The #IronBowl is Upon Us (#Auburn #Alabama)

*Note: This is from last year but much of it rings true this year, too, except instead of Alabama being #2 and Auburn being 3-8 on the season, we’re looking at #1 vs #4. War Eagle!

I was just six months old when the underdog Auburn Tigers defeated the #2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the famous “Punt Bama Punt” game of 1972, yet I remember it as if was yesterday. Ok, perhaps that is a little far-fetched but I do remember most of the games between the Tigers and the Tide known simply as the “Iron Bowl.”

I’m an Auburn man, albeit by way of Auburn University at Montgomery; however, my money went to and my grades came from Samford Hall on the main campus. So, like I said, I’m an Auburn man.

Trying to take a little Auburn home with me from the Auburn Arena.

Trying to take a little Auburn home with me from the Auburn Arena.

The fact that I’m an Auburn man and fan defies all logic. My mom, dad, and brother were all Alabama fans. After the “Punt Bama Punt” game, the Tide went on to whip the Tigers for the next nine consecutive years, winning a few national championships along the way. The streak was snapped in 1982 when a young man named “Bo” went over the top to solidify a 23-22 win for Auburn.

"Bo Over the Top" from the '82 Iron Bowl (photo courtesy of yarbroughandassociates.com)

“Bo Over the Top” from the ’82 Iron Bowl (photo courtesy of yarbroughandassociates.com)

My loyalty and love for Auburn can only be explained as an act of God. I am always thankful for God’s grace.

Thanks to the nine game winning streak, Alabama leads the series 41-34-1. Since 1981, Bear Bryant’s penultimate season in coaching and Pat Dye’s inaugural season as head coach on the Plains, Auburn has a 17-14 lead in the series. Auburn’s six game winning streak from 2002-2007 certainly padded that record. In other words, the series is like a couple of Siamese Twins in a nudist colony; it is close and can be streaky.

To say that some people take the rivalry seriously is the understatement of a lifetime. Many years ago, while working at Kroger, I jokingly told a customer that I could not take his check. After a quick back and forth, I told him it was due to the check’s Crimson Tide logo. I can’t say in this column what he said to me but it was enough to make a sailor cringe and a Kroger cashier’s stutter increase dramatically. I sometimes wonder if the name on that check was Harvey Updyke.

During my three deployments to Iraq, Auburn went undefeated on two different occasions. More importantly, they were 3-0 versus their in state rivals. I’ve actually had friends and family inquire about the possibility of me deploying for a short period of time each year around Thanksgiving. Sure, they claim they are just kidding but there is a grain of truth to just about everything; in this case, perhaps a few grains.

Rolling Iraq with my pal Richard after Auburn's 28-27 win in 2010.

Rolling Iraq with my pal Richard after Auburn’s 28-27 win in 2010.

Much like 1972, no one is giving Auburn a chance against the #2 ranked Tide in the 2012 “Iron Bowl.” Will Auburn win the game? Well, I’m no betting man, but I can certainly hope for the best. One has to look no further than Buster Douglas, King David, or the Karate Kid for examples of those who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to do the impossible.

To a certain extent, we’re all underdogs but we all have the innate ability to reach down deep to overcome just about any challenge thrown our way. On November 24, Auburn will have to reach down deeper than the Grand Canyon to have a shot at Bama but crazier things have happened, and that, as they say, is why they play the game.

(In case you missed it, Alabama won 49-0. Yikes!)

I love football as much as the next guy but when the final whistle blows, I hope we all remember that it’s just a game. Be that as it may, someone please let me know what happens. I’m trying to board the next flight to Afghanistan.

I’m ALL IN.

War Eagle!

Jody Fuller is a comic, a speaker, writer, and a soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

Promo pic small

Advertisements

“That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

I’m going to get in trouble for this one but to quote a famous animated sailor, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

Last Friday night in the Lone Star State, the Aledo Bearcats squeaked past the Western Hills Cougars by a score of 91-0. You read that correctly, ninety-one to nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

91-0

Are you kidding me?

The coach ought to be ashamed of himself for running up the score on the helpless Cougars, right? Well, to quote a college football icon, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

It’s easy to look at the score and assume that the Bearcats displayed poor sportsmanship, but we all know what assuming does.

Apparently Aledo’s Head Coach, Tim Buchanan, called off the dogs early. He began substituting players in the first quarter, let the clock run continuously, and instructed his players to call fair catches after back to back punt returns. By the end of the game, every player on the roster had seen playing time.

They only threw the ball 10 times the entire game and nine different running backs carried the ball an average of 2.6 times apiece.

Should the coaches have told the players not to run hard? Absolutely not! That’s when injuries happen. Should the coaches have told the players to take a knee? Heck no! The Bearcats ran the ball, and the Cougars couldn’t tackle them. It’s as simple as that. Should the coaches have told the defense to let the opposing team score? No way! That’s insane. Should they have turned the ball over purposely? No coach would ever do that, right?

Coach Buchanan did everything he could think of not to score.

One of the parents of the defeated Cougars filed an official complaint of bullying against the entire Bearcat coaching staff.

Are you kidding me?

Western Hills Coach John Naylor said he disagrees with the allegations that his team was bullied.

“I think the game was handled fine,” Western Hills coach John Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know Coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.

“We just ran into a buzz saw, you know,” Naylor said. “Aledo just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

The parent set a poor example for his child, even if his heart was in the right place. Some people react emotionally, whereas logical thinking folks react, well, logically.

If he doesn’t want him to lose or to experience the agony of defeat, he needs to withdraw his child from the team, from school, and from life. Perhaps he could live in his parents’ basement for the rest of his life. He’ll be safe there.

This guy is likely so sensitive he goes around crying wolf or cougar or bearcat, oh my!

In life there are winners and losers. It’s as simple as that. Most winners have lost in various aspects of life but learned from their failures and became successful down the road.

Last year, Auburn was 3-9 and suffered a humiliating loss to Texas A & M who put 63 points on the board against the defenseless Tigers. Last Saturday, Auburn avenged that embarrassing loss and defeated the seventh ranked Aggies, on the Aggies’ home field no less and now stand at 6-1 on the season.

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous  year's shellacking!

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous year’s shellacking!

In a California youth football league, there is a mercy rule. If a team wins a game by more than 35 points, the coach faces a $200 fine and possible suspension.

What?

One of the coaches says that he agrees with the league’s enforcement of the penalties and has in the past instructed one of his players to purposely turn over the ball.

Read about California’s “Mercy Rule” here

Are you kidding me?

Ending the game prematurely when the game is out of reach is one thing but purposely not playing hard and giving the ball away is asinine and benefits no one.

We want our children to be resilient; however, we protect them from experiencing situations that build resilience. Negotiating adversity is a part of life and builds character and resilience. In other words, to an extent, it is a good thing.

I think we are setting our children up for failure.

In youth sports leagues across the country, every kid gets a trophy. It doesn’t matter if they lose 91-0; they still get one.

That’s not reality. In reality, it’s ridiculous and detrimental to their reality.

Come back next week for part two as my rant continues and delves into how the anti-bullying campaign, like many other well-intentioned programs, has gotten completely out of hand.

Update: A Texas youth football league is making a change. Organizers say they will no longer handout trophies to every child who plays. Click here to read more.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

Promo pic small