I watched Auburn lose to Texas A&M surrounded by both Alabama fans and LSU fans who were nothing short of jubilant, and I don’t want to talk about it.
Instead, I’d like to share a little bit about our trip to Baton Rouge and what makes good friends* so special.
First, some background:
My best friend is an LSU fan, and I get her. I get her because we are the same person. We love our respective Tigers. We celebrate the joy of victory and wallow in the agony of defeat. She feels the way about LSU that I feel about Auburn, and that's a beautiful thing. Because of Laura, I cheer for LSU, and she cheers for Auburn. One just wants the other to be happy.
Our best friends are Alabama fans. The dynamic is different, with most words better left unsaid. We love each other, but we don't talk about football. It works because they're wonderful people and fighting about football with wonderful people is dumb.
Still, you'd be hard pressed to find a more interesting trifecta than our group anywhere. So the five of us loaded up an SUV and headed down to Baton Rouge because we're in our last year of law school and why the hell not?
Long story short, we had an incredible time. We ate, drank, laughed, danced, and watched a classic football game. Instead of spending Saturday night feeling sorry for myself like I really wanted to do, I donned purple and gold and learned to bow LSU's defense off the field. Here is our day in pictures:
Because I wore purple and gold to the game, I had to sneak in some orange and blue** somewhere. I found these socks right before we left, thinking they'd be perfect. Last I saw them, they were crumpled in a parking lot. Good riddance.
I also brought my favorite accessory. I'm still in the market for another one, by the way.
LSU fans, when they're not screaming at you, are really fun people. My roommate and I almost stole this dog. I'm not kidding.
We may have arrived a little late to this tailgate***, but we managed to swipe some boudin balls. They alone were worth the drive.
Our view from Tiger Stadium was lovely (in theory). We sat in the Bama student section right above the band, which would be a totally cool experience for any Alabama fan. But for a die-hard LSU fan and a heartbroken Auburn fan, it was less than ideal. If you dislike me and revel in my misery, take comfort in knowing that Saturday night was a low point in my life. However, the undergrads who happened to be sitting behind us were great sports. They teased us for wearing the wrong colors and we teased them for sitting down before halftime****. We didn't sit next to our Bama fan friends because we love each other too much for that.
This is what I named the Railroad Tracks of Sadness. We crossed them first right after TAMU/AU went to halftime and again after the UA/LSU game. Truth be told, I let myself cry about our game until we got to Tiger Stadium. Then I compartmentalized like a champ.
After the game, we sat in traffic for what seemed like 100 years because that's how football traffic goes. We ended up behind Eli Gold, which delighted exactly 1/2 of our car. The other half had to stifle the gags.
You know how the game went. But at the end of the night, my best friend got to see her Tigers in the place that makes her the happiest. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
I wouldn't wish watching your team lose at a rival tailgate on anyone, but I wouldn't change anything (that we could control) about our trip to Baton Rouge. We met lovely people and enjoyed amazing food. And we listened to a whole lot of Taylor Swift. As they say in Death Valley, I have neaux regrets. Oh? They don't actually say that? They should.
I still haven't completely processed Auburn's loss last Saturday. I didn't get to see any of the first half and the second wasn't pretty. I don't know what to say other than when your offense scores 38 points, you should be able to win the game. I don't know how the rest of the season is going to go, but I still believe in Auburn. That's what you do when you love something.
If you're making the trip to Athens this weekend, please beware of grown men barking like dogs. For some reason, they find that socially acceptable. I didn't hate Georgia before Mark Richt but man do I hate them now, and they'll be out for blood after the Immaculate Deflection (even though you'll never convince me Aaron Murray actually scored). I hope Cameron Artis-Payne and Roc Thomas make them cry.
Even if they don't, until next time, War Eagle forever and always.
*It's hard to express how much your friends really mean to you without sounding trite. After years of signing yearbooks and picking out birthday cards, it's hard not to worry about your words ringing hollow. But for what it's worth, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Laura, Lauren, Christina, and Matthew for making a horrible day one of those law school memories I'll never forget. I love you all more than words can express.
**I really thought the socks would be enough. I brought both my undefeated Cam jersey and my Auburn Strong shirt with me for luck, but I didn't think I needed them. Maybe the hubris was what brought us down.
***Despite my utter despondency and generally awful disposition that evening, we were hosted by the loveliest and most generous people in Baton Rouge at tailgate after tailgate. Laura's family and friends were incredible and I felt so fortunate to be there, even when I was crying about football.
****I'm not a TV-timeout or quarter-break-sitter. You stand up until your team sits down (Obviously the previous statements only apply in the student section--don't crucify me in the comments). And if you're not in danger of losing your voice at any given time, you might as well be watching the game at home. Your one and only job is to disrupt the other team's offense. Death Valley was incredible Saturday night.