On September 19, 1999, Auburn beat LSU in Tiger Stadium. In celebration, the team posed for pictures while they smoked victory cigars. You can read about the game in excruciating detail here.
Then buck up and smile, because Auburn hasn’t won in Tiger Stadium since.
We can argue that the football gods spited Auburn for their hubris. Or that they are cursed because they didn’t come right out and call them victory cigars, instead hiding behind the idea that they were birthday cigars for Tommy Tuberville. No one likes a liar, especially not the football gods.
Or maybe they are cursed for celebrating too much over what was still a mediocre football program. The False Spring of Dinardo’s early years had turned to winter by 1999. LSU only had three winning seasons in the ‘90s, and while they got to 10 wins in 1996, LSU fell back to below 500 in 1998 and would stagger to a 3-8 record in 1999. Trash talking a 3-8 football team reflects more poorly on you than the 3-8 team.
Maybe Auburn is cursed because of Rohan Davey, who saved the infamous photograph and placed it in his locker for motivation. Also, shout out to LSU fans, especially the band, who had a front row seat to the disrespect, and refused to let it fall into myth. There’s evidence, and we kept the receipts.
These are all great theories, and maybe they are true, and maybe they aren’t. But have we considered an alternate theory?
Auburn isn’t cursed, they just suck.
There are few things in this world I enjoy more than LSU beating Auburn. And it seems that LSU is intent on making me happy, and I really appreciate that. Even during the rocky start to Ed Orgeron’s LSU career, he bounced out of it by beating Auburn at home.
Of course he did. Because we beat Auburn at home. It’s what LSU does.
And let’s be honest, some of the early games in the streak seemed to require some sort of divine intervention, like Damon Duval forgetting how to kick or Matt Flynn getting that snap off just in time. That hasn’t been the case recently.
The Auburn game is when Jeremy Hill staked his claim with authority. It’s when Leonard Fournette made his best Herschel Walker impression. Hell, you don’t even remember the 2011 game because LSU won by 35 points. They were just another anonymous beatdown in a string of beatdowns.
OK, it was tight last time, but that was an Auburn team favored by double digits who went up by 20 points and then promptly forgot it had an elite running game. That wasn’t divine intervention, that was Gus Malzahn being stupid. For which we thank him.
This time, LSU is the big favorite. And let’s not pretend Auburn doesn’t hate us just as much as we hate them. They’ve got one of the best offensive lines in the nation, a terrific pass rush, and a quarterback who might be wildly inconsistent, but he also seems to have just the right amount of fairy dust falling out of his pants.
But this ain’t 2017. It’s not even 2015. This year, Auburn really is just another thing standing in the way of LSU’s inexorable march through its schedule. LSU is beating teams right now with ruthless, businesslike efficiency.
Sorry, Auburn. I’d like to tell you that your special, and we’ve all planned a twentieth anniversary cigar smoke to rub it in. But we haven’t. You’re just another entry in the ledger this year.
And LSU is out to settle all accounts.