All glory is fleeting
George Patton once wrote “For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade … A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
That might adequately describe what an Auburn fan felt like after the SEC Championship Game against the newly reinvented Georgia Bulldogs. Clearly, this was not the same team that Auburn had played three weeks earlier in their own beat down of the Dawgs in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
My own takeaways are that Kerryon Johnson is more valuable to our team than any one player should be. Second, we were physically spent after playing two very good #1 teams. Third, the Auburn fumble on the 5 yard line as they were about to go up two touchdowns was a huge momentum change and clearly the single most important play of the game.
Of course, none of this matters as every team has to play through injuries. Every team has to overcome the adversity that comes with a turnover. Georgia was clearly the better team in the game that mattered the most.
It was a strange position to be in on Sunday afternoon as the Playoff selections were made. Auburn has played three of the four teams. It was particularly painful to watch Alabama make the move up even though they did not play at all last weekend. I agree that they are one of the top four teams in the country, but still is a bitter pill for a lifelong Auburn fan to swallow.
Of course, we all know this is just a game. Yeah, right. There is clearly a connection, between the fans and their teams, particularly in the South. Football is like a religion, an identity, for many people. It is big money; more than we can really imagine.
As a longtime Georgia fan also, it was good to see their long wait for a championship over. There was a particularly enthusiastic fan about three rows in front of us. Probably in his mid-thirties, his wife was constantly having to rein him in. He could have had a stroke during the fourth quarter his excitement level was so high.
We spoke to him and wished him well following the game. It turns out he was a really nice guy and did not even attend Georgia. He was an Ole Miss grad, but said he would never get the chance to support them in a game like this.
My final thought on the game and the season is that momentum is a powerful force. It always amazes me to see the Big Mo show itself in games, business and life. Even hamburger chains gain and lose momentum, often for reasons they do not totally understand.
I hope that UGA keeps focused and disciplined in their quest for the national championship. They can enjoy the hour of triumph and the tumultuous parades, but be mindful of the whispered words of the conquered….All Glory is Fleeting.