2004, it summons all our foolish blood…

and LSU is where it began. Where it began, began. Nick Saban, I might add, tried to get out of it, I’m just saying.

Chris Shelling Jr. and I were in a band together. Chris played tambourine. He was eleven. We had a show that night. We would celebrate. There was lots of cake and toilet paper. Lots of smiles. Lots of digital cameras.

I went to the game with my grandfather. All Auburn, All Orange, he wore blue. On purpose. Him telling me that was probably when I knew we’d win. We rode Tiger Transit over from Wire Road or somewhere. There was an LSU fan, so typical, so typical, on the bus with us. Picture him. Now hear him, hear his voice – that’s what he sounded like. “LSU’s gon’ whip that aye-yuss.” There were old people around, old Auburn couples, dressed to the nines, the same old couples LSU fans throw rocks and bottles at in Baton Rouge, and there were kids, little girls and such, and that guy was just bein’ himself. So that’s why we hate you. Nothin’ urban, nothin’ legend about it, cornbrella. Give me a Florida fan, any day. (but Doug’s OK, an Auburn man deep down, just a little confused, still experimenting, SEC, whatevs).

Back to Granddaddy. We smoked cigars before the game, he lounged on the grass outside the stadium awkwardly, like an old man in pain, and he made fun of me – they were Swishers, maybe those buy one get one Tampa Sweets. Willy came by, tall, bandanas, my grandfather treated him like he was in the service and shook his hand, glad I had a friend. Inside he kept seizing, kept shouting “run de bawuh, run de bawuh!” Which means ‘run the ball.’ I took out my recorder and taped him. Then it happened, that incredible 4th down conversion, and then the throw, the catch, the touchdown. More cigars and quick pictures, capture the moment! Thank you, Lord.

LSU man was no where to be see-yain.

Hours go by, people are feeling it. I walked behind the house, it was dark, night, there were cars driving by and horns honking, smoke, beer, people everywhere, girls, pom poms, shakers, and we all knew. CSJ busted out of the house, around the corner, blood on his hands. He saw me — and I think about this probably 20 times a year — and he yelled:

“Courtney Taylor, bitches!”

He shook that tambourine. It was a great day and a great night to be alive. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger. Gox to hell, LSU.

Lord, be with us in our time of need. Glorify yourself according to your purpose. Keep folks safe. War Eagle, forever. Amen.


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