After the Iron Bowl

Share |

On Monday morning the toilet paper is still here, hanging from the wires and trees around Toomer’s Corner and around scattered trees and other shrubbery all across the campus of Auburn University, all the way down the hills of Magnolia Avenue. All along that street, Auburn fans decided that the famous intersection was simply too far away to wait. The whole ghostly street is proof.

In person, the Iron Bowl is every bit as nasty and intense as you’ve heard. The pom-pom shakers, maybe silly in any other context, work with violent aggression after every first down, every completion. There are fewer cheers and more primal screams of pure-grain desire, the need for this to go the way you want it to go. Losing to either side, whichever you’re on, can’t be considered an option.

But Auburn went down 21-7, then pushed every ounce of itself back up through the hole dug for them, every breath heaved towards making it a game again, sliding out from underneath the Alabama Crimson Tide’s stomp-machine just as it was preparing to smother the football life out of the Tigers. At 17-16, which is a bar just off Toomer’s Corner, the fervor was thick and loud, every play seeming like another step towards an apocalypse of some sort. Confident screeches of “Roll Tide!” came, then nervous chatter and for Auburn, quiet hope and loud cries for this improbable rally to continue.

A beautiful punt and ensuing special teams play stuck the Tide deep. Then A.J. McCarron hit Amari Cooper down the sideline for 99 yards and plunged the dagger into Auburn. The Tigers climbed the uncharted hill and as they set foot on its plateau, realized there was nothing there and plummeted into the familiar and well-populated crimson pit of despair, its walls lined with Bammers who expected this all along, because of course, because it’s the Tide. There are no expectations for Alabama fans. There is merely the waiting game until their team delivers the brutal, punishing right hook. There is no BCS National Championship Game without them; the game simply waits for the Tide to arrive.

When Nick Marshall tickled the line of scrimmage and dropped a pass to a completely-alone Sammie Coates, 17-16 lost its damn mind, as the Tigers were alive for a few more fiery minutes. Bracing for overtime and the collective cardiac attack of an entire city, we moved inside as T.J. Yeldon was pushed out of bounds with slivers of a second to go. We were inside when the 57-yard kick looked good for a second, then off and then finally short.

And it happened so fast, the ultimate sinking of an entire dynasty in this most ridiculous fashion, that we weren’t even sure it was legal because of the total insanity of its chances. Throughout the game, Alabama flashed slim crevices exposing soft underbelly, tiny slits in its thick-armored skin–some dropped passes, those missed kicks, coverage breakdowns–but they’d survived them because they’re Alabama. While Alabama may have these small areas of weakness, they’re nearly impossible to hit squarely in that target.

Instead, when you get too close, a sledgehammer comes from behind, dumping you into a tranquilized state. It’s not an instant kill; rather a coma in which you’re queasily awake, watching as the elephant’s foot comes down repeatedly on your chest. You can see that and you can hear “Roll Tide” ripping through warm Alabama air, all that assumed and posturing ease as the fans act like that’s how it’s always going to happen. The Tide rolls, waves don’t stop, and you can’t do a damn thing but wait for the crash.

Chris Davis and Auburn changed that ending, which ignited 17-16 into a spontaneous combustion of ecstasy and unfiltered joy, the happy-stupid kind where nothing makes sense, movements are lost to the crowd and language loses nuance. We hugged people we did not know and ran out to the intersection of College and Magnolia to join an already-frenzied rolling of the wires hanging above the street, all those temporary structures made possible and made necessary by one Crimson Tide fan’s loathsome exemplary act of extremist fandom.

And now it is Monday and a blizzard of toilet paper still covers that intersection. Debris–cans and cardboard boxes and bottles and paper–line campus streets for blocks and blocks around. Tailgates never stopped, people just had other places to be. It feels like there is somehow a chance the city won’t clean up the mess of all this sacred refuse, the tossed-around memorabilia from a night no one can possibly see again, but which we kept reliving on Sunday through highlights and radio calls and now, today, through being here in the still-giddy aftermath.

The Tide fans at 17-16, the Alabama supporters everywhere in Auburn on Saturday, vaporized into thin air after that last second went off the game clock. We swear we didn’t see a single crimson-clad soul after it happened. No one knows where they went, or how they disappeared so quickly, but in one hit of perfection on a final play, college football’s reigning Undefeatable Big Bad, its lingering dread and overconfident fanbase released their collective grip on the sport, not to be seen on that night again.

Everything else in Auburn is still here. Everyone is talking about it like it happened this morning, not two days ago. It will be awhile before it’s normal here again, we’re guessing, so let the remnants of Saturday lay and the whiteout hang in the sky. It’s impossible to absorb enough, even with all this paper everywhere.

Photo by Griffin Gotta.

Share |


This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you. web directory

I'd like a person's location. It really is better than notice everybody explain in words inside the life blood as well as legibility about this topic required region are often easily discovered. best end of tenancy cleaning

It is moreover an outstanding release we actually liked going through. It isn't really day-to-day i develop the chance to discover anything. CMS bloggen

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks 먹튀사이트

The article looks magnificent, but it would be beneficial if you can share more about the suchlike subjects in the future. Keep posting. m lixi88

I favor the actual publish. It truly is superb to discover a person explain in words out of your cardiovascular as well as high quality with this particular essential subject material might be very easily observed. singapore top wedding photographer

I have bookmarked your blog, the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog! bamboo sheet sets

I have bookmarked your blog, the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog! bamboo sheet sets

Your blog has chock-a-block of useful information. I liked your blog's content as well as its look. In my opinion, this is a perfect blog in all aspects. สมัครufabet

I have read all the comments and suggestions posted by the visitors for this article are very fine,We will wait for your next article so only.Thanks! parimatch

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot!

Thank you for the update, very nice site.. clenbuterol for sale

Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next.. M88

This sort of appears completely greatest. Each one of these small info tend to be produced as well as plenty of background info. I favor which a great deal.

Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Much thanks again. Cool. happy new year 2019

In the highly competitive times of today, enterprises need to leverage the enormous amounts of data, in order to gain an edge. This article delves into the concept of semantics and how semantic search... 먹튀검증

The moment when i been given onto your web page while having factor in essence considerably touch submits. Gratifying strategy for impending, My business is bookmarking while doing so attain forms conclude springs up way up. Mrplay

This is exactly likewise a terrific print which we honestly dearly loved looking through. It's not actually day by day that we include the risk to figure out an item. trust flow backlinks

Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Much thanks again. Cool. best dating sites

This is exactly likewise a terrific print which we honestly dearly loved looking through. It's not actually day by day that we include the risk to figure out an item. no deposit bonus

That is why selling advertising campaigns marketing so that you could invaluable explore previous advertisment. Quite simply to jot down stronger set that fit this description. Betclic

After i obtained on your blog although placing interest merely slightly little bit submits. Enjoyable technique for long term, I'll be book-marking at any given time obtain types complete comes upward. instagram profile viewer

That appears to be clearly amazing. Most teeny specifics are using great deal of reputation encounter. So i am attached to the idea a good deal. Mr green

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep here: with new updates. Its was really valuable. Thanks a lot. Skybet

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep here: with new updates. Its was really valuable. Thanks a lot. Skybet

Below is enjoy no doubt fabulous. Every one of these mild elements are designed by applying lots of basic foundation focus. I enjoy them all greatly. Betvictor

Great article Lot's of information to Read...Great Man Keep Posting and update to People..Thanks niche relevant blog comments

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. Betfirst

Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. high risk merchant account for online pharmacy

Really enjoyed this article post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on... UFABET

Hey great post, I truly enjoyed reading it! william hill

This is one awesome blog article.Really thank you! Will read on... construction project management consulting firm Sheffield

Appreciate you sharing, great blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool. merchant accounts for cbd oil

Very informative blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool. check it out

Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Much thanks again. Cool. Buy Instagram Mentions

Awesome article post. Much obliged. viagra and levitra

Say, you got a nice blog post.Really thank you! Really Great. Poe Chaos Orb

Appreciate you sharing, great blog article.Thanks Again. Cool. cheap essay

Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Thanks Again. Fantastic. 70-475 dumps

I am so grateful for your blog. Great. hair Loss Shampoo

Major thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Great.

Thank you so much for sharing this great blog.Very inspiring and helpful too.Hope you continue to share more of your ideas.I will definitely love to read. divorce lawyer

Very neat article. Awesome. 123movies123

Great article post. Keep writing. gardening tips

Im grateful for the blog post. Want more. Warehouse Storage

Awesome blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged. toner 255x

Thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool. ssidivemaster

I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! Farming simulator 2019 mods

Very neat article. Awesome. online cpr

Very neat article. Awesome. blog