Gearing up for the big game - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Gearing up for the big game

AUBURN, AL - We are only hours away from the reigning National Champions taking the field for the first time 2011 football season.

Auburn University is set to face Utah State at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday at noon Eastern Time.

On Friday evening, fans got an up close and personal look at two iconic Auburn symbols to get pumped for the big game.  The bird named War Eagle VII is spending some quality time with his Auburn family.

Long time Auburn fan Robby Gilreath brought his two sons to come learn what Auburn football is all about.

"It's such a big part of game-day when the eagle flies around the stadium in the opening.  So it's so much fun and the kids really love it," said Gilreath.

He was not alone.  Crowds filled the Hotel at Auburn University to snap pictures of the crystal Coaches' Trophy for the National Championship and the famous eagle.

However, Clarence Tidwell remembers a much different time for Auburn football.

"1950 is not a fond memory because we didn't win a football game in 1950," said Tidwell.

Things have changed since Tidwell went to school here in the 1950's, but he says one thing has remained the same.

"The ethics and the integrity.  It's just a great school from that standpoint.  I think the athletic department now is doing a great job of trying to teach those young folks the right thing," said Tidwell.

All these fans are tied together with a common bond: the love of their team and one favorite saying.

"It's more than just something we say at football games.  It's a greeting even outside of football season when you run into somebody in the airport that has an Auburn logo on and you say ‘War Eagle' to them it means a lot," said Gilreath.

So, no matter what happens on the football field, you know fan be walking away saying one thing: War Eagle!        

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