The beginning of this season has not been kind to Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, so he got a needed boost Thursday.
The Tigers are 1-2 with home losses to Clemson and Texas A&M. Their quarterback rotation has been a mess. This week, fans started a GoFundMe page to pay the buyout in Malzahn’s contract. However, there is one fan who is keeping things in perspective.
Adam James, an Auburn fan in Huntsville, Ala., wrote an open letter to Malzahn and the Auburn community that was published by AL.com. In the letter, James pointed out how Auburn has had more success in recent years, specifically in 2010 and 2013, than most other fan bases ever get to experience.
“You, Coach Malzahn, were the common denominator,” James wrote. “You were integral to both of those seasons. We were able to hold our heads high. That during Alabama’s run of championships, that we played for Championships too. I believe our “Auburn Family” doesn’t understand how unbearable it would be if those 2 seasons wouldn’t have happened. We have you, Coach Malzahn, to thank for that.”
He went on to say that he believed Malzahn when he said after the LSU game that the Tigers were close to a turnaround. He wrote, “I believe that you will get us back to the Championship game and make those few plays that are needed to raise the trophy.”
Here’s the full letter:
We have never met. I am not someone who has influence at Auburn University. I am not a booster. I didn’t even graduate from Auburn. I am just a fan. Just a normal work-a-day person who supports Auburn through buying apparel and attending an occasional game.
You are a very busy person right now, so it’s understandable if you haven’t heard the talking heads discuss your “hot seat.” But I, for one, hope it isn’t true.
I’ve been an Auburn fan my whole life. I’ve been an Auburn fan surrounded by Alabama fans at work, at school and at home. I’ve been an Auburn fan through some dark times. Even though Auburn football isn’t on top right now, I would still like to thank you for being our coach.
We are told that Auburn is a family. That we support each other. But there is a hypocrisy with that. (Some) people only claim to be “Auburn Family” when the team is winning. So to that point I’d like to say a few things.
I believe our “Auburn Family” has forgotten how it felt for opposing fans to say “When is the last time Auburn won a Championship?” or “When is the last time Auburn even played for a Championship?” We forget how it felt to be skipped over for the Championship in 1983, or in 1993, or how it felt to be left out of the BCS in 2004. But in 2010, we finally broke through and got a taste of what we had longed for. We experienced what some fan bases never have. We experienced what some Auburn fans longed to have, and their lives ended before it happened. We won the National Championship.
And then a few years later, Auburn was only a few plays away from winning another National Championship. You, Coach Malzahn, were the common denominator. You were integral to both of those seasons. We were able to hold our heads high. That during Alabama’s run of championships, that we played for Championships too. I believe our “Auburn Family” doesn’t understand how unbearable it would be if those 2 seasons wouldn’t have happened. We have you, Coach Malzahn, to thank for that.
Maybe I’m naïve, but I believe you when you say “We are close.” I believe in you, Coach. I believe you can turn this thing around. I believe that you will get us back to the Championship game and make those few plays that are needed to raise the trophy. I could be wrong in these beliefs, but isn’t “family” supposed to believe in each other? Aren’t we supposed to support each other as an “Auburn Family?” Our phrase of “War Eagle” is supposed to embody that. We say it when we cheer. We say it as a hello, when we see a fellow Auburn fan. We also say it to console each other after a loss.
So in closing, I believe there is only 1 thing left to say.
War Eagle, Coach Malzahn.