I leave in a week. Thankfully, I got to see Tuberville again, third year in a row – Kiwanis Club at the country club, free lunch, clinking glasses, lots of men named Tom, I mean, Toms everywhere, thanks Dad.
For instance, former Auburn player and letterman club bigwig Tom Bryan.
“Coach asked Suzanne, ‘honey, in your wildest fantasies, did you ever think you and I would have the kind of boys we have? They’re such good kids…'”
“Suzanne replied, Tommy, you’re not in my wildest fantasies.”
I love this man. The one on the left two, both of you.
Tuberville packs the house every year. “Well, thank y’all for being here, with numbers like these, it must be football season — ha ha ha — so without any further adieu, here’s Coach Tuberville.”
(I forgot — before this, there was a great prayer thanking God for what Coach Tuberville does and the program he runs. Amen.)
Some notes: Tuberville started off by tastefully, funnily, effectively ragging the OA-News (“… the Opelika paper…”) for what he considers its less than favorable, less than fair, coverage. “Well, I’m the fighting coach now, at least according to…”
There were some other references. All funny. He’s a natural.
On the spread – “It’s been fun for the players. Now I just hope it works.” It’s going to be awesome. Fun to watch. Real fun to watch. Did I mention it’d be fun to watch? It’ll be fun to watch.
He’s been called a bunch of names in the past, including last year. “Baaad names,” he said. “I’ve heard them from the stands.” But now, since the spread is so dang fast, “if you complain, you’re gonna miss three plays.”
On the fights – he’s all about it. “It’s good to see a foul mood in practice, and we’ve got some guys that are down right mean.” But the team is going to come together. Right now it’s the offense against the defense. Hot and humid as syrup in a shower (my line). Guys competing. Fighting each other. “All football is is a fight.” But they’ll come together when its time.
On the quarterbacks – “We’ll have one quarterback but we’ll play two.”
[my translation — which I’ve thought for a while: we have two quarterbacks, I mean, at least till one just dominates the other, and since they’re both good, that doesn’t look to be happening. And I’m all for it. The dudes are apparently like, best friends. And right, they’re both good, and if the team hasn’t chosen sides like Tuberville says usually happens, but dig them both, then why the spread not? By the way, Barrett Trotter might be better than both of them by the time his time rolls around. Market forces = Auburn wins.]
On Chris Slaughter – “He’ll be a household name.”
On Philip Pierre-Louis (pronounced like Joe Louis) – He’s short and faster than fast. I mean, fast fast. He’s this way and that way, all over the place. “He can go. But that name’s too hard to for a redneck like me to me to remember, so I nicknamed him ‘Frenchy.'”
On Jerraud Powers – Tuberville called him the “player of the year” last year.
OK… we’re winding down… a few more questions here and there… yeah, Fannin is awesome… yeah, a few rule changes with the clock, nothing big… aww man, is no one going to ask? And wait a second, has anyone… no, no one’s asked a dang thing about Bama… no comments, jokes about penal institutions… I mean, I know it’s six going on seven, but we gotta keep the fires stokes… well, yeah, there goes my heart, oh man, I can see it pounding through my shirt, awesome… alright well, yeah, I guess it’s my duty, here goes…
“OK, lets see, one more questions… yessir?”
“I was wondering if you’d picked up the latest issue of Forbes Magazine.”
A few snickers around the room. Not the guffaws I was hoping for. Maybe it’s too early, I couldn’t even find it at Hastings yet…
You can hear the ice settling in the tea dregs. Oh. Dang. He hasn’t even… oh my… uh… but wait… is he just being…
“Yessir, it has, uh, Nick Saban on the cover, claims him as the most powerful coach in all of sports…”
A few more snickers around the room.
He looks down, kinda makes a face, then looks up, smiles.
“Doesn’t the Opelika paper put that thing out?”
War Damn Eagle.