I wrote something the other day about finding an old photo of a Heisman-coached Auburn team in an 1897 issue of Harper’s Weekly magazine. I called it Auburn’s first national press. Then came Wikipedia Karen. There is no such thing as Auburn, said Karen. Auburn is made-up. That was the A&M College of Alabama. And that championship in ’57? That went to API – Alabama Polytechnic Institute. No Auburn until 1960. Karen was serious and she was spreading the word (and with killer math skills!):
There IS NO tradition at Auburn…they just evolved
I believe it was Mr. Owens, my 10th grade biology teacher, who first introduced me to this bizarre, bizarre attempt at Bamaslam — on Monday he’d mumble his thoughts about the weekend’s games and always “forget” to call Auburn, Auburn. “Yeah, Alabama Polytechnic beat their team…” (He also literally gave us the answers to every test).
As ol’ J.M. noted, Karen actually acknowledges the custom that contradicts her inane claim — the football team that has represented the institution known since 1960 as Auburn University, i.e. the Auburn that Karen means when she says “Auburn”, has always been Auburn. It’s just the way things went back in the day: Auburn played Athens, Auburn played Tuskaloosa with a K. So her choice of logic remains a mystery. Is Karen married, I wonder? Has it been for less than 18 years? Did she change her name? Does she tell people she’s only… 6? 8? 10 years old? “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child…”
It’s a strange road for Bama fans to want to go down — is Cassius Clay not Muhammad Ali? Is Jacob not Israel? Is Puff Daddy not Diddy? If Auburn wasn’t Auburn until 1960, that would mean that, though the Thin Red Line might have been able to win its very first football game against a tough Birmingham High School* team, it has a losing record against Alabama Polytechnic Institute and the Agricultural & Mechanical School of Alabama.
So I wouldn’t go down it. It’s just weird.
The trophy given to the winner of the game played in Birmingham between the teams representing the University of Alabama and the Agricultural & Mechanical School of Alabama on Feb. 22, 1893 is engraved with the words:
First Game Between Auburn and Alabama
Feb. 22. 1893
Auburn 32 Alabama 22
And if you can find any reference to Auburn other than “Auburn” anywhere above the masthead in the story below, I will be more than happy to say “War Damn Eagle.”
Auburn went polytechnic all over Bama in 1957, 40-0. Tommy Lorino told me they were begging Shug to keep pouring it on but that Auburn basically stopped playing in the 3rd quarter.
* Yes. The University of Alabama began it’s illustrious football tradition in a 56-0 rout of Birmingham High School. Say it slow. Say it again. Say it forever. Then a loss, and then a win to Birmingham Athletic Club. Then their lost to Auburn. The University of Alabama says its football program began in 1892. It didn’t play against an actual college until 1893 (it was that little A&M school down the road, Karen)… it didn’t beat a college team until 1894 — Tulane. Got 12?