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Did You Know? Auburn Tigers edition

Did You Know? Auburn Tigers edition

OXFORD, Miss. – It is another week in the Southeastern Conference and another week to learn about a league foe. This week, Ole Miss travels to Auburn. So how much do we know about the Tigers?

Did you know Auburn is named for a poem? Oliver Goldsmith was the poet who inspired the village of Auburn to acquire its name. After reading a poem, a young lady quoted a passage from the poem to provide a suitable name for the place. “Auburn, sweet Auburn, loveliest village on the plain.”

Did you know Auburn has had three Heisman Trophy winners? Pat Sullivan won the award in 1971, followed by Bo Jackson and then Cam Newton. Auburn is the only school to have a winner of the trophy at which John Heisman actually coached.

Did you know Auburn fans still chant “Punt Bama Punt,” during the annual Iron Bowl? In 1972, Auburn trailed the Tide 16-3 in the fourth quarter. On successive possessions, the Tigers’ Bill Newton blocked a Greg Gantt punt and David Langner picked up the ball on each occasion and ran into the end zone. The final score was Auburn 17, Alabama 16.

Did you know Auburn is a part of the oldest rivalry in the deep south? In February 1892, Auburn played Georgia in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to kick off southern football. Auburn won that day 10-0. More notable, legend holds the school’s cheer of “War Eagle,” was born at the game. A Civil War veteran was in attendance and he brought his pet golden eagle. The man had found the baby bird on the battlefield after the Battle of Shiloh and named it “War Eagle.” The story states the bird broke away from his owner during the game and began to circle the field. The veteran kept calling out for him and the Auburn students heard him and began to emulate the “War Eagle!” cry. There is even one story where the bird dies on the field at the end of the game, but we are not buying that.

Did you know Auburn’s stadium is named for two men? Jordan-Hare Stadium is so named for legendary coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan and Cliff Hare. It is one of only four stadiums in the SEC named for more than one person. Alabama has Bryant-Denny Stadium, Williams-Brice Stadium is in Columbia, S.C., and of course, Ole Miss plays at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Did you know a lousy 50 cents paused the Iron Bowl for years? From 1909-48, the heated rivals did not meet on the football field. The teams got into a dispute about how much per diem should be paid to the players who traveled to Birmingham for the game. The per diem was a measly 50 cents.

Did you know Auburn was the last opponent Archie Manning played in his Ole Miss career? At homecoming during his senior season, Manning broke his left arm against Houston. It appeared his days in a Rebels’ uniform ended that day. But Manning convinced doctors to rig a cast for his arm that allowed him to play against the Tigers in the Gator Bowl. As valiant as he was, it was not enough as Auburn won the game 35-28. It was also the last SEC game which did not have an African-American play.

Did you know toilet paper is a valuable commodity after an Auburn win? On the corner of Magnolia and College in Auburn is the location of Toomer’s Drug Store, and hence it is known Toomer’s Corner. Two oak trees were planted there in 1937 and after big wins, Auburn fans “roll” the trees with toilet paper. It is a unique tradition, but kind of silly.

Did you know Auburn has some pretty successful graduates? Auburn can boast such graduates as Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer and Alabama governor Kay Ivey. And don’t forget the triple threat of Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley and Frank Thomas. Jimmy Wales is also an Auburn grad and every college student owes him – he invented Wikipedia.

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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