Friday, November 18, 2005

Be Thankful For This Day

Dear Readers, I apologize for not posting these past few days. I've been laid up with the fall crud. However, this is good news because the last time I had this during Alabama week Tre Smith ran all over the Tide in Tuscaloosa. So if you're looking for an edge, there you go...

By Jay Coulter
Football Saturday In The South
Today is my favorite day of the year. There’s something incredible about Iron Bowl Eve. I just left campus a few minutes ago and you can feel the energy. The traffic is unbelievable. The buzz is even more incredible.

If you didn’t know better you would think kick-off was just an hour or so away. The CBS trucks are parked by the stadium, grills are lit all around Jordan-Hare Stadium, old Jim Fyffe calls can be heard on stereos and they’re even selling the game programs tonight.

Yes, today is as close to a child’s Christmas Eve as it gets for someone closing in on 40. Like a child waiting to open gifts, Iron Bowl Eve is an Auburn football fans longest, most wonderful day.

If you’re coming in to Auburn tomorrow you might want to leave early. I never miss an Iron Bowl and I must say this one has the look of a blockbuster. The traffic is heavier than in recent years. There appears to be a few more Alabama faithful in town this year and understandably so.

I picked up a copy of the game program and across the top it says Dedication Day – Pat Dye Field, with Coach Dye on the cover. If you remember the game program from when the University added Coach Jordan’s name to the stadium it looks very similar. It’s a very classy move on the part of the Athletic Department.

The program comes in two parts, with the dedication a separate magazine. Inside it has comments from former players and several articles by David Housel. If you love Pat Dye the way I do, it will put a lump in your throat.

So here we are, the night before the big game. There’s something about this year’s Iron Bowl that feels similar to the 1989 game. Alabama is coming in with the national headlines and talk about a BCS appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. Auburn has flown under the radar for most of the year but has gotten better every week. Both of these are similar headlines to the ones we read about 16 years ago during game week.

When I talked to fans on campus today you could sense a confidence and will to win. From all the practice reports I’ve read this week, the team has the same emotions. Will this result in a win tomorrow? Who knows.

But win or lose, savor tonight and tomorrow. This day comes but once a year and we only get so many in life. Whether you are headed to the Plains, gathering around the television with friends or watching it in your favorite chair, enjoy what you’ve been given. We are very lucky to have this special day. War Eagle!

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