The secret is out...I was born and raised in the North! Cincinnati, OH to be exact. While Allie was raised on Orange and Blue, my family bled Scarlet and Gray. My earliest memories are of my Papa singing “cesspool of the world” to the tune of the Michigan fight song and my Grandpa teaching me the chant “OH-IO”. I longed to join TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band in the Land) of Ohio State and carry on those proud traditions, but it wasn’t in the cards.
One summer, my parents sat my brother and I down and my dad asked, “Can you boys point to Alabama on the map?” Neither of us could. Within a few weeks our bags were packed and we were making the long drive to Alabama. We were greeted by a hot AL summer, fire ants, and accents so southern it was almost a foreign language. It didn’t take long before we were presented with the eternal question “Auburn or Alabama?” (Auburn, duh. Why this was an important question will be saved for a future post.)
My first Iron Bowl was spent with new friends and I honestly couldn't have cared less who won, but my crush (keep in mind, I haven't met Allie yet so it wasn't her, haha) was an Auburn fan so that’s who I decided to cheer for. I began to learn the history and love for the school these fans held and it was contagious. It took mere seconds after stepping on campus junior year for me to feel at home. The friendly students/staff, vibrant campus, and storied tradition were all major pluses, but the true selling point was when I walked into the campus radio station and Weezer’s “Sweater Song” was blaring. This place was heaven!
I still vividly remember the moment my parents told me I was going to Auburn. Unlike Allie, my parents would eventually enjoy the blessing of in-state tuition, but like Allie, my desire to go to Auburn would mean a big sacrifice for my parents. I was offered full scholarships to two other great AL schools, but after campus visits and several restless nights, my heart just wasn’t in it. One day, as we were discussing college in the living room, my parents called a timeout and went to a separate room. Several long minutes later they returned, looked me in the eyes, and said “You are going to Auburn!!” I couldn’t believe it! I immediately felt a sense of peace and pride in calling myself an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!
And because no post is complete without some pictures, here's some pictures of me on my way to Auburn and during my freshman year!
Next week, Allie will tell you the details of our first encounter from her point of view. Good thing she remembers…..find out why next week!
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