Auburn's neck of the woods in southeast Alabama narrowly missed the worst of the storm that wreaked havoc and death in Tuscaloosa and much of the rest of the state Wednesday afternoon, but this was probably a no-brainer: The Tiger football team has officially canceled Friday's scheduled visit to the White House to commemorate its perfect season and BCS Championship win in January.
We were all looking forward to the inevitable rip in the space-time continuum that would occur in the al.com comment threads beneath a picture of Cam Newton shaking hands with Barack Obama, but obviously, no one in Alabama is in any mood to celebrate anything. (For the record, Newton is in New York for the start of the NFL Draft, and took some time today with teammate Nick Fairley for a little outreach of their own in the Big Apple.) Florida Congressman Dennis Ross, an Auburn grad, has also scrapped plans to plant a Toomer's oak sapling on the lawn of the Capitol.
In fact, the travel agendas are reversed: Instead of Auburn coming to Washington, the president will be touring the devastated state himself on Friday. If you want to help but don't have a private jet at your beck and call, you can donate to the mid-Alabama chapter of the Red Cross here, or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to add $10 for relief to your next phone bill.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.