Note to readers: This series features the behind the photograph stories of images from the past year. These are not always my best photos but they are photos that have some meaning to me. Of course, sometimes that meaning is simply the photo was one of my best images.
College football is fairly important down here in the south and nowhere will you find folks who place a greater importance on college football than in the state of Alabama. It is almost as important to know who you root for as it is know whether you are a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ or any of the sundry flavors of the Faith. I am surprised there isn’t some kind of blank you have to fill in our your driver’s license application.
By any definition, Auburn had an awful year on the football field. It started bad and ended ugly and Gene Chizik and staff lost their jobs. The Family that was “all in” a couple years ago was now all out. Sometimes things spiral completely out of control and this was one of those years for Auburn.
Some of you reading this blog don’t live in the great state of Alabama so you don’t understand what this means. Let me explain. When you move here you are expected to declare your allegiance. You will be asked some derivation of the question, “Who do you go for?” What your inquisitor means is, are you going to be for Alabama or for Auburn.
I baffle those folks because I was born here and I have always pulled for both Alabama and Auburn, maybe Bama a little more than Auburn but I always hope both teams do well. In fact, a perfect football year for me would have both teams coming into the Iron Bowl unbeaten. This wasn’t one of those years and the Auburn faithful kept a stiff upper lip in the face of all that adversity. I thought maybe, just maybe, Auburn would put up a fight in the Iron Bowl and save Chizik’s job. Just the opposite happened. This Iron Bowl was about the worst football game I have ever seen between legit Division I schools.
Rewind to the Auburn vs LSU contest. There was still hope Auburn might turn the season around. They played a great football game on defense against LSU but couldn’t muster any offense. That was the story of the season. The photo on this page is not a great peak action shot but, as far as any action photo can convey the feeling of a season, I felt this one did. The LSU defense has Ontario McCalebb all wrapped up and is bringing him down.