A Witness to (Cold) History

Yeah, I was there.  A lot of us from Fill The Steins nation were there.  For fans of all ages, Saturday at the Alfond Sports Stadium was a lifetime in the making, no matter if you’re 8 or 88.  That’s because, as we know by now, the Black Bear football team hosted a playoff game for the first time ever.

And you could tell.  Despite the cold, the tailgaters and ticket holders were geared up for this one.  There was a good buzz building as we walked into the A.S.S., like some of the big time hockey games from back in the good ol’ days.

I said to my compatriots during the game that it was too bad we couldn’t host a team from Louisiana or North Carolina… Or, hell, even Lafayette.  We all know now how the game against border blood rival UNH turned out.  I can’t help but think there isn’t much home cold weather advantage against a team from a state right next door.  

But… Damn it was cold, wasn’t it?  No big complaints, weather-wise, though. 

The first half was a little rough, football-wise and otherwise.  Missed tackles, missed chances.  The crowd was into it pretty sporadically, I’d say.  With the exception of Damarr Aultman’s big kick return to the house and a few defensive snaps, the crowd was…not as hyped as I’d hoped.  (This changed a lot in half no. 2.)  But at the break, the good guys were still in it.

Halftime was brought to you by the tailgating tents of the Alumni Association and the crew of Auburn Mayor Jon LaBonte.  Brews (wicked cold, naturally…) and a nice setup to catch the Baylor-Texas game on the tube.  Then… To the warming tent!  Quick stop before the second half, but worth every second.

Despite (mostly) getting outplayed again, the Black Bears hung around for most of the second half.  And the crowd. Got. Loud.  I was really impressed with the volume and intensity.  Of course, then UNH just stepped on the gas… and the Black Bears couldn’t convert on a big third (and fourth) down… and that boisterous crowd files out. 

It sucked, having the first home playoff game ever end on the wrong side.  It sucked, risking hypothermia for an L.  And it sucked riding home for two hours with a raw sore throat and knees that wouldn’t warm up.  But I’m 100% glad I went, and now that the Black Bears have a taste for it, I can’t wait for the next one.

Go Big Blue!


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