry. It’s okay to be sad. All of those things are perfectly normal. There have been countless studies validating the stages of our grief. We are mourning the loss of the 2012 Auburn football season. We wouldn’t be passionate football fans if we weren’t upset. Just don’t let it rule your life. It's not worth it. Take out all of your frustration on your keyboard and then go for a walk or play with your dog. Life goes on -- until next Saturday.
Let’s hope we bounce back against the Commodores. If not, keep your heads up and use your 2010 National Championship blankets to keep you warm. These things really are cyclical. And if it makes you feel any better, this is probably how Ole Miss felt for the past few years. Take a lesson from the Rebel Black Bears: There will be brighter days. In the mean time, keep the bourbon handy.
Until next time—War Eagle.
*I admit when I'm wrong, and there's a good possibility that I was wrong about Loeffler's immediate future and what it means to Auburn's immediate success. I won't go as far as saying that a mid-season coordinator change would help the team, but I can't argue that it would hurt it either. However, I really don't want to entertain thoughts of a head coaching change until after the season is over. I hope Gene doesn't make me eat those words.