Written by Cole Locascio
At this point last season, Auburn fans (and myself) were itching for football season to finally come to an end. You know it's bad when Auburn fans are crying for the start of basketball season -- yeah, 2012 was rough. That's why it's nice to reflect and give a little thanks where it's due after a bit of success -- it keeps you humble.
I'm thankful for Alabama... because you're just so much fun to hate. You poison trees, teabag opposing teams' fans in Krystal's, and act like complete fools throughout each and every day. Thanks for being there to make Auburn's fanbase look like a bunch of saints.
I'm thankful for Gene Chizik... because no matter how much of a disaster last season was, the national championship you brought to Auburn in 2010 makes up for all of the turmoil of 2012. Without you, Gus Malzahn would have never been introduced to the Plains, and without you, the greatest college football player to ever play the game, Cam Newton, would've ended up ringing a cowbell at Mississippi State.
I'm thankful for Jay Jacobs... yeah, hear me out on this one. Sure, Tony Barbee might not have been the best hire in the world, but he went out and found an up-and-coming coach to hire out of UTEP. Also, the basketball program is doomed, so there's that going against him anyway. You mad with the Chizik hire? Why? The guy brought Auburn our first national title since 1957, and a crystal ball at that. Also, I know most of you couldn't care less about the baseball program, but I for one am thrilled with the hire of Sunny Golloway out of Oklahoma. For the first time in my life, I am eager to see our Tigers competing for a spot in Omaha this spring.
I'm thankful for Gus Malzahn... because he brought championship level football back to the Plains, as he promised in his debut. For the first time in history, the Iron Bowl will decide who's going to Atlanta for the SEC Championship, and we're only a year removed from zero conference wins last season.
I'm thankful for Kiehl Frazier... Sure, his football career might not have panned out the way he wished, but I see a man with a bright future ahead (outside of football, of course). Kiehl's actions throughout this whole process, before the season and after Pat Dye's ridiculously immature comments, represents the definition of an Auburn man, and just like Kodi Burns before him, I expect big things from the junior in the future.
And lastly, I'm thankful for my grandfather, Don Rooks... without whom I could not, and would not have the deepest passion for Auburn football. Ever since my tyke days, I've been sitting next to this guy in Jordan-Hare for every single game to watch our Tigers take the field. We've been through the ups (2004, 2010), and the downs (2008, 2012), and our loyalty all paid off with a trip to Phoenix to see Wes Byrum kick the game-winning field goal against Oregon in person. Tears were shed for that one, and hopefully we'll be able to drop a few more for years to come.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, and try to remember what's most important in your life. Rest up and eat up, because we've got one heck of a game on Saturday. See you on the Plains -- War Eagle!