Sunday, November 23, 2014

Greetings From The Loveliest Village on the Plains

Today was the last home game down in The Loveliest Village on the Plains. It was also Senior Day.
I drove down with a coworker, whom we all call Gator, and her daughter, Nici, meeting up with other coworkers and tailgated in style near the quad.


The Quad ready for tailgating.

I set up my spot and settled in to enjoy a day of college football atmosphere.

Speaking of atmosphere, despite being sunny, it was far from warm and really windy
I was glad to have my new raincoat with the warm, tiger fleece lining.

Later in the day, we took a stroll around town, taking in the sites. Neither Gator, nor Nici had ever been there before and I was all too happy to extol the rich Auburn traditions, and history.

This is one of three statues in front of the stadium. The first of three Auburn Heisman Trophy winners, Pat Sullivan. Today, Auburn faces the Sanford Bulldogs, coached now by Sullivan.

From the paw print at Toomer's Corner and the new wires, hung for the victory rolling until there are oaks once again, grown from saplings of the storied Toomer's Oaks. You may remember the original oaks died after being poisoned by a rabid bammer back in 2010.

To Sanford Hall, the oldest building on campus. I always enjoy mingling with other like-minded Auburn fans  but especially love people-watching.
Sometimes, you can actually spot a celebrity there, taking time out of their busy schedule to take in the ambience.
(I will keep your secret, Santa)
I also ran into my brother, Dooder, and his buddy PJ.
We took a minute to grab a (rare) quick pic together.
While we were waiting in line, the boys, friends since they were small, decided to clown around with my phone

But when the time came to actually take our picture, I was happy that my brother actually behaved and we have a really nice photo memory.
Soon it was time to make our way to the stadium.

Now despite The Boss being a huge bammer fan, she is married to an Auburn man.  He is also a coach. Because Gator had a bum ankle, and all the walking around in the increasingly cold temperatures was starting to tax it, he offered to give us his coaches tickets so that we didn't have to climb to our own seats at the top of the stadium.  He was going to sit with a friend in the end zone. This was a win/win for us all.

These were possibly the best seats I had ever had in Jordan Hare. We were eight rows behind the hedges.

The view was amazing and we settled in to watch the game. The opening ceremony was Senior recognition, and Senior band members lined the sideline. You can see them behind me. This was followed by Senior cheerleaders and finally the football team.  Aubie seemed to have a time keeping still.
I can't say that I blame him. The next part of the pregame is probably the most anticipated and most exciting in of college football today.
They released Nova, one of two eagles currently trained to fly within the stadium, just over my right shoulder.  I had chills as he swooped down over the field, in a large graceful arc. I almost forgot to take a picture, and only got this one. 
  Watching this eagle soaring gracefully overhead was truly a breathtaking sight. 
The eagles are trained to make a loop over the crowd and then hit a target with a treat at center field. It is often said that the eagles do still possess free will, and every release is somewhat questionable. Nova decided to give the crowd one last thrill and circled overhead once more.  This time he was much lower, almost close enough to touch. Also close enough to poop on the fans two rows back.
He hit his mark and collected his reward.
Afterward the band took the field for The National Anthem.
As a former majorette myself, I always love to watch the majorettes, and was delighted when they were on my end of the field.
As the game started,  it also started to sprinkle. Not bad at first. The eagle handlers passed in front of us with Nova, the golden eagle and Spirit, the bald eagle.
Sometime into the 2nd quarter, the rain picked up considerably and we decided that we had seen enough.
We packed up and headed for home.
Next week we face our instate rivals. one of the most fierce rivals in college football.
The Iron Bowl.
Until then, All In, All Family, All Auburn  All the time.

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