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From Terp Board - About AU Gameday experience


88Tiger
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I was emailed this this morning from my brother-in-law over on the Maryland board. Enjoy.....GREAT READ!!!!

From Scott Van Pelt, ESPN commentator and Maryland grad

A different world - Non Terps & a lenghty rambling mess Reply

         

Imagine you have been married to the same woman for more than 30 years, you love her more than anything - nothing could ever change that. You have shared many of your best memories with her and would never leave her under any circumstances. Then you spend a day with a woman who in some ways is more beautiful than your wife...you may never see her again...but you won't forget her for a while either.

Maryland is my wife...Auburn is " the other woman ".

If you all love college sports - and I assume you do - you really need to see a game there. I have been lucky to see a lot of places, I have not seen a lot of places like that. It's an amazing scene in every respect. Granted, I was there for # 3 vs. # 5...Auburn was 9-0 so it was bound

to be good.

Some highlights:

I arrived at night with the stadium lit up like a Christmas tree. It sits dead in the middle of campus. A shrine...literally their church - only services are held on Saturday. Made me say...hmmmm...this is promising.

Gameday scene:  Tailgating in every available space...and not like some field full of RV's - though they had that too. But literally people grilling and drinking in every available spot for as far as the eye could see.  I lost count of the number of bands and stages and this was at 9 AM.

The Fans:  I knew I was in a " red state " from all the Suburbans with W stickers but the truth of it is, this part of Alabama is an orange state. Every man woman and child is in the same shade of orange. Not unusual I know ...but THIS was...they are nice, friendly , and polite - to GEORGIA FANS. Nobody called anyone in Black and Red homosexual or ***hole..nobody told them they sucked nobody told them *uck you. These people are your friends, you don't know it yet because you haven't met them - but when you do - you have met a friend. you want a beer ? some bar- B - Q ? grab some. Let's talk for a while....war eagle...let's have a good game. I saw this at tailgate after tailgate. Stragglers who wander by are offered anything that's available - didn't matter what color they were wearing. This is the oldest rivalry in the South - they call it Brother vs. Brother and they mean it. Now there are certainly cliche's about downhome country sensibilities - but these folks embodied the best part of the notion of southern hospitality. Though many did admit it's a tad LESS civil for the Iron Bowl.

Tiger Walk:  Impossible to describe. Im - possible. A human welcome mat for the team. The team walks through several blocks to Jordan - Hare through a sea of people. I asked somebody how many folks were there and was told they could never come up with an accurate head count but that they were certain it was "well in excess of 25,000 people. " That looked a little light to me...I would have bought 40 grand. 2 hours before kick the streets in all directions were completely - and I mean COMPLETELY jammed. It was like a religious experience. If you can be in the middle of this - and I was lucky enough to get to walk through it - and not be overwhelmed , you are dead my friend. ( I just went Larry King on your asses- sorry )I was honestly in awe.

Gametime: The eagle circles as 87,521 people ( less the UGA fans ) cheer Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar EAGLE HEY!!! The eagle pounces on some meat product and the hair on the back of your neck stands up...then if you are still unimpressed you get an F 16 flyover and were off and running.

             

Auburn dominates, the band plays, the fans hoot and holler louder than anywhere I have ever been ( and go Spinal Tap and take it to volume 11 when UGa tries to audible ) 24 - 6 and it's time for more food and drink...but before that...

Toomer's Corner:  Everyone converges on the intersection of College St. and whatever the other road is and they toilet paper every tree in sight. By the time it's over, it looks like a blizzard has rolled through Alabama. There are no riots, no police, no cars set on fire. There are families from grandparents to infants chcuking rolls of toilet paper all over the place. Again, i just shake my head at a loss...and maybe a little jealous.

It's a special place, the best scene I have ever seen for college football. I have ZERO doubt " our " TEAM could someday be as good. As fans though, perhaps we should aspire to be as classy as those I was hosted by.  The type of hostile, vile garbage we are subjected to on the road and are

certainly guilty of at home is just embarrassing when you see how they do it elsewhere. Not preaching here - just some thoughts of one VERY proud Terrapin after seeing the light Auburn style.

Go Terps - let's get # 5 on Thursday night.

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Not sure if everyone knows this, but this post was written by Scott van Pelt - broadcaster on ESPN's Sportscenter.

Its pretty sweet.

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Great article. I even sent it to a few of my LSU friends (whom I've continually chastised for their team's hostile campus environment on gamedays).

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van peezy sat right beside me on saturday. we were on the fenceline of the student section (on the 40), he was on the other side. we got his attention after the game, and he said we were the best team he'd seen all year and gave us a war eagle. i love that guy.

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he was at bodega friday night. got to be one of the nicest semi-celebrities i have ever seen. he was just drinking and joking around with everybody. you would have thought he would have gotten tired of people coming up and bugging him but he just acted like he knew everyone from way back. one hell of a nice guy.

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It is GREAT to see how others see US. Sure, we have our faults from time to time, but, there is no place on EARTH I had rather be than on the Plain.

WAR EAGLE ! ! !...O N E at a time. :au:

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yeah he is usually coupled with jon anderson.

Scott sits on our right, Jon on the left.

I think the two of them together make for the tallest and nerdiest looking broadcast team. both blonde-ish both glasses both look alike

and are 6'5ish.

whatever, it works i guess.

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Dang! Made me shiver as I was reading it. For those of us who have been there, the visions dance through your head as he describes it. Then the chill bumps take over.

WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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A refresher

Go to Auburn, be forever changed

October 03, 2002

BUD POLIQUIN POST-STANDARD COLUMNIST

I have descended into college football's Grand Canyon. I have stood in its Alps. I have gazed at its ocean sunset. I have done all of these things and I've been changed forever.

I knew, of course, that we were different up here. I understood that autumn Saturdays in our burg have never been given over to any kind of serious sporting fervor. I've accepted for a good, long while that a fair amount of our citizens regularly choose to pick apples or seal driveways rather than head to the Carrier Dome to watch the Syracuse University Orangemen at play.

But, Lord have mercy on our college football souls, I've come to realize we're not merely quirky in these parts. And we're not just overly particular. No, having attended a game in Auburn, Ala. - which is like going to Mass in Rome - I'm convinced that, by comparison, we're as dead as the flying wedge.

"Let me tell you something," said Paul Pasqualoni, the SU coach who can recognize bedlam when he is forced to shout above it. "Being in that stadium with all those people - the noise level, the atmosphere - was exciting. It was a lot of fun. To me, it was just spectacular being there."

He was speaking of Jordan-Hare Stadium, where four days earlier his SU club had lost to the Auburn Tigers 37-34 in an environment that was equal parts Woodstock, Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve and Madonna's last wedding. And the Crimson Tide boys, those rascals from the other side of the state, weren't even in town, to say nothing of the Bulldogs, Gators or Razorbacks.

Nah, it was just the Orangemen, a non-league bunch from somewhere up north ... with a losing record yet. But it didn't matter. This, because the cherished Tigers were on the other side, and that was enough for those Alabama locals to respond the way the French did when Patton's army showed up in Paris.

"I missed my wife's birthday so I could cheer on my beloved alma mater against Syracuse," Brent Miller wrote in an e-mail addressed to me following the three-overtime affair. "But you know what? I would have been there if our opponent had been the state of New York's worst high school team."

"Country, God and college football are usually our top three passions," e-mailed another Auburn guy, Steve Fleming. "But not always in that order."

"I grew up in Denver in a family with season tickets to the Broncos games," e-mailed yet another believer, Rick Pavek. "I call Auburn home now and, take my word for this, Broncomania is nothing like Tigermania."

The point is, with the Orangemen returning to the gray Dome that is so often lifeless to play Big East Conference foe Pittsburgh on Saturday, it's clear that somebody's not getting it. Either the Auburn faithful - and people like them in Knoxville and South Bend and Lincoln and Gainesville and Columbus and Austin and elsewhere - are far too crazed or we're way too cool.

Listen, down there in eastern Alabama they pass out full-color, high-gloss, 22-by-17-inch, two-sided, fold-out pamphlets titled, "The 2002 Guide To Game Day At Auburn University." And on Page 2 of each can be found the announcement that nobody is allowed to begin tailgating until 4 p.m. on the day before the game.

"You can't be anything but envious," said Jake Crouthamel, the Syracuse athletic director who was a wide-eyed witness to all of the SU-Auburn doings. "You can't be anything but envious when you have that kind of support. I mean, there were 84,000 people in the seats. And the RVs were lined up five miles outside of town. When you talk about the epitome of what the college football experience is all about ... that's it. Auburn is the epitome. You couldn't possibly be unaware of the spectacle, even if you were trying to be unaware."

The orange-clad zealots, who are in their seats fully 30 minutes prior to kickoff, thunder through choreographed cheers. The band, which is saluted upon its arrival by the big house with a standing ovation, blares. The PA system, which continuously blasts the sounds of a growling tiger, pipes in songs by the Dixie Chicks and interviews with the Auburn coaches.

Before the game, there is the great Tiger Walk during which the Auburn players march along Donahue Street through thousands of people, some of whom weep, and into the stadium. After the game, there is the mass papering of famous Toomer's Corner downtown. And between all of that, a golden eagle circles the place before landing on the field to a deafening roar.

And us? Um, let's see. We can't fill 49,000 seats. We debate, ad nauseam, standing-vs.-sitting in the Dome. We give our tickets to takers at the door who had to be schooled in the art of courtliness. We regularly vacate the joint long before the final gun. We allow, in a good-idea-gone-bad, a bunch of vulgar louts planted in a thing called "The O-Zone" to chant expressions you'd never say in front of Mom at the dinner table.

In other words to compare our college football experience to that of Auburn (and a lot of other places) is to compare a skillet of beans to a plate of Chilean sea bass. And while that might sound harsh, it doesn't make the words any less true.

Believe me on this. Please. I have descended into college football's Grand Canyon. I have stood in its Alps. I have gazed at its ocean sunset. I have attended a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. And I've been changed forever.

Bud Poliquin is a columnist for The Post-Standard. His column appears regularly on these pages. Additionally, he can be heard on WHEN-Am (620) Mondays through Thursdays between 5-7 p.m. He can be reached by telephone at 315-470-2213 or via e-mail at bpoliquin@syracuse.com

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88,

Thank you & your brother-in-law. I have now e-mailed it on to my family as well.

Just for your information: I have a sister-in-law who is an SC graduate. She conveyed to me very similar comments from some of her friends that flew in for last year's SC game. They were all blown away by the AU hospitality & the atmosphere -- they've been too used to the taunting/Stanford Band crap they get out West here. And, these same friends of hers also attended the Va Tech game in Blacksburg, VA. They said Va Tech fans were some of the rudest they've ever encountered. :au: WDE

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This is my first post, but I would like to comment on this article by Van Pelt. I have always wondered if non Auburn people could ever understand the "feeling". It is good to see that they can.

Mine started in 1969 with my first AU game. AU beat FL and the "feeling" from seeing Sullivan to Beasly was incredible. It continued through the years even during the late 70's while a student there. I know there has been a lot said about orange jerseys, but the absolute electicity of seeing AU run out to play GA in 1978 in orange jerseys was mindboggling. AU warmed up in blue then changed and ran out to start the game in orange. Bye the way we won 22-22.

This "feeling" reached the pinnacle for me in 1989 with UAT coming to campus and continues on today. I think the flying of the eagle represents the Auburn spirit and it is good to see that others can see and experience the "feeling" of what it is like to be Auburn man.

Thanks

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Dang! Made me shiver as I was reading it. For those of us who have been there, the visions dance through your head as he describes it. Then the chill bumps take over.

WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

122515[/snapback]

My thoughts exactly. He describes as I pull pictures from my mind. Ya know, it's great to be an AUBURN TIGER!!!!!!

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I like the article but i'll have to disagree in some aspects. some of the fans on wire road are pretty vicious to the away fans, and even auburn fans. there is a group of people that always tailgate across from us on the corner of that road that goes behind the extension. they are right across from the tennis courts and a couple hundred yards away from wire/sanford intersection. every game they are yelling obscenities and throwing beers and stuff. its pretty embaressing and i wish they would not tailgate near us. it makes the rest of us look bad. also, one of those guys after the game threw a water cooler that was attached to a dolly sort of thing at a truck and broke the side mirror and probably should have shattered the window. the people in the truck were AUBURN fans. i was watchin the whole time and the people in the truck had their windows up and did nothing to deserve anything like that. they got out and there was almost a fight. the girl driving starting yelling and a girl at the tailgate started yelling at her and calling her obscenities for no reason. it was pretty ridiculous and i tried to find some police officers but they were all directing traffic. really made me angry. all the people at my tailgate almost got in a fight with them because they are always a**holes to everyone, auburn fans included.

Edited by AUHansel
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Hansel,

Those people belong in jail. Here's an idea:

First, register a complaint with the Auburn Police Dept. before your next AU tailgate. Then, bring a video camera with you and sort of unobtrusively tape some of the behavior you've just described. Lastly, drop off the tape at the APD with an invite & a map to your next tailgate party. Good luck. :au: WDE

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Hansel,

Those people belong in jail.  Here's an idea:

First, register a complaint with the Auburn Police Dept. before your next AU tailgate.  Then, bring a video camera with you and sort of unobtrusively tape some of the behavior you've just described.  Lastly, drop off the tape at the APD with an invite & a map to your next tailgate party.  Good luck.  :au: WDE

122689[/snapback]

I should have done that all season. I tried to get the police involved but the problem is i'm sort of worried about those guys messin with cars and stuff at our tailgate because we're at the same place every week and they know that we don't care for them too much. but I may bring the video camera out next season, because they were at the same place last year, and are sure to be there next year. thanks!

WDE

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