Posts Tagged ‘Auburn Tigers’

Georgia-Auburn Columbus Memories

November 15, 2013

 It it has been played in Columbus more times than anywhere else, 38 games, according to Wikipedia.  It was played in Columbus from 1920 to 1958, with the only break being when it was played in Athens in 1929. Memorial Stadium (now A.J. McClung Memorial  Stadium), I am told, was larger than the stadiums at Georgia and Auburn in 1920. 

Not only was the game the largest sports event in Cweolumbus, it was also arguably the biggest social even of the year. Parties were held all over town. Men wore business suits and women their Sunday best when going to the game.

When I was a boy, no one I knew went to parties or the game because we were in the depths of the Great Depression.  My dad would drive the family by the stadium so we could see the well-dressed crowds going into the game, then we would listen to it on the radio. And everyone could watch the Georgia and Auburn bands in the game day parade on Broadway.  The Georgia Band would arrive by train at  the  Central of  Georgia Depot on 6th Avenue, a block away from where we lived in the 1940s. My buddies and I would watch the band detrain, form up and start its march to Broadway  We would follow the band to Broadway where it would join the Auburn band for the Broadway parade. Georgia and Auburn fans would decorate their cars in school colors and signs.

During the last year of World War II and right after the war, since the war had brought an end to the Great Depression, family finances picked up and we started going to the games.  The one that I remember most vividly was when Charlie Trippi played.  It was either the 1945 or 1946 game.  Trippi, who was an All-American and in the running for the Heisman Trophy (Doc Blanchard of Army won it) put on dazzling show.

It was a warm, sunny November Saturday afternoon.  We were sitting in the end zone seats , but that didn’t matter because I WAS THERE, actually seeing a Georgia-Auburn game.  And while I was rooting for Georgia, I enjoyed the Auburn band when it played The Tiger Rag  as much as the Bulldog band when it played Glory Glory to old Georgia.  I just loved it when the Auburn band tuba section stood and in unison turned from one side to the other when it did the roar part of the song.

And the end zone didn’t turn out so bad after all.  You got to see Trippi doing his dazzling reverses and running backwards before he would turn and run what it appeared to be right through most of the Auburn team in the end-zone area. That turned out to be better than the ultra-expensive 50-yard line seats. Georgia won. I  know that because Georgia won both the 1945 and 1946 games.

The Georgia-Auburn game is billed as “The Deep South’s Oldest Football Rivalry.”  Virginia-North Carolina claim to be “The South’s Oldest Football Rivalry” even though it played its first game in 1892, the same year that Georgia and Auburn played their first game.  Virgnia-North Carolina claim the most games since they played two in 1892.  There is the distinct possibility that Georgia and Auburn can play twice in one year for the SEC Championship so that will make it a tie for “oldest rivalry,” I suppose.

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Alabama is Not Number One

October 16, 2012

The University of Alabama may be number one in football nationally,but academically it’s number 77, according to the U.S. News rankings.  Harvard, whose football coach makes less than $90 thousand a year, and whose professors make an average of $198 thousand, is in first place.  Alabama’s professors make an average of about $130 thousand a year, while the football coach makes more than $5.3 million.

The highest ranking University in Georgia and Alabama is Emory in Atlanta. It’s 20th in the nation. It’s professors average pay is $153,000, and it has no football team.  The second highest ranked university in the two states is Georgia Tech.  It is 36th in the nation. The average pay for a professor at Tech is more than $141 thousand, higher than Alabama, Georgia, or Auburn.  Yes, it does have a famous football team that even beats Georgia every now and then.   

One of the main justifications for paying more than $5 million a year to Alabama coach Saban is that having a winning football team causes alumni to donate big bucks to the school.  The best endowed university in the world is Harvard,  and it offers no athletic scholarships.  Emory, with no football team.  also has huge endowments.  There are people with a lot of money who value academic achievement more than football.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good college football game and watch some Georgia, Tech, Alabama, and Auburn games on TV, and always want them to win when they aren’t playing each other.  When they are playing each other, I usually pull for the underdog.  My son went to Tech, three great nephews of mine played in the Georgia Redcoat Band, another great-nephew of mine played in the Alabama Million Dollar Band.  

Then there is the Georgia-Auburn game that was played in Columbus until 1958 (I think it was 1958).  I always enjoy that one because it brings back memories when I got to see All-American Charley Trippi play back in the 1946.  I was 15-years-old.  My family sat in the cheap seats in the end zone and were glad to be there. Hey, it’s the best place in the stadium to see touchdowns.  I loved it when the Auburn Band played the Tiger Rag with the tubas waving back and forth when they roared.  Does the band still do that?  And I always got a kick when the Redcoat Band played Glory Glory to Old Georgia. I know they still do that because I heard it at a Dawg Walk before a relatively recent game with Auburn in Athens.  

Yes, I enjoy college football, but I do not value it over academics, and I don’t think coaches should make millions off the hard work and talent of college kids who get paid nothing for their efforts and taking the physical risks inherent in football. No football coach is worth forty times as much as a professor.