As a small child, I loved going to Auburn football games with my family. We would drive our RV to Auburn and camp near the corner of Thatch and Donahue. On gameday, we would do the same things many other fans would do: tailgate, go to Haley Center bookstore to get the week’s game button, attend Tiger Walk, and eventually, go to the game.
However, there is one thing that we would always do that really made an impression on me more than anything else: attending drumline warmups. Back in those days and even continuing through my tenure at Auburn, the drumline would gather in the lawn between the student gates and the eagle’s cage and play through their warmups. A crowd would gather and observe these Auburn men and women, dressed in their uniforms, as they sought to perform to the highest of their ability while simultaneously pleasing the crowd. Needless to say, it was awesome. I still remember looking at my mom and saying, “I want to do that one day.” I was likely in the 6th grade at the time, and had no idea what was to come…
Fast forward to the fall semester of 2001. I was a new member of the Auburn Drumline. Being a member of the drumline was the fulfillment of a childhood dream and years of preparation. On this hot late summer day, and I stood in that very spot again. This time, not as an observer, but as a participant. Our section leader “tapped off” and we began playing “8’s and Bucks.” One warmup exercise followed another. The occasional “War Eagle,” was yelled by the crowd. Children laughed and played in the grass. Alumni brought their children to watch as they reminisced. It was great. Shortly thereafter, we entered the stadium, and my first football season as an AUMB member began.
For the next three years, I spent every home-game Saturday repeating this experience. To be honest, it never got old. I loved every minute of it. It was so exciting to interact with friends, family, and fans in this manner.
Each time I walk by this location on campus, I think of those numerous warmup sessions, and I remember the friends I made along the way, the victories won in that stadium (and the losses), and the amazing feeling of playing in unison with a great organization.
To my Drumline friends, I’ll never forget those times…Shoney’s, scavenger hunts, building bridges, burning bridges, vibrating the Hill, and telling others “don’t mistake our intensity for anger.”