Toomers May Change, But We Remain the Same!
Posted by autigeremt , 08 August 2012 · 4,667 views
August 8th, 2012
Yesterday I received word that the oaks at Toomers Corner were going to be pruned today to protect the safety of everyone who walks underneath their wilting foliage. I decided to drive over from my office and get one last set of pictures of our beloved oaks before they were changed forever. Even as the rain fell down on their outstretched arms to the heavens, I couldn't help but think back to this time in 2010. The trees were full of color and shade cast down on those who strode below to cast an eye on the sacred entrance of Auburn University. The Eagles stood proud and ready to greet their beloved. Sure, the oaks had seen their share of trauma, and the scars proved that even they were open to injury. Even so, the trees stood tall and strong as a symbol of strength and character. The Auburn Family made no bones about it....this is one of the most sacred monuments on campus. It is where happiness and sorrow brought the family together. Wins over a rival, championships won, and sometimes a place memorialize those who had gone on to be with the angels. No one knew what was coming. A climb up the mountain of championship dreams.....and a reminder of what life can deal in the midst of such happiness.
We, the Auburn Family, dealt with some very vile attacks during that season. It should have been one for the ages. Instead, it was one advancing our age. After the football team held on to beat Missippi State on the road by 3 pts, Clemson in OT after a missed FG by the cousin from Carolina, a win over Spurrier and the Gamecocks late in the 4th quarter, Kentucky in a game where Cam Newton began his ascent, Arkansas in an offensive shootout plagued by turnovers, and LSU with a massive running attack led by a 6-6 Jr. College transfer out of nowhere, Auburn found itself on the verge of something it hadn't seen since 2004, and even more since 1957. You would think we'd be happy as ever, but accusations from sources outside our control made for one of the rockiest championship runs in the history of college football. The media, in a frenzy that makes a shark rethink it's mode of operation, went into hyperdrive. On the heels of a BCS National Championship, the Tide Nation went ALL OUT to host every hope that Auburn would be found guilty of misconduct by the NCAA over the recruitment of one Cam Newton, even though Mississippi State had blood on their hands.....not Auburn. Right in the middle of a Tiger Storm across the SEC, here was a chance to change the boundaries and squash the hopes and dreams of a rival in the midst of greatness. As we know now, this too, came to pass. But in the end, the deed was done. The Auburn Family would take every blow, only to rise up and hold to the dream of Glendale and a National Championship.
As the season wore on, it became brutally honest to the mindless that Auburn was cheating, and that no matter what happened, they would lose their season of dreams. Auburn pressed on, taking their plow line to Ole Miss, Chattanooga, and the Dawgs. This all led to a date which will live in Hot Pink (and most of all, Auburn History) infamy.....D-Day, I mean...IRON BOWL 2010. Take the money and run, son of a preachers man, cheater, etc. You name it, they spewed it. From the PA pregame to the tailgate, Auburn was against the dirt road nation, the trailer park nation, the count twice and multiply once....nation......and of course, the Tide Nation as a whole (Every nation has it's tribes). Down 24-0 in the second quarter, the Tigers began a march across Bryant-Denny Stadium that had never been done before. A strip of Mark Ingram heading in for a score and a forced fumble of McElroy by Nick Fairley kept the Tigers on the hunt and in the game. Auburn scored prior to halftime to make it 24-7. The Tigers created a fury of momentum in the third with a TD pass on their first series to make it 24-14, and even after a mishandled punt and a Bama FG, the Tigers recaptured the mo-jo and scored the final 14 points to knock out the Tide (and McElroy) 28-27 in the largest comeback in Iron Bowl History. We all know this, but this is where it starts to get ugly.
Later in the week, after Auburn had beaten South Carolina to punch a ticket to the National Title game, a man by the handle of Al from Dadeville (aka. Harvey Updyke) called into the Paul Finescum, I mean Finebaum show to report that he had poisoned the Toomer Oaks in retaliation for the actions of an Auburn fan (no one knows if it was a scam or an actual act of "disrespect") the night prior to the Iron Bowl (in his words, someone placed a "SCam" Newton Jersey on the statue of Paul "Bear" Bryant outside the stadium). In reality, he was upset Auburn had come back to beat his mighty Tide, in front of the whole world on National T.V., from the dead and then go on to win the SEC the next week. He had become so delusional that he drove down to Auburn and poisoned our prized oaks in the name of "fairness" (this is a guy who was once a Texas State Trooper, mind you....and even named his kids Allie Bama and Bahr). After confirmation by the university, Auburn's magestic oaks had been poisoned by Spike 80 DF, and it was a matter of time before we would see what would come to pass. Once again, another punch in the mouth during a season to remember.
This leads me to where we are today and why I am bringing this up after so long. During the last 150 plus years, Auburn University and the Auburn Family have been through Civil War, Great Depressions, World Wars, Civil Rights, annual disaster, and daily wear. Yet, we stand tall as ever in the face of it all. The Creed bears witness to what is good about us, as a family, and as a university. It's not just the Alumni who have fortune, through hard work, to walk across the platform and shake the hand of a sitting president. It's not just the championships by various sport or the achievement of acedemic success and research. It's the pulse of who we are, what we represent, and most importantly....what we deliver to our common man or woman. We are the soil that sits below us, the air the rises above us, and the foundation that makes up who we become. We are the Auburn Family! And while the trees that we all love and cherish appear to be waning to a bitter end, the makeup of who we are lives on in all of us. We believe! We not only believe, but we KNOW! The Auburn Family is special! We prove it every day, and while we aren't perfect, we are who we say we are. The Creed lives on, and so will the spirit that leads us to the corner after a big win!