We've got some time to kill before college football that doesn't involve old people meeting in hotel conference rooms across the country comes back into our lives. Since I am known as a helpful and informative person (probably not true), I am gonna take the next however many weeks and offer you thorough reviews of each SEC stadium. And by thorough review, I mean I'll be using my exceptional bias, Google reviews, and lots of colored lines hand drawn on Google maps.
My qualifications for such an endeavor are that I've been to all the SEC stadiums but Missourah's, usually to witness a skulldragging of Ole Miss, and I can look up stuff on Google Maps pretty quickly. I suggest that you file these informative reports away for your road trip destinations this season so you won't end up like that pair of Oklahoma State fans I saw walking around a couple of miles away from the old Cotton Bowl, waiting to be murdered.
Two reviews in three working days? I'm not sure I can keep up that blistering pace, but I shall try. Up next in the series, as the title of this post indicates, Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium
To keep you from becoming disoriented, you need to know where things are in relation to the stadium. Once you master the lay of the land, you can maximize your time engaging in various pregame activities and, most importantly, avoid asking Auburn fans because most of them are pretty nice and you don't want to dull your hatred of a place that employs Trooper Taylor.
This guide should help you move seamlessly around the stadium.
(right-click for seeability)
To be fair, not all tailgating takes place in a parking lot. Some of it is close to a parking lot or near a sidewalk, so as long as you're in the area of concrete or asphalt, you should find plenty of revelers ready to talk about what a great place Auburn is and how so and so is a great Auburn man.
And, in one of those parking lots after the 2000 Ole Miss/Auburn game, a game in which David Cutcliffe spent an entire half of football not letting the greatest quarterback in Ole Miss history throw at all due to always getting the ball on our 20-yard line, which he considered bad field position, the group I was with ran into then-Auburn athletic director David Housel. Wait, before getting to that, a further discussion of the butchering of that game by David Cutcliffe is needed.
The week before the Auburn game, against Murray State or someone like that, I believe Eli completed something like 17 or 18 straight passes. So, naturally, Cutcliffe goes into a shell, not wanting to let the guy who gave us the only chance we had at winning use his incredibly unique skill set.
As you can imagine, that strategy didn't go well, and Ole Miss got down 27-0 before we finally had to start throwing. And of course we came back to make it 27-21, then a terrible call on a touchdown pass that was not ruled a touchdown pass ended the comeback. Actually, Cutcliffe called for a punt block with about a minute left when we would have gotten the ball around our 35-40-ish yard line, and we didn't block the punt (SHOCKINGLY ENOUGH), but did rough the punter, and THAT ended the game.
The lesson, as always, is that David Cutcliffe drove me to a large number of fits of rage.
Anyway, back to the Housel story, we were standing outside the stadium, waiting for the rest of our group to show up so we could get the hell out of there, when an incredibly sweaty David Housel appeared next to us and asked if we were Ole Miss fans (all of us were pretty sweaty, as the sun decided to set up base camp about 100 feet above the stadium that day). We said yes, then he congratulated us on a well-played game, and got in the back seat of a car. As the car he was in drove off, he rolled down the window and gave us a he-means-well "Hotty Toddy." AAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHH. DAVID CUTCLIFFE IS THE WORST.
Moving on, once you've finish your pregame festivities and make your way into the stadium, it's important to know where to look for things. The most important of which is Trooper Taylor's location. This is vital for two reasons: One, it's entertaining to see a grown man wave a towel and have other grown people positively respond to it. Two, it's always good to keep an eye on the guy who is probably about to give someone some money. It could be one of your team's younger players in hopes of a transfer.
With that in mind, here's an in-stadium guide to help you watch Trooper and focus on when they let the eagle out of his cage so he can fly around the stadium before the game, because that is pretty cool.
(right-click for seeability)
But enough of my bias. What about the people? The razor-thin segment of the population who are Auburn fans, can work the internets, and take the time to write a Google review. What do they have to say?
So there you have it. A trip to Jordan-Hare is home of the Auburn Tigers, a place where eagles soar, and service is questionable, but you are at the best college in the universe, so it probably doesn't matter that much.
Get more great analysis over at Belly of the Beast.