College Football: Are The Tears Of Joy Worth The Tears Of Pain?
"Todd threw a pick. Game over. I hate football."
This was the text message I sent to my mother at the end of the Auburn/Vanderbilt game on Saturday. It was the last of many updates sent throughout the game.
As I stood in Jefferson's Sports Bar in Jacksonville, Alabama, I was in shock. There were so many emotions going through my head.
Anger. Disgust. Pain.
Basically, any unpleasant emotion you can think of, I felt it.
As I left Jefferson's, I didn't need to see the end of the game. I knew the final result. But I couldn't believe it. Auburn 13, Vanderbilt 14. Wow.
I kept telling myself that it wasn't as bad as it seemed. That did not work.
As I looked around, I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before. I was too consumed in my game to realize I was surrounded by a sea of crimson.
There were tons of Alabama fans, all reveling in what they had just witnessed. Alabama is 6-0, No.2 in the country.
Auburn is 4-2, one loss away from being unranked.
Then I realized, it wasn't like this twelve months ago.
Last year I would be yelling at the top of my lungs, smiling in satisfaction as Auburn finished gutting out an impressive win against Florida. Then I would take deep satisfaction in the fact that Alabama had lost another game.
Oh how times have changed.
College football brings with it a wide range of emotions. It brings tears of joy, and it brings tears of pain.
It's amazing how quickly euphoria can turn to disdain.
Sometimes, it is downright painful to watch my team play. Which makes me question, is it worth it?
Almost a year ago, I sent a completely different text message to one of my friends, keeping him updated on the Chick-Fil-A Bowl between Auburn and Clemson.
"Burns tucks it, runs up the middle, stretches, TOUCHDOWN AUBURN!!!!! What a game!!!! I can't wait for next season!!!!"
If only I knew.
I'm sure all of you have felt this way before. Alabama fans after UL-Monroe, USC fans after Oregon State, Michigan fans after Appalachian State. I could go on.
This season has really been a test to true Auburn fans. We've been kept in the dark, had promises broken, and, quite frankly, paying a lot of money to see a JV offense get stuffed every play.
Times like these make a fan appreciate the good times. Also, it makes future success that much sweeter.
Though I am disappointed in my team, along with every other Auburn fan, you best believe there will be 90,000 strong wearing orange at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.
So next time your team makes you cry tears of pain, and you have to ask yourself why you do this, do what I do. Reflect.
Think of all the other times you've found tears running down your face. But those times were due to joy. Now, imagine how much sweeter it'll be next time that happens.
Feel better? Okay, maybe not immediately.
But no matter what happens, I will always say that it's great to be an Auburn Tiger.
So, is it worth it?
In a word, yes.
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