What you don't expect to hear — I didn't, at least — is, "War Eagle!"
Nothing against Auburn's unique battle cry. As those things go, it's hard to beat.
But "War Eagle!" in New York? Not once, not twice, but four or five times in two days? Guess the Auburn spirit is alive and well in the Big Apple.
Last weekend, I joined a buddy of mine for a quick trip to New York for some safe, married-guy fun. Beer, music and early curfews. We were predictably boring, sad to say.
He's an Auburn fan, and he rocked a worn-out, blue AU hat during the trip. I thought nothing of it. We're guys on a guy trip.
When our plane landed last Sunday afternoon at LaGuardia, the Delta pilot stood in the cockpit doorway and greeted the deplaning passengers. We were two of the last people off the 757.
As my buddy walked by, the pilot gestured toward his hat.
"War Eagle!" she said.
I'm not an Alabama grad, but I thought about saying "Roll Tide!" just to set her off.
That evening, we went to our favorite bar — Foley's on West 33rd Street, just one block north from our hotel in Little Korea. Later, we spent some time meandering through Times Square, looking at nothing in particular. Broadway signs, as usual, were ubiquitous and overpowering.
And then it happened — another "War Eagle!", this one from an Atlanta couple who asked if my friend would mind taking their picture with their camera. Small world, this New York.
Turns out that there'd been several other "War Eagle!" cheers thrown my buddy's way, and I had been too oblivious to notice. Couldn't help but notice, though, that he flashed a brief smile when he let me in on that little secret.
It made him proud, as it should. Auburn was representin' in New York.
It also made me wish I'd worn my Jacksonville State cap, just to see if anyone would have noticed.
— Phillip Tutor