Category Archives: Diversions / Investigations

Project End Zone: Authentic, Mysterious…

Kate O’Neil’s phone has been ringing off the hook all morning with calls from Alabama area-codes, all for naught.

O’Neil is the producer for Authentic Films… just not the Authentic Films that recently partnered with the Auburn ISP Sports Network  to produce “Hard Knocks: Auburn” “Auburn Football: Every Day…,” a documentary series about, that’s right, Auburn football.

AuburnFootballDocumentary“It’s a great idea for schools,” she says. “I wish we were doing it.”

So likely did any Auburn fans who checked out the Cleveland-based group’s website: the creative forces behind  documentaries of people running across America and mockumentaries on film school culture could surely have crafted the stretch Hummer of football reality television – Auburn’s latest headline-hungry move in Recruiting 2.0.

Not that the Authentic Films that is on the clock can’t, it’s just that no one – O’Neil included – seems to know anything about them: the only result of a Google search for “Authentic Films” + the names of the men Auburn lists as the company’s founders is the press release from the university.

“I have no ideal who they are,” O’Neil says. “If you find out, tell me, so I can pass along the messages.”

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X almost marked the spot

I talked with Exene Cervenka from X the other day. I got real excited for a second. Not quite Bjork excited, but definitely excited.

x

Moi: Have you ever been to Auburn?

Exene: Well, we played there. About a million years ago. You have a big football team, right?  I think we played one of those football years. I don’t remember. I might have it mixed up with Birmingham or something. Does Birmingham, Alabama have the elephant mascot?

Moi: Oh man… that’s Tuscaloosa. Those are the bad guys.

Exene: Oh. Man, I got mixed up. I was young. I was drunk. It was a long time ago. It was football. It was surreal. I got mixed up.

Moi: You would have liked Auburn better.

Exene: I probably would have.

Me: Do you watch American Idol?

Exene: I do not.

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Fly down the field, girl, fly down the field

At a recent commencement ceremony at George Washington University, there were cries of “War Eagle.”

On her name card, Auburn alumna Sara Elisabeth Burson (class of ’07) slipped our school’s illustrious battle cry in between her middle and last name.

She handed it to the announcer.

The announcer looked at it. A gag? Native American? Are you sure?

So sure.

So sure Sara graduated with a Masters in Tourism Administration from GWU not as Sara Elisabeth Burson, but as Sara Elisabeth War Eagle Burson.

twitter

This I discovered after typing “War Eagle” into Twitter’s search engine, just for kicks.

And it got me thinking about the girl whose middle name really is War Eagle.

I went to high school with her, in Birmingham no less. She was beautiful. So was her little sister – her name (her first name) was Tiger. Their last name was White. They were two of the prettiest girls in school, duh.

Alabama fans brag on their houndstoothed army of Bryant namesakes (“hi, name is Drunk Jones, this here is my brother Cheeter”), but with the single, feminized semi-exception of Tyde (you remember him – Saban’s brother?), have any of them ever had the passion or the balls to name a child after their actual battle cry?

War Eagle ended up going to Georgia. It hurt us all.

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Chizik is the Ed Orgeron of the Big 12

By J.M. Comer

UPDATE @ 4:55 p.m. CST: Gene Chizik is Auburn’s head coach?!?!? This is what we were waiting for?

www.al.com says it is a done deal.

The best of luck to you, Coach Chizik. You had better hit the ground running. 1,000 miles an hour.

AuburnTron makes note of the situation. The Joe Cribbs Carwash too. Phillip Marshall at Auburn Undercover says it is “wrong.”

Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik is supposedly topping the list of coaches in the running to take over the Auburn University football program.

Gene Chizik, a former defensive coach at Auburn and Texas, was 0-8 in conference play this year in the Big 12 North. Think about it: He’s like the Big 12 version of former University of Mississippi head coach Ed Orgeron, who didn’t win a game against SEC opponents last year, also finishing conference play 0-8. Orgeron was then fired.

Seriously? Chizik is who Auburn wants to hire to replace Tommy Tuberville?

Iowa Iowa St Football
Ronald McDonald’s rich uncle grasps Gene Chizik.

Coach Chizik has a 2-14 record in Big 12 conference play in two years.

Please see the records of some of the teams that Chizik lost to!

Losses in 2007: Kent State (3-9), Northern Iowa (11-0, Division 1-AA), Toledo (5-7), Nebraska (5-7), Texas Tech (9-4), Texas (10-3), Oklahoma (11-3), Missouri (12-2), Kansas (12-1).

2007 Wins: Iowa (6-6), Kansas St. (5-7), Colorado (6-7).

Losses in 2008: Iowa (8-4), UNLV (5-7), Kansas (7-5), Baylor (4-8), Nebraska (8-4), Texas A&M (4-8), Oklahoma St. (9-3), Colorado (5-7), Missouri (9-4), Kansas St. (5-7).

2008 Wins: South Dakota State (7-5), Kent State (4-8).

Gene Chizik, as a head coach has beaten ONE team with a winning record: the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Unbelievable.

Chizik has 18 losses for his two seasons at Iowa State. Ten of those losses were to teams with winning records; eight losses were to teams with a losing record.

Chizik’s signature win was over the University of Iowa in 2007. That Iowa team finished the season at 6-6.

Also please see this column today on ESPN. Here is an excerpt:

A Dallas Fort-Worth radio talk show host claimed that he had been told by an Oklahoma State assistant coach that Chizik had told him he regretted taking the Iowa State job and was more happy winning games as Texas’ defensive coordinator.

Chizik doesn’t have the stomach to be a head coach, according to this claim.

I don’t think I have the stomach either: I’m going to be sick.

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Filed under Coaching Search, Diversions / Investigations

“No, no … this is important….”

A little more distraction from the ticklish, picklish rumor cyphering and peculiar logic of the coaching search, which Auburn fans, unlike those of most other SEC schools, have never had to endure under the full, blogtastic weight of the internet.

This is what it was supposed to be like. AUTiger96 was going to weave it into his seven-in-a-row highlight montage. The eye roll in her voice, the ‘duh’ nonchalance, was going to say it all. Seven in a row. Expected. Done deal. Take it to the bank, Ol’ Blue Eyes…

Put it all on ’09 …

(and special thanks to AUTiger96 for the actual work… he only had one video this year – that says more than anything really… and though I’m still, at present, a Gill man, if it’s coaching rumor and primo rumor analysis you want, head to Jerry’s…)

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After the Mountainjeers fall silent …

By J.M. Comer

I’d like to take the time, as a diversion, to revisit my experience as an Auburn fan visiting Morgantown, W.Va., in October for the first ever Tiger-Mountaineer meeting.

I hope that at this point, as the “Season of DEATH” lies smoking in ruins, that this observation will not be seen as sour grapes.

In fact since I moved to the mid-Atlantic region and before this season’s meeting of Auburn and West Virginia, I’d always rooted for the Mountaineers (the reason is sort of like the way I relate to people from New Jersey) — because people from Alabama, like West Virginia and New Jersey, seem to be the butt of jokes. People turn their noses down on us all. I can sympathize and relate to our shared regional plight.

I met three awesome Mountaineer fans. That’s it. Please see the photo below for one such awesome fan.

mountaineer
Big Sexy gives a Mountaineer superfan a little taste of the tiger before the game.

Superfan (not the real school mascot Mountaineer! He made the getup himself) drove down from Pittsburgh to see his team. I didn’t ask if he killed a beast, skinned it and tanned his own leather for the costume. He was kind enough to pose for countless photos. He was sharp as a tack. He had witty retorts. Auburn fans shared beers with him and I’m pretty sure that an Auburn fan sold or gave him a ticket because he was sitting in the visiting section once the game started. I can’t say enough good things about this dude. Learn from the master. He will lead you through the wilderness. A true Mountaineer.

Another great Mountaineer fan, around the age of 50 or so, and his wife asked about the whole “War Eagle” thing. He sat in a Jeep, wearing a black beret and drinking a tall Miller Light. We went back and forth in our pregame predictions and left smiling. A good guy.

Another older Mountaineer gentleman in his 70s stopped us and asked if we were finding our way around all right. He gave us directions to a restaurant that the Auburn Alumni Club was gathering. It was still daylight at this point in the evening. I think this older gentleman feared for our safety, glancing nervously over our shoulders at the setting sun. I think he wanted to warn us of what we were in for. Like the folks at the “Slaughtered Lamb” said:

werewolf
“Boys, keep off the moors. Stay on the road.”

So to those three people, I thought I’d tip my hat to you. Thanks for being courteous fans.

Also, the Mountaineer fans in the stadium were an impressive sight. We, as Auburn fans, could learn a few things from their enthusiasm. It looked like every man, woman and child wore yellow and stood the entire game. West Virginia’s first-down cheer is fun to watch and it seemed everyone in the place took part (and believe me, I got to see it in action a lot). In sharp contrast the Auburn woman behind me in the stands (she looked to be in good health) asked me not to stand so much when Auburn was successful. She couldn’t see because she sat on her ass the whole game. I decided to move, I was so pissed off at her request.

I’m sure that a football game in West Virginia is the only show for miles around. People get INTO it. They blow off some steam.

But I have to offer criticism. MUCH CRITICISM: To the other thousands of fans that offered us the “creative” greeting of “Fuck you” (I thought it was your team’s official university-sanctioned cheer since I heard it so much) that acted like they hadn’t seen a real woman in years (I guess they are hard to come by in that shitburgh town you call home), if you are fortunate enough to come to see Auburn play and beat your team next year, please take notes on how a visiting team is treated at the Loveliest Village on the Plains.

I know that most will say, “That’s the way visiting fans are treated all over. You bought the ticket, take the ride. Haven’t you ever visited Baton Rouge or Gainesville?”

I have visited Gainesville as a visiting fan. I plan to visit Baton Rouge someday. At night, if I can. I’ve seen both sets of fans in Auburn and never seen the sort of stuff that went on that cold night in October.

Auburn has a history with the teams of the SEC. There is a rivalry there. Fans are passionate when rivalries are involved.

This year, Auburn played West Virginia FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

Also, THERE WAS NOTHING AT STAKE in the game. Both teams were limping into the contest.

My conclusion: I know its been said many times before, I think West Virginia fans are just assholes, by and large.

But why? Is it a chip on their shoulder? It can’t be because of Auburn’s stature in this particular instance. The past few years the Mountaineers have been just as successful, if not MORE successful than the football program at Auburn.

Did the average Mountaineer fan see the Auburn fan as some blue-blood visitors? If so, they are very mistaken. It was a match up of a historical agriculture school vs. a school built from coal mining. Both schools are a lot alike. (Their fans? Not so much.)

Is it an SEC vs. Big East thing? Maybe. Mountaineer fans, were you representing the pricks of your conference that night? You did a fine job if that was your intention. You beat us soundly on the field. Why the extracurricular activity?

My theory at this point is that Mountaineer fans have observed and adopted the antics and methods of Philadelphia sport fans (spend some time around a large group of Eagles fans and you’ll understand). Philly is not too far away to the east (over the mountains and through the woods and you are there). Are Pittsburgh sports fans the same way? It’s the closer city, but I really like most of the Steeler fans that I’ve met. And I love, love, love Pittsburgh. It’s a great town.

Another theory that I’ve got rattling around in my brain: The average Mountaineer fan doesn’t know any better. The mountain campus is very insular. It’s bred into them. “Son, don’t eat the whole pepperoni roll. Save half of it to throw at the visitors. You’ll make your old man proud.” Years and years of seeing the prickish behavior of their forefathers … it’s all they know.

Auburn fans, on Sept. 19, 2009, I implore you to take the ignorant West Virginia masses in arm as they visit. Please show them how to tailgate and how fans down South interact. It can be done with passion AND good humor. It’s the Auburn way. And after our Auburn Tigers whip the Mountaineers to a nothing more than an coonskin cap on a pile of animal skin, please show them no ill will as they file past to their cars. It will be a long drive home for them.

War Eagle!

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It’s Pronounced JORDAN: Brothur’s Club

Just a little distraction …

shugbearbrothursclub

May the Auburn good guy / Bama bad guy meme (the faces people … coach after coach … the faces … ) extend into this next anxious era… and forever…

God’s will be done.

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