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Tiger Rag

Posted: Nov 02, 2007

In the spring a young man’s fancy may turn to baseball, but in the fall in the South everyone’s fancy turns to football, and in Alabama there is only Auburn and Alabama football. You may ferret out the occasional Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, or LSU fan if you scour the countryside, but in the state of Alabama the loyalties are pretty well divided. You are either an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan, and this affinity determines how you will spend every weekend until December, and if your team is lucky enough to be invited to a bowl game, until after the new year.

This weekend the Crimson Tide of Alabama will meet the dreaded LSU Tigers in Tuscaloosa on Bama’s home turf. The rivalry in this game may well approach that of an Auburn-Alabama game. This contest is a very big deal for both Auburn (who lost to LSU in a last second heartbreaker two weeks ago) and Alabama who needs to win this game to move up to number one in the SEC West. Feelings are running high on all fronts.


The University of Alabama recently signed the controversial Nick Saban as head coach of the Tide at the highest salary ever paid in college football. Alabama outbid the NFL (an unprecedented move) to lure Saban from Miami, where he coached the Dolphins for two seasons, to Tuscaloosa. But here’s the kicker. Saban was head coach at LSU from 2000-2004, and the Tigers do not look kindly upon their former coach. In short, they want to beat the pants off Alabama.

Both teams will enter the fray on Saturday in a nationally televised game (4pm CDT on CBS) with a 4-1 (win/loss) conference record. What does all this have to do with Auburn? Lots!

As an Auburn fan, I am relieved to have the day off (so to speak) when Auburn hosts Tennessee Tech, a non-conference team and not a game we fans are concerned about. In addition to Tennessee Tech’s never having won a game against a major football team, November 3 is homecoming for Auburn and no one believes that Auburn's 15-year homecoming winning streak is likely to be in jeopardy.

However, we Auburn fans are intensely interested in the outcome of the Alabama- LSU game.

It is totally against my religion to root for Alabama—especially when the Crimson Tide is playing another SEC conference team. However, if LSU loses to Alabama and then Auburn beats Alabama on November 24th, that would indeed be sweet. Lots of "ifs" in that statement.

I have tremendous affection for the LSU Tigers and no affection at all for the Crimson Tide, so I will desperately want to pull for LSU even though it is in Auburn’s best interest for me not to do so. Perhaps I can verbally support LSU while secretly hoping that they lose. Is that immoral? I sincerely hope not.

Be sure to check out Swampland next week for a feature tentatively entitled “Confessions of an Auburn Fan.” –something along the lines of “it’s not easy being green.”

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