Auburn University has many traditions including a creed, a fight song, a battle cry, a mascot and several notable game-day traditions including an eagle flying over the football field. Auburn’s mascot, Aubie the tiger has been around since 1959, debuting at the game against Hardin-Simmons College. Aubie was the focal point of Auburn’s football program for 18 years and Auburn experienced an overall record of 63-16-2 while he stayed on the cover of the football program. Aubie the tiger is still Auburn’s official mascot having won the most National Mascot titles in the contest’s history.
Auburn’s Tiger Walk began in the 1960’s after fans would try to stop the players and get autographs before the games. It has since evolved into the spectacle, where fans line Donahue Drive to cheer on the tea as they make their way from the athletic complex to the field.
There are several theories about the origin of the “WAR EAGLE” chant. One theory is that during the game against Georgia in 1892, a civil war veteran in the stands brought his pet eagle that he found on a battleground during the war. As the eagle flew away from the soldier and began circling the field, Auburn began marching down the field to eventually score the game wining touchdown. At the end of the game, the eagle dove into the ground and subsequently died; however, the Auburn faithful took the eagle as an omen of success and coined the phrase “WAR EAGLE.” Some say the chant originated from a game against the Carlisle Indians in 1914 and had to overcome their beastly tackle, named Bald Eagle, so they chanted “War Eagle.” Regardless of its origin, AU fans all over the globe shout out “War Eagle” in support of their school and its teams.
Auburn currently has three eagles in their flight program for educational initiatives – Tiger, Nova and Spirit. Tiger was born in 1980 in captivity and given to AU in 1986 with her first flight in the game against Wyoming in 2000. She retired after the UGA game in 2006. Throughout Tiger’s career, she flew many different flights at many venues including the 2002 Winter Olympics. Nova, AU’s second Flight program eagle, first flew before the game against Kentucky in 2004. Spirit is the only bald eagle Auburn has used for its pregame flight programs.with his first flight being in 2000. Spirit was found as a baby with an injured beak and given to AU for further rehabilitation in 1998. Unfortunately, his beak was injured to the point that he cannot be released back into the wild.
The tradition of rolling Toomer’s Corner on the AU campus after home games and big away victories is thought to have originated in the 1950’s when the owner of Toomer’s Drugs, Sheldon Toomer, would toss his receipt paper in to the trees to signal an Auburn road victory.
Auburn University has many traditions – all of which show the extreme loyalty and spirit of all of its fans. Good luck, Tigers, this Saturday when you take on the the LSU Tigers at home. “WAR EAGLE” !!