What Would Aubie Do? The best and worst of college football came out on Saturday night during the final broadcast moments of the Iron Bowl. After Auburn downed number one Alabama on a last second missed field goal return the crowd went wild inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. The majority of fans on hand were Auburn fans and many of them stormed the field. The others were Alabama fans and they stood in stunned silence.
Well, almost all of them stood in stunned silence. As the network cameras scanned the crowd for typical reaction shots they focused in on a family with two young boys decked out in Bama gear. The father was obviously comforting two kids, one of which was crying. I've chosen not to include an image of the Bama family because there's no reason to do so.
In this world of instant media the online world was alive with people attacking the kickers on the Alabama team, the coaching staff of Alabama and this young fan. Really?
I can understand upset fans unloading on a coach after a loss. I've blown my top several times on pitching moves, or lack there off, during a Braves game. I can even understand a few loose remarks about a college player blowing a play, or making a play to beat my team. We often forget that these grid-iron players of the college game are still kids. They won't grow up until they are properly hazed in the NFL. (sarcasm)
Then there's attacking a kid crying about his team losing. Really, how low can you get? I remember my son getting upset when Stone Cold Steve Austin lost a match, I was torn up when the Steelers lost the Super Bowl by one crazy play. I'm forty plus years old and a good Hallmark movie with Betty White can bring me to tears. If you don't believe me, watch the Betty White movie about the Lost Valentine and her MIA husband's remains being returned to the states decades later.
The Best Iron Bowl in a Long Time
This young man went to a game, saw probably the best Iron Bowl match-up in a long time, saw his team fall to an arch rival in the last second and then did what any little kid would do. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it's an amazing teaching moment for all of us.
We probably put too much into our love for sports, sure, that's a given. We probably put to much into our love for college football, that's a given as well. What we can't put too much into is being a young fan hanging out with his family and having a good time, even when their team loses.
This Thanksgiving was spent with my father in a hospital. Thursday and Friday was spent in the room watching some football with my dad. Every few minutes I would look over to check on him and he would either be asleep, or catch me looking and smile back. He would make a few comments on the game, then I would say something and turn to him for a response only to find him napping again.
As soon as I saw the shot of the young man on TV I instantly thought that I would want my dad next to me every time a tough moment came up in life. Remember, this is a child. That game, that ending WAS a tough time in his life.
The Real Man Award!
If there was an award for "Real Man" of the day I would give it to this young man.
Tom Hanks said there was no crying in baseball... he didn't mention college football. So, what would Aubie, the mascot for Auburn, do? I'm guessing Aubie would pull out every trick in his bag to make the young man smile, even if it meant having Alabama's mascot Big Al put him in a headlock on the sidelines.
To the young Bama fan - Here is a hearty "ROLL TIDE" from an Auburn fan and sports writer.