I've know that this day was coming, and I thought I had adequate time to prepare. I didn't. I never would have.
Further, I'd rather not go to Toomer's Corner on Saturday. But I realize that I'm obligated. It's a bizarre range of overwhelming emotions.
I've known I'd want to say a few words before it came, and I thought they would be much more eloquent than what you're reading.
I'm tired of the organization of this event. I'm tired of the commercialization of this event. I'm tired of money being made off of this event. I am going to be exhausted with the coverage of this event. There is nothing left to say.
I don't know one person that has ever referred to the trees at the corner of College and Magnolia as the "Auburn Oaks." I don't know one person that has ever needed officially licensed toilet paper at $4 a roll to celebrate a victory. I refuse to spend $25 on a t-shirt that has "The Final Roll" or whatever on it. I don't know one Toomer's Corner victory celebration that had an itinerary. It's stupid.
Players have spoken. Coaches have spoken. It's happened after major victories and major celebrations, and it was generally someone climbing on the bricks and shouting. There was never a microphone.
It's all just a little much. The way this whole thing is coming to a conclusion is absolutely the most anti-Toomer's Corner celebration ever. And while I'll be there, I haven't been happy with one thing done since this all began to end. I acknowledge that it's impossible. I realize that pleasing everyone can't be done. And I don't blame Auburn (the university or the city) for that. I blame Harvey Updyke.
I wasn't sure that I had enough thoughts to write this "pre" celebration/funeral piece, but I knew it was more than a tweet. And I'm disappointed in myself for having no real conclusion to what I'm writing. It just is. And as I bring the reason for this weekend into it, I'd like to make clear the final sentence of the paragraph before this one: I blame Harvey Updyke. I don't blame you, casual Alabama graduate/alum/bystander. While I cry this weekend and while I curse, while I feel unusual emotions that I can't even understand about "just a tree," just let me have some space. This is the culmination of the event in this rivalry that made me apathetic about football. In general. While I want to see Auburn win every Saturday, it was this event that turned a game in good nature into something that brought out my darkest, most bitter feelings. I largely stopped caring the way I had, and I've still not recovered.
I'll be there Saturday. I'll react to it here, at a blog named for the place I'll cry. I hope you will stop me and say hello should you recognize me. I hope you'll read next week. And I hope you'll share your own emotions, because I'm not telling you how to feel -- I'm telling you how I feel. And we're all going to feel a lot of different things this weekend. What I hope we're all granted, internally, is peace; that we can slowly begin to forget how much rage this filled us with and begin to remember why we love college football. It's a new day.