Betty DeGraffenried Burgess Shares Thoughts On Auburn Football



With Auburn decor in ceramic and stuffed tigers, blue and orange dishes on the kitchen table, Auburn art and towels displaying AU, there are many clues at the lovely home of Betty DeGraffenried Burgess and her husband, John, that they are serious Auburn football fans.
After retiring, Betty began writing her thoughts on games as a longtime fan and posting them on Facebook called “Sunday Morning Quarterbacking”. They became popular, and friends look forward to them. While Betty has enjoyed many tailgates over the years, she gathered favorite recipes from friends for creating tasty food for games.
“I have always loved Auburn football,” Betty said. “My daddy graduated from Auburn, and my mother graduated from Alabama. When I was a little girl, I told them that I would be for Auburn one year and then Alabama the next. After being for Auburn the first year, I told my mother that I was sorry, but I was going to have to be an Auburn fan all the time because I think it was just born in me. I grew up being a big Auburn fan.”
Betty said she is proud to be from Goodwater and has several friends in the area who also grew up there. They still get together for lunch.
Since she had an interest in football and other things, Betty didn’t spend time in the kitchen growing up and never developed a love of cooking. John enjoys cooking, and his sister was the state’s home economics specialist for the Department of Education for 25 years. John has become the main cook in the family, while Betty enjoys offering hospitality and arranging an attractive table.
Betty and John have two children, Elizabeth and John, who both live in Birmingham. Their son and his wife own Nothing Bundt Cakes in Birmingham. For family occasions, Betty can count on having a nice cake for dessert.
After graduating from high school, Betty attended Auburn University in 1961. When she graduated, Betty taught school in Pensacola, Florida, for three years, then taught in Huntsville for three years. In 1970, she returned to Auburn to attend graduate school and met John. They were married a year and a half later just before Betty received her doctorate.
They moved to Montgomery where Betty taught at AUM. When they returned to Auburn five years later in 1978, she taught as an adjunct professor at the university. In 1982, Betty began teaching at Auburn High School and taught there for 19 years and then part-time for a few years.
John also worked at AUM. When they moved back, he worked in student services as an advisor for handicapped students at Auburn University. Then he was director of the UPC, the University Program Council, that brought plays and concerts to Auburn. John then became the director at Foy Union for a number of years before finishing his career at the admissions office.
After Betty retired in 2001, she found she had more time to write, which she said she enjoyed doing.
“There used to be Monday morning quarterbacks, but I started my ‘Sunday Morning Quarterbacking’ articles,” she said. “During the Auburn football games, I would write notes about what happened. Then I would write it up on Saturday night, and post it on Facebook the next morning.
“People told me they enjoyed them, and friends not on social media asked me to email it to them every week. I have had a good time doing this. Being an English teacher and having enjoyed writing, it has been fun once I had the time.”
For a couple of years, Betty was on a panel of want-to-be experts for a local newspaper. Auburn fans would write their thoughts on the game that week.
“I am hoping this season is not going to be as tragic as last season, and that the columns I write this time will be happier,” she said. “I know it is going to take some time, and we have to be very patient because things don’t turn around overnight. Auburn has to play Georgia and Alabama every year, and the entire SEC has upped their game, so we have to be patient.”
She said she is excited about this season with a new coach.
“He has energized us,” Betty said. “He is doing the right things as far as recruiting goes, visiting high schools and having a relationship with the coaches and players.
“All these new recruits we have in the 2024 signing field are not going to be on the field this year. They are still in high school. It looks promising, but those coming need time to develop.”
Betty said she was encouraged when she read that Robby Ashford, although he was not named the starting quarterback, is not quitting and is still working hard. She said she feels that is the attitude needed by all the players.
Betty said she loves the games and writing about them. She checks photos of the games in the newspaper, and sometimes puts one or more photos with her comments.
After Auburn’s win over UMass, Betty’s comments in her “Sunday Morning Quarterbacking” included, “I was impressed that we didn’t have any turnovers and were only penalized four times for a total of 40 yards. As best I can recall, we didn’t have a single false start, something that plagued us a lot last year.
“I can’t remember the last time Auburn played three quarterbacks unless one was injured during the game. Being able to give all of them some time at the helm can be important in games to come. Even better, each was able to lead the offense to at least one touchdown.
“After last year’s abysmal season, it was clear that the Auburn faithful were more than ready to turn the page and begin a new era. What a reception Hugh Freeze and company received — the largest crowd to ever attend a game in Jordan-Hare stadium — a very successful ‘white out’ of the stadium — and fans staying in the stands well into the 4th quarter, long after the outcome of the game had been decided. It was ‘Auburn being Auburn’ at its finest and should have encouraged our young team, showing them appreciation for the work they’ve put in during the pre-season practices.
“As much fun as the first game was, we know that we have a very challenging season ahead, one of the toughest schedules in the country. It will take a while for Auburn to return to the top of the SEC, but I believe we may have the leadership in place to make that possible.
“If we will be patient and continue to support our team, we should have lots of happy Saturdays down the road. (Remember that it took Bruce Pearl several seasons to rebuild our basketball program into one that was truly competitive; football, in my opinion, is even tougher.)
“For the first time since 2017, Auburn fans were allowed to roll the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. Both coach Freeze and AD Cohen were spotted in the crowd. I think it’s safe to say that the guys now in charge at our athletic department truly get what it means to be an Auburn fan and know that it’s important to let the fans who’ve held firm through the years see them celebrating along with us.”
Betty said she is hoping the Auburn Tigers do well this season and that Auburn fans will hang in there and be patient.
“I think that is key to having another winning shot,” she said. “I think we have a shot in three or four years in doing really well.”
At one time, Betty and John entertained frequently, but not as much now. Over the years, they have enjoyed tailgating with friends. Betty is sharing a couple of John’s recipes and favorite tailgate recipes from friends.

Mushroom Spread and Mini Shells
John Burgess

You can also serve the mushroom dip on Triscuit crackers instead of the shells.
Melt together:
3 cans mushroom pieces, drained
1 stick butter
Add and warm:
6 oz. sour cream
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
To make shells, blend the following together:
2 cups Rice Chex, ground in a blender
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
Combine ingredients. Roll into balls and put in ungreased mini muffin tins. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until crisp.
Serve the dip in a chafing dish.
Easy Rotel Dip
John Burgess
Serve with Fritos or tortilla chips
1 lb. ground beef, browned, drained and chopped up very fine
Mix in:
1 can Rotel Tomatoes, not drained
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
Mix these ingredients together over low/medium heat until cheese has melted.
Pour into a chafing dish or fondue pot to keep warm.
Use large Fritos or tortilla chips for dipping.
John’ Burgess’s Ham Sandwiches
They are very popular. The trick is fresh bread and very thin shaved ham piled high.
Very thin shaved ham
Sliced Sunbeam bread
Hellman’s mayonnaise
John spreads mayonnaise on both slices of bread and then piles on very thin shaved ham. After placing the top slice, he uses an electric knife to trim the crusts and carefully cuts each sandwich into four small triangles.
Little Quiches
Pat Evans

1 deep pie crust
Egg wash
Roll and press the pie crust to cover a jelly roll pan. Brush with egg wash. Set aside.
1 lb. bacon
6 eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1 ½ tsp. salt
3 cups Swiss cheese, grated
Dash of nutmeg, pepper and cayenne pepper
Cook the bacon and set aside. Beat eggs well. Add whipping cream, salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne pepper; mix well. Add Swiss cheese and then crumbled bacon.
Pour mixture over pie pastry in jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool, then cut into small squares. Can be frozen before cutting and reheated.
Sam’s Party Mix
Marsha McCord
16 oz. dry roasted peanuts
3 ¾ cups mini pretzels
3 cups Wheat Chex
2 sticks butter
2-3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
Combine all ingredients, stirring well. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for two hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
Marinated Shrimp
Cissy Yarbrough

2 lbs. medium shrimp
2 small white onions, thickly sliced
1 cup canola, corn or vegetable oil
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup tarragon vinegar
1 small jar capers, drained and rinsed
6-8 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
Bring enough water to a boil in a stockpot to generously cover shrimp. Add shrimp to boiling water and boil for three minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Drain.
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact.
Layer the shrimp and sliced onions in a large shallow dish. Combine sauce ingredients, whisking well. Pour sauce over shrimp and onions.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator one or two days, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves before serving.
For a spicier taste, add crushed red peppers or tabasco sauce. Leaving the tails on the shrimp make them easier to pick up and avoid the use of wooden picks.
Ripe Olive Dip
Dibba Spears

Large Fritos for dipping
1 small can chopped green chili peppers
1 large can ripe olives, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2-3 green onions including stems
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. wine vinegar
½ tsp. garlic salt
Dash of tabasco
Combine all ingredients together and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with large Fritos.
Pumpkin Dip
Anita Meadows

Two 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
1 can pure pumpkin
Apples, pears and/or ginger snaps for dipping
Blend all dip ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.
Serve with dippers of choice.
Super Dogwood Sandwich
Carolyn Burkhalter

14 oz. loaf French bread
3 Tbsp. softened butter, divided
½ lb. thinly sliced ham
¼ lb. thinly sliced turkey
¼ lb. thinly sliced salami or other deli meat
6 oz. sliced provolone cheese
3 Tbsp. thousand island dressing, divided
¼ cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Slice bread horizontally into three equal layers.
Spread first layer with 1 ½ Tbsp. softened butter and top with ham, cheese and half the dressing.
Top with second layer of bread. Spread 1 ½ Tbsp. softened butter over bread. Top with turkey, salami, remaining dressing and third layer of bread.
Combine ¼ cup melted butter and sesame seeds and brush on top and slides of loaf. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Sally’s Party Mix
Kelly Chase

6 oz. Goldfish
6 oz. Bugles
12 oz. mini pretzels
10 oz. cashews
1 pkg. ranch dressing
¾ cup canola oil
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix together well or shake until combined. Serve.
Creamy Corn Dip
Marsha McCord

1 cup mayonnaise
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1 small can Mexicorn
Jalapenos to taste
Corn chips
Cream mayonnaise and cream cheese together. Add grated cheese. Stir in Mexicorn and jalapenos. Spoon into small baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with corn chips.
Easy Brunswick Stew
Dibba Spears

2 cans diced tomatoes
5 medium potatoes, optional
1 large can barbecue pork
2 cans chicken
1 can cream corn
1 can whole corn
½ pkg. frozen petite lima beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and chop potatoes. Add to crockpot along with other ingredients. Cook on low all day.
Betty’s Easy Potato Salad for Tailgating
Betty Burgess

Purchased potato salad from deli (I generally get mustard flavored as it looks more homemade.)
Leaf lettuce
Place potato salad in a nice bowl. Wash lettuce and place around the edges. Sprinkle paprika over potato salad. It is now ready to take to a tailgate.
This “recipe” may be used for many other dishes as well. The key is putting the food on an attractive serving dish, using the appropriate garnishes and keeping your mouth shut. No one will know it was store-bought.


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