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One Thankful Tiger

November 26, 2009

Today, and every day I am thankful I get to wake up in the loveliest village. I’m thankful for a place that called me home after many years wandering the globe. I am eternally grateful to God for encouraging those Methodists to cross the Chattahoochee and start the East Alabama Male College.

I am thankful for having enjoyed a “Momma’s love,” a Toomer’s lemonade and more Price’s BBQ than one man should eat in a lifetime.

I’ve been blessed to shake Bo’s hand, play golf with Ben Thomas, laugh with Coach Pat Dye and pose for a photo with Coach Tuberville.

I’m thankful to be part of a family that has said, “War Eagle,” to me in places like Tirana, Albania; Delhi, India; Berlin, Germany; Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Charleston, Athens, Starkville, New Orleans, Nashville, Knoxville, Columbia, Birmingham and most of all the place where it never gets old, Auburn.

I was blessed early and often with parents who tailgated faithfully in front of Comer Hall and believed the best time to leave for Auburn was while it was still dark out on Saturday morning. It never mattered if the game was at noon or later, we still left early enough for me to wake up somewhere around Lafayette riding south on Highway 431.

I’m thankful my earliest childhood memories include the 1972 Gator Bowl (I didn’t get to go, which is why I remember it) and hearing adults shout, “Sullivan to Beasley,” like they were coming to dinner. I’m thankful to have watched Bo over the top with my grandmother and most bowl games with two great aunts who did their part to make sure I bled Orange and Navy from the earliest age. I’ll never forget going to see Auburn upset Florida in 1993 with my brother. I left within a few months for the Army and didn’t see him again for over 3 years. It was the last time he and I ever attended an Auburn game together before wives and kids and life in general took over.

Trust me, I count my blessings I was here 20 years ago for the first time ‘Bama entered Jordan-Hare.

I’m thankful for friends, old and new who I’ve shared tailgate space, an adult beverage and Chick-fil-a with.

I’m proud to pass on my love of this village to my son, niece and nephews and if God keeps smiling on us, a daughter by next Fall.

I’m thankful for railroad tracks in town that are still active, driving past Toomer’s Oaks every morning and seeing new landmarks, like the JCS Museum. I smile every time I pass Samford Hall and I am thankful my wife and I shared our last first kiss there. And yes, I’m thankful Coach Dye stuck around and built a beautiful farm in Notasulga. It was an amazing and special backdrop for our wedding.

I’m grateful Auburn football is so accessible now. It seems odd to have access to so much great information (some true, some speculative) when I can remember times when I would wake up at 3 am to watch an Auburn game on the Armed Forces Network and it would be the one time a year I got to see them play. Or, the calls back to the US on Sunday nights to get as much Auburn news as possible in one, 3-minute call. And if you’ll pardon the side-step, I’m thankful we have men and women in uniform standing watch in remote places all over the globe for our freedoms.

I’m grateful for guys like Jerry and Acid & Co., and Beaver.

I’m blessed to have made some great friends over the years who prior to having met me, couldn’t find Auburn on a map. Now they yell, “War Eagle!” almost as loudly as I do. And yes, they’ve almost all clocked in this week with their annual, “Beat ‘Bama!” God Bless each one of you converted heathens.

I’m thankful to each one of you who is reading this now. I didn’t start doing this with you in mind, but it means the world to me when you comment (agreement or otherwise), or post comments on our facebook fan page, or just in general come over every day to see if I have anything new to say. Thank you for being here – I’m humbled and lucky to have the privilege to do this.

And finally, for the purposes of wrapping this up, I am thankful for the Auburn Tigers football team and coaches of 2009. You took us to new emotional highs for the first five weeks of this season, plunged us into reality for three weeks, bounced back only to make us all shed a tear in Athens, and now, on this Thanksgiving Holiday you give us all hope of an upset that would surely rival any in the books. I’m thankful each of you will get to experience a bowl game this year, even if it is in Shreveport, Louisiana.

God Bless Auburn and War Eagle! Happy Thanksgiving and Beat ‘Bama!


From → Joe About Town

  1. Katie Crow permalink

    Almost speechless-this was so beautifully written and a wonderful reminder of all of the things to be thankful for as being a part of the Auburn family.

  2. This is my favorite so far! Fantastic way to start the holidays…War Eagle!

  3. Rebecca Gaston permalink

    What a heart-warming way to express your thankfulness! There are so many ties that bind us Auburn family, but being blessed is the most important!

    WDE and Happy Thanksgiving!

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