Auburn Tigers Football A-Day Game Photos for 2011

Today was once again the annual spring football classic at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn Alabama. Much like the previous two years (see A-Day 2009 and A-Day 2010), it was a beautiful sunny spring day in the south, mid-80’s no clouds with a nice breeze, oh and with 50,000 or so fans sitting there watching us play… ourselves. Every year I asked myself the same question. Why am I here, and why are we all watching our own team play ourselves. Of course this was also the day that the Alabama Crimson Tide play themselves, and the Tennessee Volunteers play themselves, etc. etc., so I guess it was fate. This year I really didn’t hang around much other than to take some photos, my favorite being the Auburn cops behind bars (at the bottom). Actually my favorite shot doesn’t appear here because my wife said she would disown me if I posted a photo of the men’s room, so cops behind bars will have to do. It was wonderful to get outside today and not have to worry about cutting the grass or anything else, just a relaxing time people watching (there should be a social networking game for that with points scored for… maybe not).

Over the last year especially, every single time I go to an Auburn game I have to question my own motives, and can’t help but watch all the craziness that goes along with what is an Auburn football game, even if we are playing ourselves. We are about to start a new series called Counterfeit Gods right after Easter, which loosely correlates to the book by Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, and I for one am glad (but in a way not) that we are doing this series in the spring and not during football season. The counterfeit gods of football are quite alive all over the south and for some reason the A-Day game always reminds me how important football is down here. Hard not to notice that when you can get over 100,000 people in two stadiums within two hours driving distance from each other. Still, it was an enjoyable afternoon in the tradition that is Auburn football that won’t be back again for about five months. War Eagle!

Auburn Tigers Football A-Day Game Photos for 2010

So today was Auburn’s annual crazy day football game in the middle of Spring (A-day or Aday game) when everyone comes to see the new team and all that. The last few years it has been who can get more fans to a game in the middle of Spring while playing each other, Auburn or Alabama. I think this time Alabama gets the crazy award for having the most fans show up, and for ESPN to broadcast it they must get an additional crazy award themselves.

The highlight this year was not actually the football but the fact that we were able to get in to the new Basketball arena, the Auburn Arena as it is so called. This basketball season is one that many of us have been waiting for, for years, and this 2010-2011 season is set to open in a brand new $100 million (give or take) arena. Sorry the photos are so low-res, all I brought with me for some reason was my cell phone. The last photo of the construction area is still my favorite so far this year.

It was still really great to get to see the new arena in person. Can’t wait for the first basketball game.

Auburn Tigers Football A-Day Game Photos for 2009

This past Saturday we went to the annual A-Day game here in Auburn.  For those unfamiliar with what we (and Bama folks) call an A-Day game, it is when between 40,000-90,000 people come to their respective stadium to see their team play each other.  More like a glorified open Spring practice, but one because it is Auburn or Alabama football is made into an event.

We here in Auburn had about 45,000 people show up (Alabama who had their game televised on ESPN had about 90,000) this year.  It was good to see the new offense throw down the field and although you really needed a PhD to understand the scoring it was fun to watch.  Here are some photos from the day including one of Deb’s sunglasses (I also love the shot of the security guards in the upper deck, what a job).

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

A-day Game Auburn 2009

Thought Out Well Planned Acts of Kindness, Not Random?

I read a post the other day from Brian Johnson called Random Acts Of Kindness // sounds like a cop-out and pretty much lifted my title here right off his blog.  (For the purposes of continuing his discussion, I feel it necessary to first make the disclaimer that the title are his words, not mine, thanks bro.)  I figured a comment on his blog post would take up to much space and just decided to write it out here.  I love listening to or reading articles that are thought provoking and inspirational, but in my mind I usually come back to, so that’s great, but how do you do that.  Many of us have listened to great sermons on living scripture and walked away from the experience thinking, ok great, now what.  So here is a beginning to my thought process, in 5 steps of course.

1. The Whole Idea is More Difficult

This is not to say that Brian’s post was incomplete, I don’t think that was really the purpose, but it did make me think, yeah, now what, or even, why should we think making this part of our lifestyle in the first place?

Random acts of kindness make it seem like what your life is about has nothing to do about kindness and only randomly will you offer an act of kindness to another individual. You recognize that it is  a good thing, but its not really what you do€¦its just a random act… the whole idea [thought-out, and well-planned acts of kindness] is much more difficult.

Much more difficult indeed.  Random acts of kindness are all the rage possibly because they are easier to successfully achieve, sometimes (maybe most of the time) require small amounts of time and money, and once completed, leaves no further obligation of any kind. So how do you do thought-out and well planned acts of kindness, and really, and as I said above, why are you doing this in the first place?

I mean really, we have a lot going on each day and just as the saying goes, nice guys finish last, not a business principle being taught in many MBA programs right now.  The word kindness does appears 59 times in the [NIV] Bible, my favorite being the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

2. Practicing Kindness is a Lifestyle

So there, apparently we are supposed to practice kindness.  So what does it take to do this?  I would say, time.  The most precious resource we have is really what it takes.

  • Who is the person (or organization)
  • What is your relationship
  • and most of all what are the needs, wants, or troubles this person is dealing with in life


Nothing to me says I don’t know a thing about you or your organization (or case to) more than giving them something they don’t need or want.  Why bother giving a millionaire a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant… if you know one, perhaps find out what is important to this person and volunteer to help in an area important to them.

Point is basically you need to get to know someone before you try to understand what their current needs are in this life, and perhaps you might need to spend some time getting to know a person before you can understand what kindness means to them.  I would argue that it means different things to different people.

3. Get To Know Someone by Listening

If you want to get to know someone there is a surfire way to do that, which I don’t do very well.  Listen.  Listen without interruption, without thinking about what you are going to say next, without looking at your cell phone, watch, or being distracted by everything else going on in our world today.  Pretty tall order, and very rare when you are talking to another person.

This is something I try to work on all the time but it can be very frustrating on the other end (the one doing the talking) to have someone do everything but pay attention to what you are saying.  Even if you are listening but the other person can’t determine if you are or not, you aren’t.  If makes the other person feel like why should I bother opening my mouth and saying anything.

4. Execute, Live it Out in Your Life

If you are going to follow the Fruit of the Spirit, ultimately it comes down to actually doing something, right?  So if you have taken the time to do everything to this point, why not actually put it into practice in your life.  This is not something to do to check it off your list.  We are talking about a lifestyle of being kind to others. (If you think this is complicated, see step 5.)

One other note on execution.  Kindness is not a reciprocal thing, it is something you do because you want to and are lead to do, not because someone is going to do something or give you something in return.  The reciprocal part of being kind has already been sacrificially paid and that totally defeats the purpose.

5. Do Not Make it Complicated

This elongated comment on Brian’s post is basically a long random thought (random thoughts are ok, just not acts, ha).  This does not have to be complicated at all.  In some cases, a smile works or where appropriate, a hug, can go a long way.  I wouldn’t particularly advocate standing in a circle and singing kumbaya since that is what people already think we do anyway, but it doesn’t have to be some long drawn out thing.

I realize for some, this is much harder than others.  Being kind for some is about like pulling teeth and for others it comes naturally, but it can be simple, thought out, and well planned, not random.

Photos with Super Wide Angle 14mm Lens and a Guitar

CUMC Worship Band

CUMC Worship Band

CUMC Worship Band

CUMC Worship Band

CUMC Worship Band

Here are a few shots of the Cornerstone Band.  I was testing out a 14mm lens tonight along with a 105mm macro lens and took these shots.  Thanks Patrick for letting me get up in your face to take some of these shots.  The acoustic guitar is my friend’s, b/ (Worship Leader at Cornerstone, also pictured at the bottom), who is speaking at Encounter tomorrow night on the Auburn University campus, so don’t miss that at 8:30 at the student activities building if you are in town.

Photography is a Collective Ongoing Practice of Art

Jason at Cornerstone Worship Band Practice

BJ at Cornerstone Worship Band Practice

Paul at Cornerstone Worship Band Practice

I often find myself doing a shoot of a “practice” of some kind or another.  The shoot could be band practice, football practice (see Auburn Tigers Football Practice Report for 2008 // Photos), soccer, or any number of other subjects, but practice for an upcoming event or game. [Although the Auburn University Athletics department is less enthusiastic about anyone photographing any practice of any kind, for any reason, of course.]  I have had several people in the past ask me why I shoot a practice instead of just waiting for the real thing (what ever that means).  Well I do have the camera in my hands and taking photos probably 4-5 days out of the week, so why shoot a practice?

Mainly because I need as much practice as I can possibly get, just like the people who are practicing.  Really for me, it isn’t practice, it is always the real thing, but there are several reasons why I like shooting a practice over a live or actual event.  Less people, I have better access to the subjects, and it gets me prepared for the non-practice event, and it’s usually fun.

On Wednesday I took these images of the Cornerstone band practice and there are some of my favorites of the band to date for several reasons, but one is because I have had a lot of practice with this band myself.  With two guest musicians, Paul pictured just above playing the bass from Matha’s Trouble, and Jake playing the keys from Encounter made for a great practice session.

Auburn Tigers NCAA Football Opening Day 2008

Auburn Football Practice 2008

Well the time has come for the craziness to begin here in Auburn.  Today is the start of the Auburn Football schedule (and college football all across the country for that matter), and all things crazy that go along with Auburn Football.

Those unfamiliar with the fall traditions of Auburn football won’t really understand the transformation this town goes through starting today, but it is quite severe, becoming the 4th or 5th largest city in Alabama on gameday weekend, this small, quiet little city becomes a wall to wall metropolis of tailgaters and football fans.  Something I know the city of Auburn wouldn’t trade for anything.

We will add two, to the 87,451 people watching the game live at Jordan-Hare Stadium today.  Hopefully without getting sunburned to bad, and perhaps coming away with a few good images of the game.  Look for me today if you are coming to the game or tailgating on campus, I’ll be the one in the orange Auburn hat.  War Eagle.

Auburn Tigers Football Practice Report Moves into Full Swing

Auburn University football practice is in full swing now and although the second practice on Thursday was rained out, Friday’s practice looked good from the sidelines, and brought many onlookers and media.

Auburn Football Practice 2008

Auburn Football Practice 2008

Auburn Football Practice 2008

Auburn Football Practice 2008

As I understand it from the OA News and from the Auburn Tigers CSTV the scrimmage on Saturday went well with about 100 plays being executed. The play was closed to the public and media outside of Auburn relations. These four shots above were taken from the end zone of the secondary practice fields on Friday [full gallery here].  Auburn’s next two-a-day is on Monday with the later practice at 5:45pm, it has been a nice overcast day for football, nice for this time of year.

Auburn Football Practice Starts in the Rain This Year

Auburn Football Practice 2008

Today I went to check out another Auburn football practice, the first two-a-day this year with three more to go. For those who don’t live in the SEC Conference or know anything about football in the state of Alabama, this pretty much starts the craziest time of the year, at least in Auburn.

Football is king in Alabama, and when you happen to live in the city of Auburn, even football practice gets big attention. The parking lot was full at the practice field in Auburn and I managed to walk up, take a few shots, and then the sky just opened up. It hasn’t rained consistently here in almost two years, and today, it poured. I couldn’t even get in the car fast enough to get the 200 football players sprinting for the locker room.

And Then There Was Rain

By the time I got in the car and through the traffic jam that ensued, there were only a few poor souls left chasing down the yard markers and flying debri, but I was there as well.

Auburn Football Practice Canceled for Rain

Auburn Football Practice Canceled for Rain

I will try again on Friday. I did manage to get these shots and a few others (see practice gallery) since the rain happened to be blowing away from the window of my car. I love the guy in the truck, content with the fact that he is soaked, no doubt glad to just be sitting.

There is no two-a-day on Friday as they are going to do a full scrimmage on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium (closed to all public and press). I think I read a report that said they wanted to take about 100 snaps on Saturday, but Friday they should be in full pads at 9:30am, hopefully with no rain.

God does not COMFORT us to make us COMFORTABLE

This text below was something that my mother in-law kept and was special to her and I felt it was appropriate for today and every day. It is nice to have a small reminder like this of who Christ is, the Great Comforter.

I kept the context exactly as it was, including the caps, those are not mine, but how the piece was written.

A man may go to heaven without health, without wealth, without fame, without a great name, without learning, without culture, without friends, without ten thousand other things. But he can never go to heaven without Christ.

It is not what we EAT
but what we DIGEST
that makes us strong;
not what we GAIN
but what we SAVE
that makes us rich;
not what we READ
but what we REMEMBER
that makes us learned;
and not what we PROFESS
but what we PRACTICE
that makes us Christians.

God does not COMFORT us to make us COMFORTABLE, but to make us COMFORTERS.

I had never read this before today but it was something she kept and laminated. Something good to remember where ever we are in life. Have you ever noticed how many names Jesus actually has been called. I did a name study one time and it is truly amazing.

One of those names is surely the Comforter, but he also calls on us to do the same.