Auburn Family

Thousands show up for Auburn's National Championship Celebration

It looked as if it were gameday on the Plains as thousands of Auburn football fans gathered in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, January 22, 2011, in celebration of the 2010 BCS National Championship and 14-0 season. This is the second BCS championship for Auburn University. The first one was in 1957 under the coaching of Ralph “Shug” Jordan.

Despite the chilly weather, fans began entering the stadium at 11 a.m., proudly wearing their orange and blue. Auburn University students began to gather on the field awaiting the arrival of the 2010 national champions. It was the first time on the field for many of the students.

“It is a completely different experience being on the field,” said Tracy Paulisick, a senior majoring in political science. “I had to wait four years for this and it was definitely worth it!”

Auburn football players were introduced one-by-one as they entered the stadium to take their seats for the celebration. A loud roar signaled the introduction of Heisman trophy winner, Cameron Newton. Newton soared into the stadium with a grin on his face. He immediately ran to the crowd of students waiting at the front of the stage and slapped their hands.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, who began the celebration, was among one of the many Auburn dignitaries who spoke at the celebration. Other speakers included Auburn University President Jay Gogue, Gov. Robert Bentley and Mayor of Auburn, Bill Ham.

Numerous trophies were presented to the coaches and players including the 2010 Heisman trophy to star quarterback Newton.

Newton thanked his teammates, coaches and fans for their support during the fall season. He mentioned it would be his last time on the field as an Auburn University football player. Newton announced his decision to enter the NFL draft last week.

Coach Gene Chizik was the last to speak at the celebration on Saturday. He said he was not surprised by the number of fans at the event because that is the way Auburn fans are. Chizik took the time thank his family, coaching staff and players for their dedication to the game. He was then presented with the BCS National Championship crystal football.

The football beamed in the sunlight as Lloyd Nix, 1957 Auburn quarterback, carefully handed the $30,000 football over to the coach. Chizik smiled as he lifted the crystal ball above his head.

The celebration came to an end as Chizik yelled, “War Damn Eagle” as he announced the raising of the “National Champions 2010” flag above the jumbotron. Hundreds of orange and blue balloons were then released in the end zone as the new flag blew in the wind.

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