Rick Bragg: War Eagle, or R— T— ?

This interview with Rick Bragg was easy to miss in October—you know, Auburn’s perfect month in 2016 when Sean White and Kamryn Pettway were healthy. If only we could’ve traded September and November for two more Octobers. I digress.

The video was posted in October, but the interview took place on September 9th, when Bragg received Auburn’s Roy Bain Distinguished Special Achievement in Journalism award. When he refers to Auburn and Alabama’s games conflicting (for spectator purposes) the previous Saturday, he’s talking about the Clemson game, unfortunately.

That he talks about it at all is why more Auburn folks should see this interview (as I type, it has but 299 views). If you’re a fan, much of it will be familiar. But, you may not have heard his comments on Wayne Flynt. And, at the end Auburn student Cody Bass asks a straightforward question—War Eagle, or R— T—? More on that below. First, watch this:

(If you just want to watch the War Eagle question, skip ahead to 18:36.)

Spoiler Alert

If you plan to watch the video, but can’t right now, here’s where you should scroll back up, or click away. In effort to protect you from spoilage, here’s a picture of Aubrey(?), below which the post continues.

In answering the question of War Eagle, or R— T—, Bragg walks a careful line, and discusses the importance of doing so. Within his more complex answer, however, he includes the standard diplomacy: I pull for Auburn when they’re playing anybody but Alabama.

What I find compelling is that Bragg’s claim to this position may be the first in my life that I’ve believed. I believe him. Or, I believe him when I watch this video. Maybe I’m a sucker. But, it reminds me of one time I wasn’t.

A lady at the optometrist once told me that she pulled for Auburn when they weren’t playing Alabama, and it was so clearly a lie, she inspired me to respond, When Alabama’s not playing Auburn, I pull for the Braves.


This deceitful, if arguably polite, woman was employed by my optometrist, who herself is an Auburn graduate. I haven’t been in a while. Wonder if she still works there.

Anyhow, kudos to Mr. Bragg for making me believe it, which one may as well do if he or she is going to say it. Even if, as in this case, the one saying it is admittedly a storyteller.

Josh Dowdy

Josh Dowdy

Josh Dowdy writes about civility and ceremony in the Auburn covenant; e.g. sein Tuberville-Buch.
Josh Dowdy

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