Break out the party favors! It’s my 100th blog!! Since it took me so long to get to the century mark, I shouldn’t feel so proud, but I do!! We’re going to devote this one to the soon-ending football season.
Auburn has two games remaining on the regular season schedule, and they are a couple of doozies. Georgia comes to town for the oldest rivlary in the South. 110th meeting takes place Saturday. If you want to know how deep the football runs at Auburn, the school itself has been around for 150. Football came along as soon as there were more students than cows. The second game is the mother of all rivalries, the Iron Bowl, pitting Auburn against the hated snobs at Alabama. Auburn has played little brother for many years, but the Tide has turned so to speak. Alabama has had some heavy NCAA sanctions dropped on them, and they can’t get out of the past long enough to hire a coach who will create a new tradition. Well, I take that back. Apparently, their new tradition is losing.
I’ve discovered that I am becoming a split personality during football season. One side of me is an all-or-nothing sort of fan. I want Auburn to win all their games, every year. I think a lot of Auburn fans are starting to expect wins, which in a way is a good thing. In the past, we haven’t been a high-powered program expected to compete at the highest level every season. In fact, when I started at Auburn in 1998, we were downright terrible. By 2001, we were an up-and-comer, beating No. 1 Florida by a field goal and tearing down the goalposts. This year when we upset the Gators, we did no such thing. We knew we could win. On the other hand of this, we’re creating a monster if we think we can keep this pace every year in the SEC. I would hate to see us have a couple of down years and fire a very good coach. In a profession like coaching, it’s a revolving door. One of the things that can really help a program is stability, a chance to learn the program and get some cohesive properties going.
The other part of me is pure journalist. I’m watching teams with a much more objective eye. Thankfully, I haven’t reached the level of cynicism found in some of my older, more bitter coworkers, but I am seeing the chinks in the armour and being more realistic about a team’s chances. With this reporter side also comes a mid-season hatred of all things football. Even before Auburn lost to Arkansas, I was fed up with the season. I had read one too many columns, picked out one too many stats. So I left the whole lot for dead for a few days until I had some time to refocus.
So now I take my two personalities into the final games of the year. I think both of them are going to miss the pad popping when it’s gone. I suppose I can watch some NFL. *sigh* Now that’s a different beast all together…