Saturday, November 10, 2007

War Eagle

Interesting assessment of "What's at Stake" between the hedges today from SMQ in this week's edition of Friday Morning Quarterback:
"Georgia, just a Tennessee stumble away from a clear sprint to the BCS, has more to lose than Auburn, whose hopes of winning the West hinge not only on the Tigers beating UGA and Alabama, but also on LSU losing to Ole Miss and Arkansas, i.e. it’s essentially a pride game for the Tigers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that."
Not exactly. As has been pointed out elsewhere, a win today keeps Auburn in line for the unlikeliest Sugar Bowl berth of our lifetimes, a prize that would be so sweet in the aftermath of a season like this one I haven't dared speak its name here, particularly since it's a complete lost cause with a loss today. Thinking about scenarios like that one aren't just getting ahead of ourselves, it's splittling in two, traveling and standing on eiher side of the International Date Line, and yelling at the you on the other side of it "Suck it, Yesterday!" (Or something.) But it's out there nonetheless.

More important, though, is the Pride--capital P--that SMQ undersells. It's more important than the Sugar Bowl. It's more important than an SEC title. It's more important, really, than a national championship. Before all else comes Pride, that simple desire, need, compulsion or whatever synonym you prefer to win today, not for trophies or rankings or the congratulatory smile on Monday from the redhead two rows over in Organic Gardening, but because it's a game and the point is to play hard and win. The best teams, I fully believe, start with Pride and Pride alone and let everything else come as a distant second.

And as an Auburn fan, in no two games is this any truer--hell, let's be honest, it might be the only two here at the JCCW in which it's any true at all--than the two that Auburn will play today and two weeks from today. Given that the Sugar Bowl remains a sugar-plum dream for now, maybe all that is on the line is Pride.

But this week, that's more than enough. This is the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. It means something that has nothing to do with tomorrow, next week, next year. It means winning over our rivals today. It means we want it, and we want it badly. Go Auburn. Beat Georgia.

War Eagle.

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