AGGRO-TOURISM: AUBURN

Welcome to Aggro-Tourism, EDSBS's roaming safari tour of all those foreign cultures that spring up on fall Saturdays, right here in America. Now playing: The Auburn Plainstigerhawks.

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HT: NewAZTiger

 

SHIT TYRONE GET IT TOGETHER.

For the second week in a row, and entirely against our character, we find ourselves talking to some of the friendliest fans in a given conference. We're going to try and break ourselves of this habit for next week, but for the moment, we've assembled a crackerjack band of Plainspeople to guide us through the latest game of the century. Let's see if some of their joviality can rub off on Ryan Pugh.

Chris P.
The definition of the Auburn gameday experience is more of the sum of its parts than any single one. From tailgating all over campus (EVERYWHERE there is a patch of grass, radiating in every direction for half a mile or over from the stadium), to Tiger Walk (the original and the best) down Donahue to Jordan-Hare, to when the eagle circles the field and the band runs out before kickoff, to singing "It's Great to Be An Auburn Tiger" whether we win or lose, and culminating in the celebration at Toomer's Corner after a win.

auppl
You'll hear it over and over (to the point of nauseousness for outside fans) but "family" is the biggest part of the gameday experience. Most Auburn fans have a set tailgate they normally attend which is surrounded by other tailgates they've come to know and become friends and it expands and grows from there.

clarityincali
A few years ago, they were running these Auburn commercials. One was a family at Old Faithful geyser, holding an AU umbrella overhead. Another person made their way through the crowd, tapped the guy on the arm and said, "War Eagle!" 2,000 miles away. That is Auburn. This stuff actually happens, I swear.

 

PARK YOUR ASSES.


JohnnyAuburn
First, it should be mentioned and reiterated that Auburn is a town built for 50,000 and on a big game it will have as much as 300,000 in it.  Traffic before a game is bad (especially coming in from 280 on the north side).  From I-85, the main exit (51 - college street) will be busy but its only about 2-3 miles from campus.  A less busy option would be to use exit 57, go west off the exit, take a left at the first light and follow it straight downtown. However, traffic after the game is much much worse.  The police set up blocks everywhere and turn streets into one way streets all the way to the interstate.  Park on the side of town that you'll be leaving towards in order to avoid getting stuck for a few hours on the wrong side.  

JohnnyAuburn
If you're bringing a tent and plan on laying claim to some green space (almost all of which is fair game) be there Friday at 4.  Starting Friday's at 4:00 you are allowed to reserve a tailgating area with steaks and elastic tape.  All Auburn fans will respect the tape so don't be afraid of leaving your spot once you've claimed it.

boddagettaflyer
For my money, nothing beats the RV ghetto on South Donahue. Let's face it, in you'll never even begin to comprehend how much money it takes to slum it up in Plainsman Park with the rich folk in their $2.2 million Prevost XLVIIs (Think I'm kidding? Think again.), so accept your poverty and party with the real people in their 24' Fords rented from CruiseAmerica.

JohnnyAuburn
We used to say that on gameday, everything goes... except parking.  The tow trucks pretty much run all day.  A generally good rule to follow is to just park where everyone else is parking and avoid the yellow curbs.  If you'd like a good suggestion, Wire road between University and Samford.  Both sides of Wire road will be lined with cars.  Walking to the stadium from here will be about 3/4 of a mile to as much as maybe a mile and a half tops.  Also, after the game, traffic will flow directly to 85 from this area. I was just looking and on Google Maps, Wire Rd. is listed at County Road 137.  Also, if you don't mind paying for parking, drive north on College or Gay and you'll find any number of paid parking lots within short walking distance of the stadium.

Rando54
If you're coming to tailgate, do so in the quad area or down in the amphitheater area south-west of the stadium. (By the Chemistry building or in the lower quad are actually really good spots that not a lot of people use.) There's a secret that not too many people take advantage of until gameday.  There is a 3 story parking deck at the library.  After 5 o'clock Friday afternoon (in reality around 3:30 or 4 because the parking ninjas don't check) this parking becomes first come first serve.

David S.
Secret parking is best known as the AU Medical Clinic at 12:00 PM.  On the corner of Lem Morrison and Donahue is a parking lot that is free game starting right at noon.  The guard may give you grief but at noon it is open to the public whether the guard says so or not. 

auppl
One secret spot is the cemetary off of Gay Street. Still, come early to get a parking spot and tailgate spot. By the time you read this it might be too late.

THEN WHAT?

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HT: NewAZTiger

 

DKinAU
Be sure you make your way to the Dixie Bibbs Graves Amphitheater.  It's the Blackhawk Down of tailgating. Unless you are hungry or looking for a cougar, do not endeavor to the bullshit "Green" they have next to the Stadium, corporate tents are only to be used if you can crash them.  They take up valuable football throwing space.  Be sure to head down Magnolia and down Old Row...some weird stuff happens in those lawns.

Cocky Scar
Bathroom and trash accommodations - Pretty much every building is open to the public.  The new student center has great AC, superb porcelain thrones, and quick moving lines.  Also, large green trashcans are plentiful, so try to keep Auburn clean.

allicolls
One of the most popular locations is the amphitheater - always full of tents and grills and folks having a good time. 

Cocky Scar
You will see a large contingent of Alabama fans roaming around.  Disregard them.

David S.
BTW did I mention that there is absolutely no open container laws in Auburn on gamedays!  They exist but you would have to try pretty hard to get even the douchiest of cops to notice you.

Rando54
I make what I like to call a "Pat Dye."  I buy a gallon of Toomer's Lemonade. (It's expensive as hell, but you can buy pre-filled 20 oz. bottles, half-gallons, and gallons of the stuff.  It's like crack to Auburn fans.)  I then buy a fifth of Firefly Vodka.  You know the stuff.  Combine the two for basically a hard Arnold Palmer only with Toomer's instead of Minute Maid.  Really good shit.

Chris P.
The heat and humidty often turns any drink to a Bourbon and X and water, so many of us often stop using ice after the first couple of drinks; that's right, how about a 32 oz hot Evan & Jack for ya?

David S.
From Makers Mark to Heaven Hill, there is alot of Bourbon consumed on gameday.  Even sorority sweethearts in sundresses will be swilling the stuff to get that pre-game glow.  If you are sitting in the student section be prepared to have it sloshed onto your shoes as even thought it is easier to get a pocket knife on a plane than liquor into the student section, it will be there.  Hell I walked in nutts-to-butts with some lady I didn't even know to avoid detection of my flask for AU vs. UT in '07.  Sitting anywhere else in the stadium you can bring in whatever.  There was an empty handle of Crown in the mens room at the Arky game last week.

IN THE LAIR OF JER-DIN HARE


Rando54
The way the sun hits the stadium, you should probably at least wear a hat and sunscreen.  Even if you start out in the shade, by the time the game is over you'll be in the sun for an extended period of time.  Sunglasses are a must until dark, the sun is a bright-ass bitch that doesn't want you to read the scoreboard in the third quarter.

clarityincali
Orange has been the de facto color of choice for game days since Tuberville, but it seems to be sliding into blue these days. I assume to sell more T-shirts. Economy'd!

Chris P.
If there are any rules, this is number one: do not throw anything at the eagle as it flies by during pre-game. My freshman year in 2006 at the LSU game I saw a water bottle go up in the air (IN THE STUDENT SECTION!!) and miss the eagle by a few feet. Horrible throw, but the idea is what counts. A few minutes later 3 cops came walking by (we get there early for great seats bordering a walkway) carrying a guy in an LSU shirt that had more blood on it than purple or yellow. Lesson learned.

auppl
I'm sure others will mention it, but not many places can get away with releasing a feathered killing machine into the air and praying that it follows orders and doesn't go Rouge away into the sunset.

Rando54
Auburn pays huge props to the band.  The band has their own pre-game video.  Yes, that's right.  Before the band actually takes the field for fight songs and the pre-game march, they have their own video.  Shit is sick.  

David S.
Should Auburn win you have to go to Toomers Corner just to say you were there.  Go to the Vault and start drinking and from there you can have front row seating to some of the best legal vandalizing in the Southeast.

BLOGGERS, SUSTAIN THYSELVES: THE WAR EAGLE SUPPER CLUB

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J.D.
The War Eagle Supper Club is a little bit off the beaten path. While the rest of Auburn's bar scene resides in downtown near campus, the Supper Club is an unassuming building on South College near I-85 next to a Waffle House and an Econo Lodge that promises free breakfast at that Waffle House if you stay at Econo Lodge. Econo Lodge clearly understands their clientele.

JohnnyAuburn
There is always live music and if you go out back, you'll find a school bus that has been gutted with a bar built into the back.  Inside this bus they only serve shots.  Keep in mind that the Supper Club is about a quarter mile from 85 and it will take awhile to get to directly after the game.  I would suggest heading downtown on foot for a few drinks and to give traffic 2-3 hours to clear out.

J.D.
The best part about the big draft bar was the incredibly top-heavy bartender in the low-cut top who served them up for you. That was literally her only job; pour beer into plastic cups and show cleavage. I am sad to tell you that she no longer works at the Supper Club, and I don't think the 32 ounce beers are $2 like they used to be. She used to get at least a 150% tip from me.

David S.
 You have to be a member but if you ask around there is a 98.9% chance that someone has an extra membership card, I prolly have 3 myself.

J.D.
Once your night at the Supper Club is over, they provide a shuttle bus (called the "drunk bus" or the "slush bus" depending on whom you ask) that will give you a ride back to your house or hotel. It doesn't cost anything, but they have a tip jar and you don't want to be that guy who stiffs the drunk bus driver.

BLOGGERS, SUSTAIN THYSELVES: EVERYTHING ELSE


Rando54
Something a lot of people don't know is that there's actually a decent beer store in Auburn.  "Fine Wine & Beer by Gus," down Opelika Road in the shopping center across from the mall, has an awesome selection of craft beers.  They have a make your own six-pack for 8.99 that you can get all kinds of awesome crazy beers from.

Cocky Scar
Toomer's Drugs - Ehh, just because it will be on everyone's list.  Overrated.  The "World Famous Lemonade" is expensive as shit.  But it is your money (they don't even give you a good plastic cup to keep and show that you have had the lemonade).

allicolls
And they make a mean grilled cheese that sustained me for much of my senior year when I lived around the corner.
 
auppl
Bank Vault (my personal favorite) is the townie bar. Favorite spot for grad students and the older crowd. However, if you walk around asking people where "The Bank Vault" is, they'll probably give you a weird look. Refer to it by it's original and proper name: Bodega

JohnnyAuburn
LSU fan's may prefer the cajun food back home but in Auburn it doesn't get any better than Jimmy's Creole shack.  It is quite literally a shack on the west side of the Shug Jordan/University loop. Seats maybe 50 people tops but the etoufee is worth it. Go early to beat the crowd.

boddagettaflyer
This was on Todd's Taste of the Town segment a couple of years ago and it Really. Is. That. Good.

Cocky Scar
I was upset when I went down this year and saw that it was closed.  But I have since learned that it was moved to another location.  It now resides in a bigger place on Hwy 14 going towards Loachapoka.

auppl
If you bring a date to the game? Go to Amsterdam's on Gay Street before the game for a quick bite.

clarityincali
If you have a crowd, go to Niffers and get you a Nifferita and a burger.

allicolls
Mama Goldberg's is the classic Auburn spot.  Get the Mama's Love and some nachos, which are made with Nacho Cheese Doritos for double the cheesy awesomeness.
 
auppl
When you walk in, make sure you listen to the background music. If you hear the dulcet frat jams of String Cheese Incident, Phish, or Widespread Panic then you know you've come at the right time;  the hippies are on shift and they make the best sandwiches.

boddagettaflyer
As far as BBQ goes, there's 4 main players in town: Country's (NC-style, Opelika Road), Mike & Ed's (SC-style, N. College St.), Byron's (KC-style, Opelika Road) and Barbecue House (SC-style, S. College St.). In my opinion, Byron's is the best, but I eventually started to dig Mike & Ed's mustard sauce.

auppl
SkyBar tends to be the popular destination for most undergrads. However, it's mostly Frat-Stars. It's the "nicest" (definitely a relative term) bar. You'll find the younger college crowd here

ANONYMOUS
Also, a great place for more fresh libations is the Olde Auburn Ale House.  It's hard to find, but a very nice microbrewery. 

auppl
The best post game spot? Little Italy on Magnolia in Downtown Auburn. Cheap Pitchers, Quick Service, and the best post game pizza in town. Get 2 slices and a pitcher and you're ready for more post game revelry.

Rando54
You could also hit up Insomnia.  Very good Mediterranean-style eatery, with all kinds of stuff from gyros to fish plates to chicken tenders to kebabs, it's all good and fairly cheap, and as the name implies it's open pretty late.  They also operate a hookah bar, so if you want to relax after a stressful game it's a good spot as well.

BLOGGERS, SUSTAIN THYSELVES: THE MORNING AFTER


Rando54
The Big Blue Bagel has very good coffee, and as you'd expect, decent bagels and breakfast sandwiches, but for biscuits, grits, gravy, and surprisingly awesome pancakes, the Bar-B-Cue house is where it's at.  

allicolls
If you're in the mood for soul food and don't mind a quick ride down the interstate, Whispering Oaks in Opelika has a buffet full of awesome fried chicken and all those classic, bad-for-you side dishes like sweet potato casserole.  They throw in some green beans so you feel justified in having peach cobbler or banana pudding for dessert.  Wear loose pants.

TALES OF INTEREST.


Rando54
Be careful.  The last two or three games I've attended, random people have started to make it rain from the upper deck.  No shit, my roommate caught a 20 dollar bill that was dropped down to us from some kind heart in the upper deck.

David S.
A local sandwich chain owner wrecked his segway into our tailgate spot.  He was obviously wasted and tried to get up and play it off only to wreck it again.

Cocky Scar
After the Tennessee game in 2003, I overheard two old UT fans stating that the SEC West was always the strongest side of the conference.  It had been a close game so I said, "Well, you put up a hard-fought good game."  The fella' simply replied with, "Fuck you, Auburn Fan!"

David S.
Well two friends, we'll call one Hank and the other one Big Jon, found their way into a traffic jam after the LSU game a few years back.  Hank (soberish) and Big Jon (not soberish) decided Hank would drive home.  Big Jon called me for reasons still unknown, and for some reason he was put on speakerphone. 

Well some LSU fan was being heckled and proceeded to moon the car in front of these two.  Big Jon took offense and proceeded to throw the closest item he had at the mooner, a full dip cup.  Next thing you know Big Jon is telling Hank to floor it but given their traffic situation that was not an option.  What transpired over the next few minutes was comedy gold.

RanchyBalls
I was down for the '06 Gators-Auburn game. After the game I went out still wearing my Gators shirt and carrying the ubiquitous red cup. Wandering down to Toomer's Corner with a few Auburn grads and grad students (who beg me to come to any home game I can because AU is 6-0 in my presence), I finish my cup and set it down. Needless to say it was near a snowbank of TP and more than a case of empties.

I keep walking and half a block later a cop gets in my face and demands I pick up my cup. I wander back and pick up my cup and he demands that I put it in the trash. My fairly intoxicated brain decides its the right moment to practice my jumpshot. I fail miserably.

I probably hold the record as being the only person ever to get a criminal littering ticket at Toome'rs Corner after an Auburn win.

A godzillion thanks to our best Aggro-Tourism panel ever: auppl, clarityincali, David S., Rando54, JohnnyAuburn, NewAZTiger, allicolls, Cocky Scar, RanchyBalls, boddagettaflyer, Chris P., ANONYMOUS, DKinAU, and J.D. <--THe realest bitches alive.

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