The War Eagle Nation got its due, 22-19. It could have been more. It should have been more but, after so many shoulda, woulda, coulda, almost, damn near but not quite years of great Auburn football, the 2010 version of The Auburn Tigers got er done in early 2011. In the bright lights of the Arizona desert, the boys brought home the crystal football that shines so brightly in the light of a national championship. Auburn Football is the best in the land. No doubt. No more do we have to sing that familiar litany, if only such and such would have so and soed, we would have won, but we’ll get them next year. Never again.
We won it once before. So we’ll behave like it. Coach Ralph Shug Jordan taught those of us lucky enough to be one of “Shug’s boys” to act like a champion, win or lose. He won The National Championship fifty-four years ago, before two generations of today’s Auburn Nation was born. College football’s bright lights didn’t shine as brightly then and the stakes were not quite as high.
Cam, Nick, Michael, Lee, Antoine, Zack, Josh and hero after hero after hero delivered us to the Promise Land of a 21st century National Championship. We’re still drinking from the cup. Cheers to those young men with hearts of champions beating inside them. They reign at the top of the greatest lists of AU football. The teams from 2004, 1993, 1983, 1972, 1957 all have to move over at the top of the pedestal called bragging rights and make a place at the peak for this group. They earned it. Along the way they’ve created new memories for former Auburn players who labored on teams that were on the wrong side of 35-0 scores and promises of wait until next year. Yep, they’re at the top. I’m getting out of the way. Moving over, fast.
This Auburn coaching staff coaches its ass off. They are one of the finest to walk a Jordan Hare sideline. First and ten with the opportunity of a lifetime, they scored and danced in the end zone, the scoreboard of opportunity flashing brilliant high definition color in television sets all over America.
The phone calls and texts began with the final kick, 00:00 on the clock and the Auburn nation inebriated on the elixer of a championship and other worldly juices. Old teammates, cried with joy and professed to me, “I love you.” Ralph who played basketball at Birmingham Southern College, texted “War Eagle Baby.” Terry, my Hollywood actor friend, a native of Oregon, left a voice message, “You guys are the best.” Joe, a writer from Los Angeles, a Texas grad, whose wife died of stomach cancer, last year e-mailed “So happy for you. What a great game.” An anonymous writer texted, “War Damn Eagle.”
Closer to home, my next-door neighborhood an Auburn grad, enthusiastically garbled something inaudible over the Arizona desert cell phone lines, but I got the message. My other next-door neighbor, the Alabama grad, turned off his lights while Auburn celebrated The National Championship in the desert and pretended he could sleep.
The Auburn Nation stands taller today. As football National Champions, (Can you ever say that enough) there will be more scoring opportunities for the University. Academic growth, gifts and donations, business development, and marketing of the University will be ratcheted up. Auburn’s administration with Dr. Jay Gogue calling the plays continues to grow fiscally, academically and internationally. Athletic Director Jay Jacobs guides athletics with class.
The Auburn Nation today is larger, and more relevant on the world stage. We’re here we’re there. We’re everywhere.
Oh yeah. Did I mention we’re the college football national champions?
Let’s do it again!