While the bulk of fans will settle for watching the Auburn Tigers face off against the Florida State Seminoles on television, Connor Glenn, a Pell City High School graduate and Auburn alum, will travel the farthest he’s ever traveled to watch a football game.
“After 2010, I said I wouldn’t miss the next chance to see AU play for the National Championship again,” Glenn said. “This season has been incredible, and if we can pull off one more (win), then it completes arguably the most magical season in football history. I also felt like after seeing the Georgia and Alabama games in person, it would be bad luck not to travel to Pasadena to support them for the last game of the year.”
A lifelong fan who has attended more than 150 Auburn games, including all home games and the SEC Championship this season, Glenn stressed the importance of the BCS Championship.
“This game to me means more than even the 2010 year,” Glenn said. “This was just a team that has come together and believed they can win no matter the circumstance. Also, if we win, it makes the 2010 year so much more legitimate, Auburn haters wouldn’t be able to say it was just a fluke because we had Cam (Newton) anymore.”
Chip Moore, of Talladega First National Bank, said he hasn’t made any commitment on where he’ll be for the game, whether it’s watching with family and friends, or making the journey to the Rose Bowl.
“I’ve got friends who are flying out to Pasadena and I’ve got friends who are getting hotels in Auburn who are gathering to watch the game and celebrate at Toomer’s Corner,” Moore said. “I’m looking forward to the fact that our team can play four quarters of football with any team in the country. I’m not sure FSU has that capability.”
Some local fans may decide to throw a festive shindig, as is the case with Donnie Miller, Talladega City Councilman and owner of Miller’s BBQ. Miller is hosting a tailgate party at Timber Ridge, featuring the game displayed on two projection-screen TVs and a cash bar.
“Anybody can come to the party,” Miller said. “There’s a fee at the door. Just come on in and enjoy the game.”
Not all fans have a party marked down on their Monday agenda. Auburn fan Danielle Moss said she was very superstitious and decided to err on the side of caution.
“I’m not having a party because the last three games, my husband, Woody Moss, was out of town,” Moss said. “I didn’t plan a get-together and watched the games by myself. We ended up having great outcomes. Woody isn’t out of town, but he’ll miss the game due to working late. That’s why I won’t have a party. It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.”
This game won’t just catch the eyes of eager Auburn fans. Many who swear their allegiance to Alabama Crimson Tide football will be watching for the sake of brand loyalty.
“I bleed crimson and white, but I pull for the Tigers to keep the crystal in the SEC,” Alabama fan Kevin Fleming said.
Talladega native Jimmy Walker echoed a similar sentiment.
“I have to work that night and I wish I could watch the game,” Walker said. “I’m an Alabama fan, but I hope Auburn wins. I’m just rooting for the SEC. If they win, that’s great. If they lose, I’m not going to cry about it.”
Of course, there are some Alabama fans who believe Auburn doesn’t deserve to be in the game. Consider Shay Pierce, a Pell City native who works for North American Construction, a card-carrying member of that club.
“Auburn is not the second-best team in the country, maybe not even the third,” Pierce said. “They just beat Alabama on an off day in a hostile environment with a miracle play and a couple other miracles to complement that one. Did I mention they have a horrid secondary and are going to play one of the best quarterbacks in college football this year?”
Despite his assertion Auburn doesn’t belong, Pierce admitted he will be pulling for the orange and blue Monday.
“I hope they bring it home,” Pierce said. “It’s going to be tough. Miracles happen!”
Even with the yearly back-and-forth sniping that divides friends, neighbors and families across the state, the majority of fans seem to put it aside for a chance at a half-decade of college football dominance.
“Regardless of who you cheer for, anyone living here can take pride in the fact that we play the best college football in America in the state of Alabama,” Glenn said. “Five straight appearances in the title game from one state I am sure is a record.”