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Sportress of Blogitude

College Football

Cremated remains found on Jordan-Hare Stadium field following Auburn’s victory (photo)

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In what hopefully was the strangest thing discovered on the turf of Jordan-Hare Stadium following the Auburn Tigers’ miraculous win over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday were some cremated remains. Yep.

Fans euphorically stormed the field following Auburn’s last-second win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Saturday. Apparently, someone felt it appropriate to dump some ashes on the field as a way to celebrate such a momentous event. The ashes were discovered by the stadium’s grounds crew on Monday as they cleanup and surveying the damage caused by thousands of fans celebrating on the field.

“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened,” Scott McElroy, Associate Professor of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences at Auburn University told Sporting News on Monday afternoon. “After all the fans had left the stadium, I went on to the field to see how things looked, and Eric Kleypas (Head field manager for Auburn athletics) called me over to look at something. At first I thought it looked like someone had thrown up, but sure enough, it was cremated ashes.

“We’re not sure who did it, if it was an Auburn or Alabama fan, if it was somebody’s grandmother or their pet Sparky.”

How about their Grandma Sparky?

McElroy later told AL.com that dumping the remains on the turf can do horrible damage.

“People think this is the last resting place and I’m doing a good thing by putting out organic matter on the field, but it’s actually quite detrimental to the grass,” McElroy said.

Not only that, all those people stomping around does even further damage to the playing surface.

“It’s absolute destruction for the turf. All those people packed in one area; it really beats the heck out of the turf,” McElroy said, according to Sporting News. “In fact, the players themselves do very little damage to the field. We always joke that the band does more damage to the field than the team actually does.”

What is most troubling about the entire story is not that someone deposited cremated remains — human or otherwise — on the field, but that he or she actually brought the remains along with them to the game. Just a little bit more than creepy if you ask me. Was it a sort of “just in case” kind of thing? As in, “If somehow we get to storm the field following an Auburn win I’m going to dump these here ashes on the field. And if not, I guess I’ll dump them in the parking lot or flush them down the toilet. Old Grammy wouldn’t have cared either way.”

I suppose they could have taken the cremated remains home with them, but what’s the sense in that? They’re already at the game, for crying out loud. And who wants to lug around a bunch of remains in the first place, right? An entire day is long enough, thank you very much.