I have to be honest with all of you for just a second. What I'm about to say may be seen as sacrilege for the majority of Auburn fans. However, I'm confident those of you who - like me - grew up in the state of Georgia will understand completely. If I was forced to choose any given season which team I would rather beat between Alabama and Georgia, it would be Georgia. I grew up just south of Atlanta and had to put up with UGA fans growing up. If you've never really lived around them extensively, let me fill you in on the majority of ones I knew: they're Alabama fans with absolutely no reason to be that entitled. During the 2012 SEC Championship Game, I was on Annual Training with my Georgia Guard unit and there were 40 people sitting around a TV yelling and screaming for UGA. I was the lone person pulling for Alabama. Everyone was shocked that the Auburn fan was pulling for Alabama. I responded by telling them "At this point in my life I'm immune to Alabama winning championships and I'm used to their fans. I know how insufferable you Georgia people would be if you were to go to the BCS Championship Game. So heck yes I'm pulling for Alabama."
It's a weird situation, really. I would rather beat Georgia than beat Alabama, but if forced to live around and interact with a fanbase every day of the week I would choose Georgia people. With all of my Georgia friends I'm able to have daily conversations about everything else in the world and we only occasionally bring up football until the season starts and only discuss the rivalry the week before and after the game. With Alabama fans it's a 24/7 ordeal and the rivalry is present and discussed every single day.
The Georgia rivalry has been painful the last few years. We haven't exactly been too successful in that game. Georgia came in to the game having been bit pretty hard by the injury bug, but still a tough team with one of the best QBs in the SEC. We knew it was going to be a test. None of us could have predicted the way it would end.
The game was the CBS game, so a 2pm kick off. My girlfriend and I didn't really have a set place to tailgate last year unless the ROTC department was hosting a tailgate, but I still insist on getting to campus 3-4 hours early in order to get my usual parking spot that allows me to be home within 10 minutes of getting in my truck after the game. On the morning of the UGA game, we decided to meander over to The Hound for brunch. If you've never been to The Hound, then I cannot recommend it enough. Especially for brunch. Get the Pig Candy. You're welcome. That was an excellent way to start off the day.
The first half of this game could not have been more perfect. Auburn came out and dominated on both sides of the ball. The second half was another story. Auburn looked especially susceptible on defense when Dee Ford missed some time in the 4th quarter. This is not so coincidentally during UGA's big come back. The offense didn't help matters. I have heard arguments that Gus went conservative during this time frame, but I don't believe that to be the case. One drive consisted almost entirely of throwing the football. You can watch the offensive and defensive cutups done by our own WarRoomEagle here or even the full game here.
I was sick to my stomach when the official upheld Murray's TD on 4th down. I could not believe we let them come back and take the lead. The UGA fans around us were going crazy. Auburn's drive didn't make things better.
I wore the same blue shirt to every Auburn game last year except this one. It was the "all orange" game, so I wanted to support the movement and wore my orange shirt. However, I hedged my bets. My blue shirt was in my girlfriend's purse. She handed it to me before Auburn's last set of downs and told me to put it on. When Marshall let the ball loose, the hopes of every Auburn fan were upon that ball. I watched the ball's flight and then turned to the HD screen. My seats were on the first row, north side, 12 yard line. We had to watch the screen for much of the action last season. I saw the ball tipped and for some reason knew it was going to be caught as soon as it went into the air. I can't explain it. It was just a certainty in that brief moment the ball was in the air that all would be well, all would be well, and all manner of things would be well. When Louis did catch it, pandemonium erupted. I hugged everyone in orange and blue I could reach and was screaming at the top of my lungs. After the initial celebration, though, I again looked to the scoreboard and said those dreaded words: "we left them too much time."
Georgia drove the ball down the field and had a chance there at the end. Having Dee Ford back on that drive proved crucial as he put the devastating hit on Aaron Murray to end the game. We all celebrated. It was amazing. As we left the stadium to celebrate at Toomer's Corner I turned to my girlfriend and said "I will never in my life be present for a game that ends as crazily as this one."
I was wrong.