Never-give-up attitudes, powerful spirits and nervous anticipation filled the hearts of Auburn fans as the national title game on January 10, 2011 decided fans fate for an unimaginable perfect season.
Since the previous Auburn University National Title in 1957, the SEC Champions would be challenging the Oregon Ducks for the National Championship in Glendale, Arizona.
Without going into much detail, the defeat ended in Auburn's favor.
Sorry Bama fans.
This gave the SEC an unprecedented fifth National title in a row, making Alabama the second state opposed to Texas, to have different state schools win back-to-back crowns.
What if the national championship winner was decided by the drawing out of a hat? Personally wouldn’t put it past Bama fans to think this would be a good idea.
However how small the chance, it was the Auburn University football managers whose fate depended on drawing out of a hat and attending the BCS title game.
Morgan Cantrell, a sophomore majoring in history, is a student equipment manager who was randomly selected to accompany the players and coaching staff to Arizona.
“It was surreal. I cannot possibility explain to you the amount of joy and excitement that exuberated my soul when my supervisors told me my name was selected,” says Cantrell.
During the regular season, managers sport the prominent Under Armour clothing as they voluntarily prepare for game-days by cleaning helmets, and organizing player jerseys and loads of gear. Additionally, student managers receive two complimentary football tickets, as well as a chance to connect with players and coaching staffs.
“To be able to say that I worked first hand with the Auburn football team is something that very few people can experience. These memories are something I would never change,” admits Cantrell.
Players, coaching staff and student volunteers boarded a chartered Delta flight on January 3, 2011 out of Montgomery for the experience of a lifetime.
“I wouldn't change that week for anything. I may have complained about the work, sleep deprivation, stress and tears, but then I just remember that without us, that game does not happen,” acknowledges Cantrell.
The Auburn University student managers are just one of the many extraordinary, distinct champions of the Auburn family.
“We [managers] are an absolutely crucial part of Auburn football, and I am more than happy to say that I am a Manager for the team. The past eight months have been incredible and being an Auburn Football Manager has easily been one of the best things in my life.”