Monthly Archives: October 2008

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, I think I made a Big Mistake.

The ironies of the UnSeason continue to pile up like unpaid bills. At least the personal ironies, for me. It started in August. I get a new job and find out I’m moving. I was going to have a press pass for this season! I could have been on the field! But no… moving… to the town of the spread happy “it’s our season” team coached by the ol’ Jedi buddy of Tony Franklin, who’s presence at Auburn was supposed to make it our season, too. Oh, and the two teams were picked to pack the Sugar Bowl together, of course, of course, by the same guy who’d just finished gushing over what an eccentric, offensive genius said Jedi buddy used to be.

Can’t you feel it?

And then the actual move, from Auburn to L-word, Texas: my fake-spread Auburn falls apart, their real-spread T. Tech is undefeated and gunning for a national championship and apparently about to play their first game on TV from the way folks around the office are acting. I knew my faith was powerful — just starting an Auburn pride band in 2004 was enough to 13 and 0 us — I just didn’t know the mojo was dependent on my actual, physical presence. Oh, and need I remind anyone that the going theory behind the Tiger’s collapse includes Tony Franklin’s suspected (by some) blinding bromance with a supposedly spread-able former Red Raider?

I’m sorry, y’all. I had no idea this would happen.

And thanks to an e-mail from Kenny last night, it dawns on me – the vomitous-but-perhaps-perfectly-suited-for-an-Iron-Bowl-crane-kick implications of a T. Tech victory over the Longhorns:

Bama almost certainly moves to #1.

Father, give me strength.

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Redcoats Rave: Iron Bowl sums up America

First the Maxim UK cover, and now (or whenever) Stephen Fry and the BBC cover the Iron Bowl.

“I really don’t know if anything sums up America better. It’s simultaneously preposterous, incredibly laughable, impressive, charming, ridiculous, expensive, overpopulated, wonderful, American.”

Couldn’t have said it bett’er me self, guvna.

[Thanks, again, to Dave in Florida for the tip]

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Eight Trousand Dollars

Surprisingly dated, I know… especially considering my initial intoxication, but here’s the zip up on the The Pants, which went for $8,000 – $3,000 more than my guess.

… the pants were cleaned and displayed in a beautiful, custom-built wooden shadow box along with Dye’s recovered wallet, credit cards, car keys and an autographed copy of Lake magazine that told the story.

If not slowly grafting to my person, than I suppose “a beautiful, custom-built wooden shadow box” is the next best thing.

(Thanks to Kenny Smith, truly the pants, for the update…)

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Need a reason to smile today?

Photo by the Washington Post.

Jason Campbell visited a school in Virginia yesterday for the “NFL’s Take a Player to School Sweepstakes.”

By the end of the assembly Campbell had a group of kids, including Taylor [Dehaven, the winner of the contest], chanting “War Eagle!” for his beloved Auburn University. They in turn made him chant, “Roadrunners!”

Click here to read today’s Washington Post column.

Click here to see the heartwarming video.

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Friday night with Tuberville: Part Three

By J.M. Comer

Part three of a three-part series. Sorry for the delay. After the events of this past Thursday, I wonder if this little series is moot. I have the feeling, should Dark Lord Trustee’s wicked hand of impatient, black death reach deep into his pocket of ill-gotten gains and lost souls and produce the buy-out for Tuberville’s contract, we will be without a good man and coach and a lot of his upcoming recruiting class. Ray Cotton could be lost. Let’s beat Ole Miss in the SECOND HALF of the game (The 2008 Auburn Tigers: First-half champions!) and see where this year’s winding path takes us. Thanks to Jerry at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash and Jeremy here at TWER for their guidance on this undertaking. War Eagle!

If you looked at just the first half of the Meade-Southern game two Fridays ago, you would have thought the Southern High Bulldogs were ready to cruise ahead to an easy win. Run the ball. Run out the clock. Loss No. 5 in a row for the Meade High Mustangs.

Cotton, the Mustangs quarterback and verbal commitment to Auburn University, was not connecting his passes to the team’s receivers. Like I mentioned before, you saw promise in Cotton’s throws. But his some of his most precise, beautiful passes were often hitting the cold, leaden hands of his teammates and bouncing away. Some passes were one or two steps in front of his receivers for touchdowns. And, I hate to say it, there could have been an additional turnover or two if Southern’s defense had held on to their gift-wrapped air mail from Cotton. The Mustangs were out of sync and seemed to be a one-trick pony. (I made pun!)

As the second half opened, the Mustangs trailed 14-6. The Mustang’s 6 points were the result of a 1-yard run by Cotton into the endzone. The extra kick was flubbed. Again, focusing on Cotton: He was one, if not THE, fastest, biggest guy on the field. He had the legs to match the arm. To me, he looked like the total — albeit unpolished — package.

This guy could come to Auburn? Would the presence of Auburn’s Coach Tommy Tuberville and Assistant Coach James Willis show the Cotton family the support that they wanted? If you would believe this report: Yes. Yes it did.

Ray Cotton, No. 17, stands next to running back Demetrius Brown under the Friday night lights at Southern High School’s home field. Photo by Ike. He apologizes for the blurriness.

At the beginning of the second half, the two Auburn coaches had departed, or at least were hidden from the view of the fans. They might have went up to the pressbox, I don’t know. Like I said before, there was a buzz through the crowd in the first half of the game. The fans and Mustang team (as well as Thomas, Ike and myself) would keep an eye on the Auburn football council. Folks from the home stand would wander over for a closer look. “Who were these mysterious men dressed in dark blue, with subtle splashes of orange, watching the visitors from afar?”

Raymond Cotton Sr. stayed separate from most of the other fans. He took a proud perch at the top of the bleachers to watch his son. Ray Cotton’s mom (at least, I think it was his mom), walked up and down the fence, following the team along the field (like us and others, it was fun) and shouting encouraging words to her son. The Mustang fans were a small, but rowdy bunch. They were a lot of fun to be around. They had noise makers (blue horns that had a visible toot in the cold, night air) and would stomp on the bleachers from time to time.

“I need to get one of those horns for the West Virginia game,” Thomas said. (In reflection after the West Virginia choke job: The first half would have been horn-filled. The second half, not so much.)

As the Mighty Meade Mustangs rallied, the game became a party.

Maybe the presence of Auburn’s coaches were a distraction. Maybe Cotton was trying to hard to impress Tuberville and Willis. At any rate, a different Mustang team took the field in the second half. Cotton had the arm to match the leg.

On to victory!

Like a flash of lightning, the Meade High Mustangs were back in the game after the first drive of the 3rd quarter. Cotton connected with receiver Trevor Turner on 4th down. It was a 30-yard desperation pass. Turner came through for his quarterback. The timing couldn’t have been better. In an attempt to tie the game, the Mustangs went for the 2-point conversation but failed. The score stood 14-12. The Mustangs galloped close behind.

At this point we were by the fence near the endzone. Directly behind us in the bleachers were Cotton’s father and another Mustang dad. Once again, our orange and blue confused Cotton Sr.’s bleacher buddy, as the dad shouted to us: “Hey, my boy is No. 44 out there. Give him a look too! I tell you what, you can have him for four years. If you don’t like him, just send him back!”

I tried to explain that we were not with Auburn University for probably the fifth time, but because he was laughing so hard, I don’t think he heard me. At this time, Cotton’s father gave us a wary look from his roost. I wondered if Cotton Sr. noticed when I shook my head in disappointment after his son flubbed a play. I thought I had better watch my actions. I probably shouldn’t throw my sandwich to the ground in disgust, screaming obscenities at his boy should he fumble the ball or something. Whether we wanted it or not, Thomas, Ike and I were representatives of Auburn.

Back on the field, the Mustangs defense would shut out the Bulldogs in the second half. The Mustangs were pulling together. The defense was feeding from the trough of offensive glory and vice versa.

Halfway through the 4th quarter, the Mustang’s little running back pulled out the play of the game. Demetrius Brown gained 28 yards on a busted play. He ran to the broken and bleeding left side of the line, facing a multitude of Bulldog defenders. Like a flash, he rolled to the open field to the right and was off to the races. The Bulldogs would pull him down at their 30-yard line. Now, at last the Mustangs could pull ahead.

With two throws in succession to receiver Tuswani Copeland, the Mustangs would go ahead. The game-winning throw from Cotton to Copeland was a 19-yard strike. After failing to get the point after, the Mustangs led 18-14.

The Mustang defense would hold and the team would win. Cotton’s receivers came through in the second half and little Demetrius Brown, in my eyes, came through big time to spark the winning score.

Cotton’s final stats: 147 yards passing with two touchdowns through the air. 97 yards rushing with one rushing touchdown. Cotton had one fumble that I remember in the 4th quarter.

What a game! What a comeback! What a Tiger?

The next few weeks will tell the tale.


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RTRinWVA = Not Obsessed With Auburn

Forrest, a reader, went to the West Virginia game. He wrote us an e-mail:

Right before the game started, four Bama fans, all in red, showed up and sat about 10 rows in front of us. They tried all game to start a fight with the 1000 or so Auburn fans sitting in the next section. I included the pictures and maybe you can write something about how retarded you must be to go to your rival’s away non-conference game.

Thanks a million, Forest… but I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Hmmm. I stared. T’was speechless. They’re powerful images. The faces, the tongue, the sunglasses at night, the ______ stains, the genes, the Randy Quaid….

But what was it about them…

Then it hit me: it’s as if four dudes decided all spur of the moment to Dick or Treat as Bammer stereotypes. Even the sign looks costume. If there was ever a contest for the Bammerish of Bammers, surely these prom kings would make the finals. Are you guys real?

Remember what I said about our one game… I wasn’t talking UT Martin.


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Thoughts from the West Texas observatory – West Virginia

I am very thankful I saw the first half of that game. My clothes were actually uncomfortable on me, so tingly with adrenaline was my skin. I was hoarse within ten minutes. Seventeen to freakin’ three. We dominated. Bradley called at half. “Talk to me.” He’d been at work. He knew the score, knew most of the stats. But hadn’t seen it.

We look good, baby, we look good. I can’t believe it. I don’t know if it’s a pretzel and I’m just so damn hungry its filled me up, or if it’s a t-bone and I’m legitimately stuffed. Yeah, he looks good, man. Yep, been in the whole game. He looks comfortable, yeah, it’s good. I don’t know what’s happened. Whatever, we look good, we look good. We kicked a freakin’ on side kick! Oh man, War Damn Eagle. Alright, call you later.

And then the second half. And Bradley thinks I’m a liar.

Oh man, fresh off the vicarious Friday night with Coach, fresh off the Finebaum-Franklin not-really-that-bad tell all, what was it going to be? What would happen? What twists and turns in the cold Appalachian Thursday, what blood would fill our veins and how?

Thursday is over. And the truly tragic ink of the L has dried quickly. The first meeting with West Virginia – lost. We have to live with it.

A quick thought on a contributing factor, a nauseating trend: The quarterback debate has raged, the Franklin fiasco unfolded, but this anguished season has also been marked with what now, eight games in, appears to be habitually shoddy 4th quarter clock management. For years the dice have been rolled properly against all odds and Tuberville would vanilla the hell out of the 4th quarter and we’d hang on to win or come behind at just the right time. This year, the Plinko is screwed up. Maybe it’s just me, but a strange complacency seems to rule our come-from-behind strategy, as if a 5th quarter will flicker on the scoreboard and eventually make wise an uncalled timeout or a decision not to go for it – only four yards – down two scores with six minutes (or even eight minutes on the possession before!) left and facing a most unpleasant and unstoppable greased midget able to spin broken plays into 30 yard runs at will. There was just no way, no way in the world we were going to score twice the way things were going.

But… be that as it may… I am thankful for that half.

It’s the most excited I’ve been this season, the warmest I’ve felt. Which is sad, in a way. But I choose to be happy. It’s not our year. But we have our quarterback. And we will have our game.

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