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Wednesdays with (Oscar) Whiskey: Foundation

In this edition, Oscar pays tribute to one of the greatest victories in Auburn history and the affect it had on him.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Hello again, Auburn Tiger fans, Oscar Whiskey is here back from a brief hiatus.  Apologies for the absence but things have been kind of busy for me lately.  So there was this game last weekend that Auburn played in and yeah, it didn't go so well for our Tigers.  I wasn't mad when the game clock showed four zeros for the fourth time but just a tad disappointed.  After a couple hours I got over that disappointment and have moved on.  Everything that has been or needed to be said about the game against Mississippi State has already taken place so I'm not going to spend any time on it.  Instead, I am going to share something else with you all.  I am going to share an experience about a game that took place twenty years ago tomorrow.

Auburn did it again. Against all odds, against prevailing wisdom and against the top-ranked college football team in the nation, the Auburn Tigers pulled off another stunning victory today. In one of the biggest upsets of the college season, Auburn scored with just 30 seconds left in the game to defeat the University of Florida, 36-33.

The above is the opening paragraph of Larry Dorman's piece recapping the 1994 meeting between #6 Auburn and the #1 Florida Gators down in Gainesville, Fla.  It was a wild, action-packed, back-and-forth, high-scoring game between two of the best teams in the nation at that time.  It was a game where the No. 1 ranked team had not lost at home in a generation.  The game had a great start and a memorable finish that only teams fielded by Auburn can somehow pull off.  It made us cheer and scream and jump up and down and point index fingers towards the sky proclaiming proven dominance once again.  It was a game I never saw.

On Sunday, October 16, 1994, my family and I had returned from another Sunday morning spent at church and were getting ready to drive to my grandparents home in Katy, Tex., which was about an hour or so long drive.  I was eleven at the time and I wasn't looking too forward to spending yet another Sunday at their place.  On Saturday, my family and I at spent the entire day at the local high school practice fields for a fun filled day of little league football.  I played on a team called the Owls (named after the Rice Owls, all the teams were named after school mascots from the recently defunct SWC) and my father was the coach.  My mother was part of the committee that ran the league and my sister was there for the various confectionary treats sold at the concession stand.  I don't remember who we played that day or if we won or not or anything from that day, truthfully, but it really doesn't matter anymore, I guess.

What I do remember, though, is the drive to my grandparents home on Sunday.  I remember my dad pulling into a grocery store parking lot and him giving my mother the keys to our deep red GMC Jimmy.  He went inside and came back out shortly with the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle.  I was excited by this, because it meant getting to read the Sunday comics which were bigger, had more panels and were in color (even though I preferred them in black and white).  My dad got back in the car, said he was ready and away we went.

I'm sure I asked for the comics and my dad, of course, obliged as he wasn't interested in them anyway.  He had purchased that newspaper for one reason only; the Sports section.  He would read the rest of the paper in due time, but that wasn't the priority.  He also didn't read all that often in the car and not because it caused him motion sickness, but I think he preferred to keep his eyes on the road when someone else was driving.  On that Sunday, though, my mom could have driven the car straight at brick wall and he wouldn't have noticed.

I watched in silence as my father read the recap for the game.  I watched his eyes move back and forth as he read each word.  I watched him smile and snort every time he read the words "interception" and "Spurrier."  I sat there and watched and wondered at what it could possibly be that he was reading that had my father, a man who had a tale, story or anecdote for every little thing under the sun, captivated so.  Finally, he read the article to the rest of us in the car.  He added his own flair and emphasis as read aloud creating a highlight reel in my mind of players that I had never seen nor knew what colors they were wearing.  He would punctuate by stabbing his finger into the paper or waving it in the air.  He would add in references of the Interception game against LSU that had been played a month prior, how no one had beaten the Gators at home in five years and most importantly, that Auburn remained undefeated in spite of everything that had befallen the Tigers' football program in recent years.

In that moment, right then and there, I became an Auburn Tiger fan for life.  Nothing would change my mind or dissuade me from any other team.  For twenty years now I have stood proud and tall for Auburn.  I attended school there like my father and my grandfather and like them I received a degree form there.  My sister would also attend as well as receive a degree from Auburn.  A majority of my clothes and wall decorations are Auburn themed.  Sure, I mock the school and team every now and then, but who doesn't?  One day, if I am fortunate, I will have a child who will also at least cheer for Auburn.

On a mild, autumn October day in Texas a foundation was put into place all for a game that I never saw.

War Eagle.