When I started writing for College and Magnolia a few years ago, I thought it would be a fun way for me to be stupid on the internet without wasting time. I thought I could make people laugh, and I really needed a creative outlet. After a couple of years, and after making tens of people laugh, it’s been great. At no point was my goal to be famous, viral, or whatever it is that I became in the last two weeks. I just wanted to have fun and talk about Auburn. That said, this is the official account of the weirdest two weeks of my life.
On March 23, 2019, at 3:13pm I wrote “Jared, Chuma Okeke, And my guy Bryce Brown shooting that thing from way downtown” into the notes app on my phone. I finished writing the song on my computer, and then sat down in my guest room to record it while my wife drove our baby around, trying in vain to get her to nap.
At 3:53pm the article “Crow Karaoke: We’ve Got Jared” went live, along with the link to the song on soundcloud.
On March 25, around noon, everything changed.
I’ve done a few interviews since then, so the story has been told. I pulled over and my phone was exploding because the members of the Auburn men’s basketball team had posted a video of them dancing to my song. Things got weird. My phone died almost immediately after the glut of notifications melted its digital brain.
From that moment on, weirder things happened seemingly hourly—not the least of which was Auburn beating the University of North Carolina Tar Heels by 17 to go to the Elite Eight. The band played my song. People bought shirts I made. The band played my song.
My twitter feed became the weirdest mix of people overjoyed at what was happening to me and people who were expressing gratitude to me over this. People genuinely thankful for something I did. To say this is a new experience for me is to put it lightly. No one has ever read my dumb posts on this website and then unironically thanked me. People began sending me a dollar here and there on venmo.
Now let’s talk about that.
I say “SonofCrow on Venmo” and randomly put my Venmo username on twitter as a joke. Up until recently zero people had actually given money to that venmo account. All that changed. People responding to free content by wanting to give money to its creator is the least-internet thing of all time. By the end of the week leading up to the Kentucky game, I was already overwhelmed with the love of the Auburn fanbase. I had been on the radio twice here in Auburn, and was able to plug East Alabama YFC a few times, so I was already feeling like things couldn’t really get any better.
On March 31, Auburn defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 77-71 to earn the Tigers’ first ever Final Four berth.
Bruce Pearl quoted lyrics to my silly song from the confetti-covered floor. Then he did it again from the podium. Then the Auburn fanbase sang my silly song as it welcomed the conquering heroes back into Auburn arena.
On April 1, the University’s twitter account used my song in a sweet drone shot of Toomer’s it posted. The Official Basketball video also used the song.
Then on the fourth the Chamber Choir sang an unnecessarily beautiful rendition of “We’ve Got Jared”
If you know me, you know how extra I am. So I decided to arrange "We've Got Jared" for the AU Chamber Choir and this talented group whipped it up in one short rehearsal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ BEST OF LUCK TO OUR GUYS AT THE FINAL FOUR THIS WEEKEND!!!!Posted by Brady McNeil on Thursday, April 4, 2019
Tom Green, Brandon Marcello, Benjamin Wolk, Josh Vitale, Justin Lee, Justin Ferguson, The Plainsman, the College of Liberal Arts, and the University’s main page all talked about my song in excellent pieces they did in the run up to Auburn’s Final Four trip. I loved each one and it was incredible to read people I respect write about something I did. Incredible in more of an out-of-body-experience type of way. Then Matt Brown and Caroline Darney at SBnation started pumping the story to the Mothership’s main page.
Then Friday happened. I facetimed with Bruce Pearl, and that isn’t the weirdest thing that happened Friday.
When you work in nonprofits like I have for the better part of the last 10 years, there are certain things you don’t really get to do. You don’t get to just jet up to big events on a whim and you really don’t expect to. I was in Beauregard Friday morning with a team who came from out of town to do tornado relief. I was fine with that. I knew a ton of folks who had left for Minneapolis and was excited for them, but knew I was supposed to be in Auburn that day. Friday night, I get a call from my mother. Some people in my home town were hounding her to get me to Minneapolis. Offering to pay for my flight or ticket to the game or whatever, just make it happen. The next thing I knew, I had an itinerary booked to Minneapolis Minnesota and I was heading to the Final Four.
I lost count of the number of times I was brought to tears over the past two weeks, but I know there were more than a dozen times on the shuttle ride from Auburn to Atlanta. Joshua Black began a campaign on twitter to get me money for tickets and food while I was in Minneapolis. The “Auburn family” is an extremely cheesy marketing slogan and ad campaign, but until I can come up for a better term for the way I was embraced by total strangers it is what I am left with. The Auburn Family covered me with affection. I ended up with excellent seats to the game. Walking into the stadium was one of the most surreal moments of my life.
I got a picture with Gus Malzahn, who is a big fan of the song. That isn’t the weirdest part. While I am taking the picture with him, a lady is behind Josh waiting for me to be finished. I am assuming she wanted her picture with Coach, but no. I probably was asked to take a picture with a dozen different people last weekend, which is far and away the silliest thing. People wanting their picture taken with a man who rhymed “can’t believe it’s true” and “totally a basketball school,” is not normal.
After the game, I randomly/accidentally got in an Uber with Coach Pearl’s aunt and uncle, met their kids and a few grandkids. Was shocked to find out they all knew the song.
Steven Pearl thanked me personally for adding to the season.
A lot more happened, and all of it was grace. To say I deserve any of this would be stupid. I made up a silly song, it was embraced, and then people went out of their way to bless me for it. If it seems like I’m using overly religious language, it’s because I have no other way to describe it. This is what fellowship is about, it’s what a collective experience of joy is about. I love this team, I love Auburn, and I will never be able to repay the people who helped me. I will never forget them either.
TL;DR: The power of the human touch goes a long way to make area man transform into a puddle of tears on multiple occasions.
If you like the song, this site, or the power of the Auburn Family, please consider making a donation to Ironmanorangeandtrue.com we are trying our best to use this platform to raise $5000 that will go directly to mentoring programs for area teenagers both in schools and in jails, as well as continued disaster relief operations.