When I was a little girl, I had dreams of becoming a true Auburn Tiger. I remember going to the Auburn games and tailgating behind Parker Hall and Allison Lab. We would always eat chicken fingers, potato salad, and pawprint cheetos. Mom would take us in Parker Hall to use the restroom before we made the long (or so I thought in my young mind) hike to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Of course, we sat in the nose-bleed section and having two little girls wasn't always pleasant when the hike to and from the bathroom took 30 minutes each trip. I knew even in my young years that there was something special about Auburn. It was more than just your typical Southeastern Conference school.
I always loved going to Auburn for games and atmosphere. We didn't go to very many, but the ones we went to were some great memories that I still have today. I was there for the 1994 LSU game when Auburn scored twice within a minute and six seconds. We sat in the LSU section for the game and it was terrible! I knew all of the LSU cheers, not by choice, by the end of the game. Thankfully, Auburn won so that shut 'em up.
Growing up an Auburn fan in the '90's was extremely difficult. Try being a little girl and having nothing but Alabama fans as friends. After the Iron Bowl, I would go to school and get made fun of because I cheered for the "losers". In fact, I was a loser because I cheered for Auburn. Whoever said kids aren't mean is a liar. Kids are mean and scarred me for life.
Not only did I get made fun of at school, my sister and I were also made fun of at our extended family gatherings. Try having uncles and cousins, call Auburn losers and say they never had a chance. (And Auburn during those years probably didn't, but still...it is the principle of it.) Sissy and I couldn't defend our beloved Tigers, because to an extent, it was true. I never knew just how much these memories have hurt me and just how far in life I have carried them with me until now. When you have been made fun of as much and long and hard as I have, you grow a certain hatred for the opposing team. My hatred for Auburn's closest rival came from being made fun of. Bullies are real. It's one thing when it's your friends, but another when it's your own family.
As a senior in high school, I only applied to one college: Auburn. I never wanted to go anywhere else. I have a picture in our Auburn bedroom of Sis and me in our matching "Of course, I am going to Auburn" shirts. I was about 5 1/2 and Sis was 4 when the picture was taken. It's one of my favorites from my childhood. Anyways...back to senior year...I remember going to War Eagle Day with Mom and Dad to tour the campus. Every student we passed either said "hey" or "war eagle". There wasn't an unfriendly face on campus. It felt like home.
After getting accepted, moving into the dorms, and starting classes, I felt a sense of pride once the first football game rolled around. If you have never attended the college that you pull for, it will be harder for you to relate to my story. As a student of Auburn University, I became somewhat angry at the Auburn fans who strictly loved Auburn for football or any of the other Auburn sports. Auburn University is more than just an Athletic Department. It's a place where young adults come to learn and expand their minds. They don't just learn about academics, but rather how to live and interact with people. They learn what it is like to become a part of a family who supports each other by interacting with the many faces around the campus. They find a home for life upon entering the classroom. Auburn men and women are challenged every day by professors and their peers to make a difference in the world. At the end of the day, nothing matters more than family...our Auburn family.
In fact, Auburn isn't football, but football is a small fraction of Auburn. Auburn is a spirit, a way of life, a home, a family, a warm cozy feeling. Auburn is so hard to describe to someone who has never stepped on campus as a student. It's an honor to be an Auburn alum. It was my first life-long dream that came true on August 7, 2006.
In essence, I get superly offended when people "dog" or make fun of my Auburn. Likewise, I get extremely upset when I can't celebrate a win for the Tigers in "peace" without someone being in "shock" or sarcastically calling me "classy" because I make a post on fb. Really, people? Fans have been saying "cut-downs"/celebrating for their teams for decades and you are going to call me out for joining in? My team works their tails off and I am showing support (as you do for your team) for their hard work. If you can't respect my team for winning a hard-played game, then someone needs to check your "sore loser" meter.
Furthermore, if you are offended after a loss by the same cheer that your school chants after every game they win, something is messed up with that. Again, check the sore loser meter... If you have a problem with your team's cheer(s), then join a new team. There is no reason to be in "shock" because an Auburn fan has slightly changed the words to one of your school's cheers. completely ridiculous.
And yes, I am fired up. There is no need for shock or sarcastic remarks ESPECIALLY if your team is the same as mine. Some people may not be as committed to Auburn as I am. That doesn't give you the right to make "unclassy" remarks to me. Have I ever pushed my views upon you? Uh, no. There is no need for you to push your views upon me. My heart...whole heart (and money) belongs to Auburn University. If there is a problem with that, you can just get over it. It is foolish for me to defend my views for the same university that we both cheer for. In fact, I find it unclassy of you to pull for Auburn's biggest rival just because they are in the SEC or your family members are for the "enemy" or whatever your excuse may be.
As an Auburn graduate, there is no reason for me to have to defend or censor what I say on my fb, blog, texts, or wherever else I have the freedom to express how/what I feel. Auburn is a part of me, and I am a part of it. I will defend Auburn until my last breath. Auburn taught me more than just finance; Auburn taught me how to be an adult and contribute to society. I am a better person for being an Auburn graduate.