I. Thou shalt determine thine own Rivalry Hierarchy, and abide by it wholly.
This is important for any fan to define for themselves, and it’s perfectly acceptable to have it be different than other fans of your team. Were you born in Oklahoma and hate the Sooners, even though you moved away and went to Auburn? Perfectly fine. You should take care to incorporate your team’s standard rivals, though. No Rivalry Hierarchy is complete for an Auburn fan without at least Alabama and Georgia.
Personally, my hierarchy is as follows:
4. The rest of the SEC, including the office of the SEC.
II. Thou shalt have only one “primary rival”.
Inevitably, there will come a day when the two teams you hate most face off. It might even be for the conference or national title. This is when your pre-established Rivalry Hierarchy comes in handy. For me, January 8th, 2018 was a positive night, because despite the number two team in my hierarchy winning a title, the number one team was utterly embarrassed. For those of you who chose to abstain from the game in its entirety, you possibly missed out on one of the best moments of schadenfreude you’ll ever get.
Pick which team you love to hate the most, and be content with it.
III. Thou shalt not support an in-state rival “for the sake of the state”.
Don’t support Alabama just because you want to keep success in the state. Their success on the field in no way correlates to Auburn’s. That’s not to say it’s strictly forbidden to show any support for our blood brothers off I-20 (familial ties to a player, namely), but “it makes Alabama look better!” is an excuse used all too often. You just look like you’re hedging your fandom.
IV. Thou shalt not support an in-conference rival “for the sake of the conference”.
This is the same argument as above. Who cares if the SEC looks better because LSU won a title? Or because UGA thumped Baylor in a bowl game? Nobody at those schools (or the conference office) gives a rats ass if Auburn is doing well. Again, you’re just hedging.
And please, I beg you, kill the SEC chant.
V. Thou shalt have bragging rights based on the last outcome of competition.
VI. Remember rivalry week, to keep it pure.
Rivalry week is one of the best weeks of the year for college sports fans. Since rivals are usually geographic neighbors, large portions of the fan base are usually friends, school mates, coworkers, and family. This is especially true for Auburn, sandwiched between our two biggest rivals. While we spend all year coexisting, rivalry week is the time to dive in. Wear your orange and blue. Work that extra joke in. Take Friday afternoon off to set up the tailgate (before the Iron Bowl, everyone else is probably exhausted from Black Friday and Thanksgiving leftovers anyways). And on Saturday, celebrate not just after a victory, but all day long.
VII. Thou shalt not tweet at rival players.
There is absolutely nothing you can say on Twitter to an absolute stranger that will make this okay. If you feel the urge, take a breath, and just delete the tweet.
This also goes for recruits committed to your rival, and just recruits in general.
VIII. Thou shalt not wear garments in support of thy rival, unless involved in the terms of a wager.
This should be a simple one. If you’re an Auburn fan, don’t wear Georgia or Alabama gear. I don’t care if your firstborn is graduating from there, or if you’re in town to see a game with a friend. Go neutral if you can’t get away with orange and blue.
The only acceptable scenario is if you lose a bet, a la Jalen Hurts.
IX. Thou shalt not greet supporters of thine rival with hate, but thou shall consider a rival fanbase to be a monolith.
At the end of the day, this is football. Usually, we can use it as a means of escaping the troubles of our day to life, to fellowship with friends and family, and honestly, a good enough reason to drink. Whether it’s a stranger at the store or your brother (who is totally the black sheep in the family, by the way), give rival fans the benefit of the doubt. Share a laugh with them, invite them to your tailgate, break down the tribalism that is plaguing our country these days.
But also, Georgia fans are classless rednecks who bark at people because… well, I don’t really know why. Those poor, unfortunate souls.
X. Honor thy history, and disparage the history of thy rivals.
Rivalries are nothing without decades worth of epic wins, bitter losses, and over the top trashtalking. It’s important to build the lore of a rivalry, such that younger generations continue to trumpet the triumphs of your team over the enemy. Despite being born in 1995, I feel like I’ve seen Bo Over the Top...
Punt Bama Punt...
and Nix to Sanders...
Nix to Sanders 1993 Iron Bowl
Fan Favorite 4th Down Fireworks Our countdown of the fan favorite 4th down plays continues with #3. After Stan White leaves the game with an injury, back-up quarterback Patrick Nix comes off the bench to throw a touchdown pass to Frank Sanders on 4th and long. This score proves to be the turning point in the 1993 Iron Bowl which gives Auburn an undefeated season at 11-0. For more great plays like this, download our app: get.auburnvault.com #4thdownFireworks Auburn University Auburn Football Auburn TigersPosted by The Auburn Vault on Sunday, July 2, 2017
a thousand times over. And that last play wasn’t even on television! Build up your triumphs. Remind everyone about Go Crazy Cadillac...
Cam flashing that smile...
the Kick Six...
and Swag Surfing.
Auburn student section’s Swag Surf, complete with vibrating camera. pic.twitter.com/mcsxsPPXVB— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) November 25, 2017
But most importantly, you should remember that Georgia hasn’t won a national title in 40 years. That’s going on 14,426 days now. Shame.