Friday, December 6, 2013

Making Memories at the Auburn, Alabama Game

A post by our Collegiate Director Bill:

Would it cast a bad light on my character if I said that a football game was the greatest night of my life?!

I came out of the womb orange and blue and spent many fall Saturdays growing up on the plains of Auburn, Alabama. No one loved Auburn more than my Dad, and I have great memories of spending time with him doing one of his favorite things…going nuts for Auburn. Now, it’s my daughters’ turns to experience what I did. I’m as fanatical as my dad was and I love taking my kids to Auburn games. Nothing compares, and probably never will, to what I experienced with my 14-year-old, Katie Marie, this past Saturday.

The two of us started early in the morning, not having any idea how dramatically our day would conclude. We spent the morning tailgating with two of my best friends from high school and their families. We watched ESPN College Gameday live - right in front of the stadium – and we took in one of the best Tiger Walks ever.  Finally, we went in the stadium early to make sure we saw the eagle fly, all the while hoping that Auburn could pull off the upset in what many people were calling, “The Biggest Iron Bowl Ever.” Katie Marie had never seen Auburn lose. Today would not be that day.

The game went back and forth and was filled with moments of celebration, along with moments that made us sick to our stomachs. At one point in the fourth quarter, after an Alabama 99 yard touchdown pass and another drive deep in our territory, I looked at Katie Marie and said “Game Over.” Funny…that’s just what my dad would’ve said.  

I was wrong. Auburn got the ball with one last chance and threw a dramatic touchdown pass with only 32 seconds left on the clock, setting up overtime. But Bama moved quickly in just a few plays to set up a chance to kick a 57 yard game winning field goal. Memories rushed in my head of the most miserable Iron Bowl ever - both for my dad and me - one known simply as “The Kick.” Van Tiffin kicked a 52 yard field goal on the last play of the game to beat Auburn. I’m not sure my dad ever got over that one. I’m not sure I did either…until that epic moment on Saturday night.

This would be a moment that this dad and daughter would never forget. As Bama set up for the field goal, my daughter tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Dad, what’s that guy doing in the end zone?”  Too nervous to explain, I simply said, “Just in case, babe.” Then the kick…it fell short. “That guy in the end zone” caught it and began to run…and run…and run! We jumped, we screamed, we hugged…going nuts for Auburn, just like my dad and me.  At that moment, another memory came rushing in my head of sitting in front of the radio in 1972, celebrating with my dad after the game known as “Punt, Bama, Punt!”  Now I was celebrating with my daughter after the game that will simply be known as “Kick, Bama, Kick!”

There’s nothing quite like making memories with the ones you love!


Marcia Simpson said...

War eagle!

Tiffany K. said...

War Eagle! I was there too, and there are no words to describe that moment. So neat that you were with Katie Marie ! She will always remember that.