AUBURN... To the alumni, the students, the fans... this word means so much! It meant so much this past weekend across the country and especially in GLENDALE, AZ!! Auburn is a true family, we chant "War Eagle" to everyone we saw in their burnt orange and navy blue. We arrived in the Phoenix airport from Denver and the plane was filled with both Oregon and Auburn fans alike. You could feel the excitement in the air and we were only on an airplane.
We touched down at the Phoenix airport and the place was filled with AU and Oregon!! It was funny being in airport of all places, finding you might have been wearing the same Auburn T-Shirt as somebody else. I am not sure Phoenix/Scottsdale/Glendale were prepared for all of the fans and spirit we were bringing... But as the BCS T-Shirts say and as we believe, Auburn Family: All In!!
We ran into some of Justin's friends from Auburn Wrestling when we were looking for our ride... Running into friends at the airport is really the best, it really is a small world!
Toniann, a good friend from high school and college, picked us up from the airport. I was excited to be staying with her and her husband Kyle, and their lovely Aussies, Luca and Leo!! They are like her children, I love them! Later on, we came back to the airport to pick up Justin's sister, Christin, who had won a free student ticket in a raffle!! (Yes, you read that right - a FREE ticket to the BCS Championship!!)
The weekend began with events Saturday night - we went to an "Auburn" bar in Scottsdale and met up with the Phoenix Alumni Club! Toniann was of course a member so I was able to meet other members and just have good time. The next day, we attended the Auburn Pep Rally. We listened while the President of AU spoke as well as Auburn's Athletic Director Jay Jacobs. We were surrounded by 50,000 other fans. It was a crazy set up, but a really great time!! Later on, we walked around Old Town Scottsdale and saw the Heisman Trophy in a museum! I was so happy about the weather - short sleeves, I hadn't worn them comfortably outside in while! There were definitely more Auburn fans than Oregon fans at the pep ralley, but maybe that's because we missed their part of the ralley?! I am not sure. Either way, it was a wonderful time! Auburn was taking over the town!
Though we didn't attend the game the following day, we tailgated yards away from the Phoenix Stadium and we really had a wonderful group of tailgaters, probably about 15 of us in total. Just being there all day - meeting new Auburn friends, seeing old (but good) friends, and being with family - this is what it was all about. This is why I was in Arizona.
Later on in the day, while tailgating, Justin's family arrived - his aunt and uncle from Seattle and his aunt/uncle from Orange County. It was a joy catching up with them as well as Justin's sister. We definitely missed having my in-laws with us tailgating for the final game of the season!
After we looked for cheap tickets that didn't really exist, we bid adieu to our friends going to the game and Justin, myself, Brad, and his aunt and uncle went to McFadden's to watch the game with some of Justin's wrestling friends. It was difficult to go over there knowing we were missing out on some history, but I have to tell you we had an absolute blast!!
During the commercials, the bar played an Auburn song and we did our cheers. During half time, the bar blasted music and we had one giant dance party for 30 minutes! I hadn't danced all weekend, so this was one of my favorite moments!! The fourth quarter was definitely the most stressful. I kept saying "Auburn, what are you doing?!?!".... I prayed for Auburn... I cried a little ... My heart was seriously RACING... I know everyone's was. I squeezed my husband's hand, shook my Auburn shaker, and seriously I was going nuts!!! 4th Quarter was dramatic. The game ended with a big Auburn Win. Auburn pulled it out the way they always pulled out - by giving all of us almost-heart attacks!!
Celebrating at McFadden's later, with champagne, friends, and the Auburn family - we were completely silly and seriously couldn't believe what had happened. Walking back to the tailgating spot, Justin decided to War Eagle EVERYONE we saw in blue and orange!! Everyone received a hug, too! I definitely videotaped this - we were overjoyed and I couldn't stop laughing at the whole scene! :)
I took more pictures of Justin's family and we said our goodbyes to our new friends we had met at the tailgating spot. I think Auburn fans would agree- this was a GREAT time had by all - no matter what, we were all in this together.