Auburn Football: The Traditions we Cherish
College football is all about tradition, but here at Auburn we live our traditions. Through our daily lives, at work, and on vacation we live our traditions.
I was on vacation last year with my family to New York. While at the airport a man walked up to us in his Auburn attire and said “War Eagle.” When we got on the plane, a guy asked us what did that mean, and we all said it’s an Auburn tradition. I say this to tell you that no matter where we are or where we go we are all Auburn.
Here are some words written by a former Auburn professor George Petrie. These words are a part of the Auburn creed which all Auburn students, fans, and alumni hold with the highest respect. This is a small portion of the Auburn creed.
“I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.”
“I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.”
“I believe in a sound mind, a sound body, and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.”
“And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.”
And to the people of this world that believe in these things that the Auburn family cherish maybe you will believe and love your school tradition. War Eagle!
Here are some of the traditions will behold at Auburn.
Aubie the tiger is the award-winning mascot of the Auburn Tigers. Aubie has won six mascot national championships, more than any other mascot in the United States, and was one of the first college mascots inducted to the Mascot Hall of Fame.
Aubie first appeared to Auburn fans as a cartoon character on the Auburn/Hardin-Simmons football program cover in 1959. The cartoon tiger continued to adorn Auburn program covers for 18 years. While on the cover of the Auburn program she posted a home record of 63-16-2.
Aubie was first seen by Tiger fans as a mascot in 1979. Aubie appeared at the SEC basketball tournament against Vandy when the Tigers upset the Commodores to advance to the next round.
The following day, Auburn faced Georgia in the longest game in SEC tournament history, ending in four OT’s. Auburn finished ninth instead of last in the tournament, thanks to Aubie.
With so much success on the football cover and on the hard court, it was time to take Aubie to the plains of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Aubie debuted in the 1979 season opener against Kansas State.
Shortly before kickoff, a giant gift box came out to the 50-yard line. Aubie came exploding out of the box, and a new Auburn tradition was born. Auburn won the game 26-18. Aubie is still on the sidelines at very Auburn home and away football and basketball game. “Aubie the Tiger” is an Auburn tradition.
The most copied tradition in college football is the Tiger Walk. When Eye of the Tiger is blasted over the PA system, everybody knows it’s time for the tiger walk.
Two hours before the kickoff of each Auburn home football game, thousands of Auburn fans line Donahue Drive to cheer on the Tigers as they walk from Sewell Hall to Jordan-Hare Stadium. They also do the Tiger Walk at away games.
The Tiger Walk started was 1960 when a group of kids walk up the street to greet the team as they got ready to walk to the stadium. During the tenure former Auburn head coach Doug Barfield urged the fans to come out and support the team, and they did.
Today the team, led by the coaches, walks down the hill and into the stadium surrounded by thousands of fans who pat them on the back and shake their hands as they walk to the jungle to take down their prey.
The Tiger Walk as become beloved to all Tiger fans. The largest Tiger Walk occurred on Dec. 2, 1989, before the first-ever home football game against Alabama. On that day, an estimated 20,000 fans packed the one block section of road leading to the stadium. “The Tiger Walk” an Auburn tradition.
At the intersection of Magnolia and College streets marks the heart of the city, Toomer's Corner. It is named after Toomer's Drugs, a small store on the corner that has been an Auburn landmark for over 100 years.
This is no ordinary corner. Hanging over the corner are two massive old-growth oak trees. And whenever there is cause for celebration in the Auburn community, these trees are flooded with toilet paper.
This tradition is said to have begun when Toomer's Drugs Store had the only telegraph in the city. So during away football games employees drug store would let the city know if Auburn won by rolling the oak trees with toilet paper to signal a win to the public.
This tradition was only used as a way to celebrate football victories, but now it has become a way to celebrate anything good that happens to Auburn. There’s no feeling like when you are leaving Jordan Hare making your way to Toomer’s Corner to celebrate an Auburn victory. “Rolling Toomer’s Corner” an Auburn Tradition.
"War Eagle" is the battle cry and symbol of Auburn University. War Eagle is the way the Auburn family express themselves when in need the need of something special. There’s nothing like War Eagle, not Boomer Sooner or Howard’s rock.
War Eagle is a unique tradition that has gotten Auburn out of the toughest situations. Auburn men and women believe in it, and love it.
There are several folk tales about the battle cry, and each is quite interesting but the most popular myth was originally published in 1960.
Auburn Plainsman Jim Phillips told the story of the first time Auburn met Georgia on the football field in 1902 and centered the story on a fictional spectator who was a veteran of the Civil War.
The story goes like this. The first time Auburn and Georgia met in a football game there was a confederate solider in the stands. With him that day was a golden eagle the old soldier had found on the battlefield during the war.
According to the story, the eagle suddenly broke free and began circling the playing field. As the eagle soared around the field Auburn fans screamed out “War Eagle” “War Eagle.”
Auburn began a steady march toward the Georgia end zone for a thrilling victory. At the end of the game the eagle took a sudden dive, and crashed into the ground, and died. But the battle cry didn’t end there; War Eagle lived on to become a symbol of the proud and Auburn spirit.
Another version is that two students shouting at each other at a pep rally said something that was misinterpreted to be "War Eagle" thus the birth of the battle cry. But most likely none of these stories is factual. And the concept of the War Eagle was borrowed from the 8th Wisconsin regiment.
War Eagle lives on and that’s all what matters. Their have been several eagles to serve as War Eagle in remembrance of them here are War Eagle I-VI.
War Eagle I (1892)
War Eagle II (1930)
War Eagle III (1960-1964)
War Eagle IV (1964-1980)
War Eagle V (1981-1986)
War Eagle VI (1986-2006)
And War Eagle VII who stills circles Jordan-Hare.
At Auburn who cherish our traditions and I hope you will now cherish yours. “War Eagle” an Auburn tradition.
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