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Why I Am A Fan Of Auburn University.

It's a combined network campaign, y'all! Let's talk about why we're fans of our school.

Walt Austin

Welcome to the refreshed College and Magnolia! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts [link here] to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [http://blog.sbnation.com/2017/5/24/15685020/why-are-you-a-fan-reader-sweepstakes-announcement-and-official-rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here [https://www.sbnation.com/why-we-are-fans] and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

The Story

So, how did I become an Auburn fan? I can never remember a time in my life when I wasn't an Auburn fan, to be honest. I'm sure if I thought about it early enough, I could have had my parents scan and send me pictures of my brother and I wearing Auburn clothes for most of our lives.

So, obviously, the story of how I became an Auburn fan begins with my dad. My father - like my brother and I - are a very familiar story to just about any Auburn fan who grew up in the state of Georgia. People often incredulously ask how we can be Auburn fans when we grew up in Georgia. The answer is, of course, is that we're partially Auburn fans because we grew up in Georgia. Among Georgia fans. Who are just the worst.

Seriously, how can anyone like a school where grown men think it is perfectly acceptable to bark at other grown men?

So, my dad always wanted to go to Auburn. He was accepted, had a roommate, and was close to going. At the last second, he changed his mind and stayed in state and went to Georgia Southern. That's where the other half of my fandom comes in. And, yes, it does make the first game of this season super awkward. Especially since my wife is a Georgia Southern grad, too.

My brother and I grew up Auburn and Georgia Southern fanatics because of our father. We both ended up just really wanting to go to Auburn, though. And, thankfully, we both did. I was lucky enough to go on a ROTC scholarship. I started at Auburn in the fall of 2000 and graduated in the spring of 2004 with a BA in History and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Alabama National Guard.

I've gone all over the place since then. Two deployments, transfers to the Georgia Guard and now to the US Army Reserve. In between, I also had the honor of going back to the War Eagle Battalion as an instructor at the ROTC department as a contractor for four and half years. Through it all, I've always taken my love for Auburn everywhere. I have a banner with the Auburn Creed hanging over my computer at work. My coworkers are probably tired of me talking about Auburn.

Plenty of people have amazing stories of becoming Auburn fans because of some event in their life. We'll publish another one of those in just a few hours. I'll be reheating some other older stories by our staff today, too. For me, I'm lucky enough to say Auburn has been a part of my life for as long as my memory stretches back.

So, what are your stories? You've noticed the contest stuff at the beginning and can see the caveats below. Let us here your story! If there are particularly good ones, I'll put them on the Front Page!

War Eagle, everyone. Always.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Contributor Sweepstakes starts on 8:00 am ET on May 25, 2017, and ends at 11:59 pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to authorized SB Nation contributors who are legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here
for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc.  Void where prohibited or restricted by law.  Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.