Former Auburn basketball player, and NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley is a regular patron at Auburn football games. With the news that Auburn will likely play in the Birmingham Bowl to close out its 2015 season, Barkley could make the short drive on the day of the game from where he grew up in the Birmingham suburb of Leeds.
However, his pride won’t let him.
“I’m going to stay in a hotel,” Barkley said in an interview, according to Jim Dunaway. “If I stay at home for a bowl game it would be too humiliating.”
Barkley has had the opportunity to rack up travel miles the past two seasons with Auburn finishing the season in the Outback Bowl (Tampa, Fla.) and the BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.). But an underwhelming season means the Tigers (6-6) will likely have to settle for an in-state bowl game this year.
Some fans will enjoy the short distance, while others – like Barkley – will be disappointed that they cannot turn the trip into a vacation. It will be interesting to see how many Auburn fans make the trip despite a lackluster finish to the regular season.
If Auburn fans do show up, they might run into Barkley in a local Birmingham hotel.