(Picture from Google Images)
As a longtime listener and now a viewer of the Paul Finebaum Show, Tammy was hands down my favorite caller. She was a huge Auburn Tigers fan and when she called into the show, I stopped everything to listen.
When Auburn’s Toomers corner trees were poisoned in 2013, the first person I thought of was “Tammy from Clanton, AL” I sent her a message on Facebook and over the years we exchanged messages about SEC football. I promised her that I’d take her to the Auburn/Tennessee game the next time they played in Knoxville. (They play maybe every 10 years and this year it was in Auburn.) That game still hasn’t happened in Knoxville and I am so sad that I will never get the chance to experience that game with Tammy.
Last Friday morning, Tammy and her 3-year old granddaughter were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Talladega County, Alabama. Tammy was driving her SUV on Hwy 280 when a commercial vehicle carrying explosive materials veered into oncoming traffic and collided with Tammy’s SUV. The crash is still being investigated.
Paul struggled to announce the tragic loss of the show’s most famous caller. The final hour of the Paul Finebaum show was dedicated to Tammy. The calls were still coming in four days later about how shocked and sad listeners were to hear of Tammy’s passing. To hear Jim from Tuscaloosa, an extreme Alabama fan, breakdown in tears about how heartbroken he was over the loss of Tammy defines the relationship of the Paul Finebaum show and the SEC.
One of Tammy’s most popular calls in 2014 went like this:
Finebaum: Let’s grab some more calls. And Tammy — can’t wait to hear this call — from Alabama. Hey, Tammy.
Tammy: For all the Tammys out there, let me tell you. There ain’t but one Tammy and that’s me, you understand? There ain’t but one of me, that’s for sure. … Paul, have I not complained about our defense for the last three years? Have I not? Even when we were winning last year, I still complained about the way they tackled. How many times have I’ve said my grandson could tackle better than our defense?
Finebaum: Tammy, let’s be honest. Nobody really cares [about] your opinion of Auburn’s defense.
Tammy: Oh, my God, Paul Finebaum I could just … Ugh, you make me so mad sometimes because you don’t wanna hear nothing about Auburn! All you want to do is hear things about Alabama, or this, or that, or this, or that. You know what? You make me so sick ’cause you ain’t nothing but a Bam and that’s all you’re ever gone be!
Tammy on the air was loud, screaming loud, funny and loved her Auburn Tigers! Off the air, Tammy was sweet and kind. She built a special friendship with another regular caller, Robert from Waterloo, Iowa who has cerebral palsy. She supported Auburn when they were 14-0 and when they were 3-9. She defended Cam Newton on and off the field and she loved Gus Malzahn and all of his turtlenecks.
Deshaun Davis, senior linebacker at Auburn, posted on his twitter a picture of Tammy Bullard written on wrist tape before Saturday’s 52-0 shutout against Liberty. With the tweet “I don’t normally do this and never met her a day in my life but honestly SHE had our back when no one else did! R.I.P. Mrs. Tammy Bullard #WDE”
There isn’t another show out there like the Paul Finebaum show and there isn’t another fan base like the SEC. Even when you are enemies, you are still family. And we just lost a huge member of the family. I can’t imagine how awful this must be for her family. Her daughter lost her child and mother right before the holidays.
During the holidays while you are spending time with your family, I hope you will remember those who just lost their family. There is a GoFundMe campaign to help Tammy’s family cover funeral expenses.