The UGA - Auburn college football rivalry is one of the oldest and most storied in the sport. I've had a fine time in the past when I have tailgated with Auburn fans, and every two years, when this game is played in Athens, it is an event almost without parallel.
This fun, evenly matched rivalry was what growing up in the South is all about. It was one of my favorite things about college football. Even with a history of questionable, and dare I say, dirty plays, that have been an undercurrent of the game in the past, it always seemed that was a part of playing Auburn.
Until last Saturday.
Maybe this is a result of excusing unacceptable behavior for too long, maybe it is just a panicked reaction to Alabama's success of the last 3 years, but this got out of control. I think the Auburn players, coaches, and fans have absolutely poisoned the well this year, and I'm not even talking about the big controversy. But from the dirty play and fighting to their coaches cheering it on to their fans excusing it after the fact, a corner was turned here.
This game is going to burn bright in Georgia's memories for a long, long time. Much longer than two timeouts.
Which is a shame, really. This was a better rivalry than that.
Update: Thanks to Ryan, who sent me an email link to this post, which pretty much has all the video and photo evidence you'll need to understand what I'm talking about.