There are four different stories about the origination of Auburn's "War Eagle" cheer posted on the athletic department's website, but the most common legend dates back to Auburn's first football game, which was played against Georgia in 1892:
The most popular story about the battle cry dates back to the first time Auburn met Georgia on the football field in 1892 and centers around a spectator who was a veteran of the Civil War. In the stands with him that day was an eagle the old soldier had found on a battlefield during the war. He had kept it as a pet for almost 30 years.
According to witnesses, the eagle suddenly broke free and began majestically circling the playing field. As the eagle soared, Auburn began a steady march toward the Georgia end zone for a thrilling victory. Elated at their team's play and taking the bird's presence as an omen of success, Auburn students and fans began to yell "War Eagle" to spur on their team. At the game's end, the eagle took a sudden dive, crashed into the ground, and died.
In anticipation of this weekend's game in Athens, Auburn posted a photo on Instagram from that famous game.
The 2014 edition of the 122 year old series between the Tigers and Bulldogs kicks off at 7:15 this Saturday.