Ronnie Brown checks out the action from the 2003 Iron Bowl
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Ronnie Brown was watching Auburn beat Alabama again, this time on the big screen in the Auburn athletic department, this time thanks to the SEC Network rebroadcasting the 2003 Iron Bowl on a Wednesday in which the some of the program's biggest wins took center stage.
How can it be that it's been almost 12 years ago since Brown's running back mate, Carnell Williams, scored on the first play from scrimmage and since Brown and his teammates helped Auburn win 28-23.
"It seems like yesterday. It goes by so fast," Brown said.
Games come and go, but, even as a pro, the Iron Bowl remains special… like the one in 2010 "with Cam and those guys," Brown remembered.
"I was getting on the team plane and they announced Alabama had this big lead before we were ready to take off. But as we're landing, the pilot comes over PA system and announces that Auburn had won. I started running up and down the aisles of the plane and I'm like 'yeah!' They all thought I was crazy. Nobody could believe we came back."
Oh, Ronnie Brown could run. He rushed for 2,707 yards at Auburn. He has added 5,332 yards over the last 10 NFL season.
But on this day, it's Auburn, and, at this moment, Brown is running to the 1-yard line to set up a Williams touchdown to seal the win. The TV just showed it.
Brown and Williams were inducted into Auburn's Tiger Trail last April. Williams was back in December to pick up his diploma. Last week, the quarterback of that team, Jason Campbell, returned to help in a summer quarterback camp.
"I think it's good, not only for us individually, but to share the program with others," Brown said. "The older guys come back and can be a part of the program and let the young guys see that, to show them it wasn't just a phase in life, that we enjoyed our time here, and we like coming back."
Now, 33, Brown says much of his time is devoted to "just being a dad. And waiting to see what's going to happen with football. I'd like to play another year, but, if not, try to get some experience in the broadcasting world."
Brown, the No. 2 overall pick by Miami in 2005, was one of the 26 running backs taken in that that draft, and one of only three of those running backs still playing in 2014. Now, "If I get an opportunity, I'd like to play again. I still feel like I can compete and play at a high level." But he already has a fallback plan if he doesn't play in an 11th NFL season. He attended the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp recently and hopes to add announcing to his resume.
"Being a graduate in communications, I always knew I wanted to get involved in and stay close to sports," Brown said. He said the boot camp was fun and educational, "just to see some of the weaknesses and all the behind-the-scene stuff."
"The thing for me is to be more aggressive, not so much being opinioned, but when I'm sharing the podium with somebody, to be a little bit more forthcoming with my thoughts."
The game plays on on the big screen.
"I'm watching and thinking about my teammates," he said. "You think about guys you haven't seen forever."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine