Tag Archives: Brandon Cox

QB day dreams…

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Toomer’s Rumors and Boomers – 2.12.08

*** Brandon Cox talks about life in the bloglight. Indeed, the pregnant girlfriend story was the reason I heard explaining the early-season struggles. Breathe deep and actually smell his cologne. War Eagle.

*** Tragic, curious: Julio Jones expected to testify in murder trial.

*** The Joe Cribbs Car Wash’s Arrested Development-themed interpretation of the SEC is a “Funniest Post of the Year” nominee for this year’s College Football Blogger Awards. Vote… somehow… or die!

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Variations On A Theme: A Tale of Two Futures, In Pictures

Hail to the Future.

kodi-td.jpg

Photo by M. Almond, B’ham News

Hell to the Yeah.

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photo by E. Eubanks, AJC

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(Im)Peach State(ment)

By: J.M. Comer

First, a compliment. Dogs are tight. Georgia, your bulldog has a ruggedness, a nose to the ground. Uga’s tough, stubborn and full of teeth and slobbery. It’s a good image and a fine football mascot. Also, red and black are great, serious colors symbolic of blood and dirt. Sunsets and death. Ummm … red salsa and black beans … on a cheesy, melty Mexican platter. Must stay focused!

But Georgia, your decision to call a “blackout” this weekend seems a bit desperate. “Look, we’re tougher this game with our black,” is your meek cry for attention.

The question on everyone’s mind as they file into Sanford Stadium this Saturday afternoon will be not “What will Georgia be wearing on the field of battle?” but “What does Georgia have planned for its first-touchdown-of-the-game celebration this time around?”

You’ve set the bar high Georgia with your end zone celebration in Jacksonville two weeks ago.

I’m imagining this week’s end-zone dance party will go … something … like … this …

[START DREAM FADE-IN SEQUENCE.]

P.A. announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, for this week’s pre-planned touchdown celebration, please direct your attention to the visitor’s end zone as our 2007 Bulldogs salute Lionel Richie’s 1986 hit ‘Dancing on the Ceiling.'”

Or …

P.A. announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, put your hands together and join your Georgia Bulldogs in the end zone for a celebration of touchdowns, 30-yard penalties and Auburn coaching rumors. Head Coach Mark Richt reunites on drums with his former cast members from Kids Incorporated as they perform ‘I’ve Heard a Rumor,’ have you?” [— Blogger’s Note. Please watch the video linked above, I know it is painful, but I’m pretty sure that is a young Richt on drums.]

Or … what if …

P.A. announcer: “And now, for your consideration Georgia fans, the Voice of the Bulldogs, Larry Munson, and his ‘Soulja Boy Revue!'”

[END DREAM SEQUENCE. SHUDDER.]

[Thunder! Lightning! Initiate bluster, attack. Unleash the half-formed thoughts of an Auburn braggart!!!!!!]

You can pack those streamers and sparklers back in the box. Hang up the strap-on keyboard, Mark Richt. Larry Munson won’t be supermanning this week, the only thing he’ll be sticking is the cigar back into his shocked and silenced maw. Put the champaign back in the ice bucket because when your single touchdown comes, Georgia, it will come in the third quarter as the November sky darkens and the game slips away.

You haven’t faced a tough defense this entire season. Oh boy, does Auburn have something in store for you. I can’t wait actually. I’m antsy. Auburn’s going to win it, 31-13.

Yes, I realize that Georgia is playing for the SEC East title and will come into the game fired up. But really … look at this schedule and their games. What have they done this season? They beat a beat-up Tim Tebow.

And last year’s performance by Brandon Cox … I don’t know what you had on him, Georgia, but the Road Warrior will be focused (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m really talking out of my ass here. Forgive me superstitious Auburn fans.) and ready. He’s playing for pride this weekend and you embarrassed him last year. It was ugly then, but great motivational tool now. It won’t happen again. Cox ain’t going out like that!

Exalted Eagle!

War Eagle!

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McSomethin’…. McRibs!

By J. Henderson

My daughter woke up screaming just before Arkansas scored their touchdown. My wife ran back there, my mom too, she was in town with my brother. But she wanted Daddy. It wasn’t the best of timing, of course, but at the same time, as the nitty turned to gritty on TV, I calmly sat back into the couch cushions and held and “War Eagle’d” my little girl with confidence. My Dad called from the game, he was their with my grandfather, nosebleed. I heard the “Soooies” and all that and I smiled inside at the thought of the Hogs soon-breaking hearts ’cause those Hogs were playing dirty. (I especially love Freddie Fairchild’s ironic insta-karma: after slinging Kodi “they’re booing him because he’s from Arkansas” Burns to the turf a mile out of bounds, Fairchild gloats himself into a Arkansas-bred brick wall named Lee Ziemba and falls down himself.)

billings-gets-punched.JPGAnd for that, I knew they’d lose. I also knew that they would lose because they were playing against the Auburn Tigers.

Sure, we were technically losing at that point, and sure, we should have beaten them by three touchdowns and sure, I’m… intrigued… by Tuberville’s post-game comments about his executive decision regarding strategy (… intrigued because it works. I was driving my brother up to Toomer’s and turned the radio up just in time to hear Coach Tuberville say something to the effect of “Yeah, if we’d opened it up a little more, we probably would have won by 14…” I got out of the car, shut the door, looked toward the whitening Corner, back to the radio inside the dark car, then back to the Corner and said, “he just said that didn’t he, how about that…”)

But I still knew we were going to win from the get-go – even cellularly doused with the rabid slobber of Fayetteville’s finest, I knew we were fine. You could feel it in the time of possession, read it in Ben Tate’s body language. tate-stiff-arm.JPGAnd Foot Lauderdale would swig his coffee, kiss his wife and head out the door to Heroes Inc. yet again, like clockwork. Missed two already? I wasn’t worried. Not with that kid. Still, when Dad asked if I wanted to stay on with him through the kick, I said, nah, enough of that, I’ll call you at Toomer’s. And there he goes, kick is up, it’s good, put the baby back down. Night baby, War Eagle.

Byrum again, Cox again, Tuberville again, Borges again, Muschamp for Heisman. War Eagle. I’m so proud of these guys, this team.

We are going to pick LSU apart…. stay tuned.

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Good Moon Rising?

by J. Henderson

Frothy mugs of satisfaction were passed around in our throats and our skin crawled with the moonlight joy of ‘just winning’ and the beauty is that, in the end, we won handedly – the way these sorts of games are supposed to be won, up in the 50s, 55-20 to be exact. And that was a pretty decent team – did you know that early in the second quarter, Auburn had 71 yards to NSMU’s 266? (Thank you, new scoreboard, it does add an extra dimension.) It took until the final minutes of the game for us to catch them.

There were no boos, there were cheers all around and for the first time this season, our children did not have to ask their Dads if Auburn had the ball, they knew it and they could hear it and yelled accordingly. Yes Billy, we had the ball and we finally did something with it. And when New Mexico State had the ball, the one-man We of Jonathan Wilhite took it from them a couple of times, important times.

It was a beautiful, windy night. It did not rain. The moon was everywhere. And I mean, yeah, we all knew – when it was over, and when we racing home for the Bama loss that would swing life even more back into focus, when through the streets and gravel and the cigar smoke and headlights we jumped up and down and “War Eagle’d” from the balconies, yeah, we knew that it was it was just New Mexico State, and that’s almost why it was so New Year’s Eve and everything: it goes back to that ‘religion, purified’ idea. This is Auburn Football 2007 and the joy is in the journey, the joy is in being a fan.

So, I saw things. I saw beautiful throws, dropped balls, caught balls. If Robert Dunn can ever thaw out his hands, he will be a great player, but I say that the dropping of passes – in the numbers, in the hands, it doesn’t seem to matter – is by far our largest offensive tumor.

I saw tough running. I saw Mario Fannin make tacklers wish they played another position and I stayed to see his stat padding sideline scamper. I saw Ben Tate play like a man, I saw Jerraud Powers kill one, several.

[replay of first TD]

I saw New Mexico State turn Brandon Cox’s comeback fumble into a touchdown in one play but during that blinding, 60 second psychotropic nightmare, I heard nary a single boo, no, instead I heard bone-snapping, sinew-raping, personal growth. I saw the coaches put him back him. It was fragrant.

We are by no means great, and have only put a small down payment on being good, but Auburn winked towards Gainesville tonight, did you see it? Probably about the time the lucky, and banged up Gators pulled back into town, did you feel it? A 7pm game? Stars? Aligning? 1994? It would have made much more cosmic sense had Lester been returned to the active fold in time for the Gators, but you know, maybe not – whether or not he has anything directly to do with it, this has been Tuberville’s style… don’t opt for the easy cosmic sense, go double or nothin’, we’ll see that four game suspension and raise you two more, a single player does not patented Auburn Drama ® make. And hopefully, oh so hopefully, Tristan’s toe will be healed and the state of Florida will know Speed – biblically. And maybe the return of Blackmon?

I’ve been predicting it from the beginning and by “it”, I mean a resounding win, but I digress.

Despite the notes from at least one ‘live blog‘ I’ve seen bemoaning a paltry turnout and even questioning the commitment of Auburn fans, Saturday night’s crowd was actually nearly 1,000 people larger than that at last week’s SEC opener against Mississippi State and it felt like it. Had this once-gimme-game – again, against New Mexico State – been the fourth of the shining season we had hoped for, I would almost guarantee you that it would have been several thousand less, even if played in the afternoon. While the nighttime aspect likely added to the atmospheric incentives for a significant portion of folks, the late start also probably kept many at home. And so I therefore think that, after two punch-in-the-gut losses in a row, the numbers – even more so than the “Brandon! Brandon! Brandon!’s” – speak a great deal of good about Auburn fans, and in the wake of the nauseating phenomenon of last week, it was a statement that needed to be made. The number of Auburn fans on-hand in Jordan-Hare Stadium to see the Tigers take on the New Mexico State Aggies at 6pm would not have fit inside the facilities provided for the fans of such teams as Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Miami and Florida State, just to name a few. Do you read that? The biggest home games that Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Miami, Florida State and zillions more have ever played were attended by at least a thousand less people than were spilling it all for the Auburn Tigers last night – against New Mexico State.

It was a good night, a good day, a good sleep, a good Sunday. We’re Auburn.

War Eagle. We have a busy week.

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Boo… who?: Rambling around the redundancy of the term “TRUE FAN”

by J. Henderson

Unless I’m guilty of revisionist recollection, the boos of Auburn fans were once reserved only to express their gut’s rare insistence that a particular coaching order was not in winning’s best interest (the fabled disgruntled wave that landed on Shug’s decision to kick a field-goal in the ’72 Iron Bowl for instance — though he of course knew better — or even the two weeks ago booing of Tuberville for opting to not go for the throat in the final seconds of regulation play), to let the refs know you knew where they lived and that you would not hesitate to write a letter to the NCAA alleging cash-for-calls corruption with their name inked everywhere you could fit it (speaking from experience), and, of course, for Alabama.

You boo the refs for their BS calls and even more for their non-calls. You can boo at most Florida teams at will (Satan’s henchman, all), and obviously you boo LSU (Satan-worshipers), and like I said, you boo start-to-finish blood at Bama. You don’t boo Georgia, unless they’ve done something, like thwart our ’92 comeback by sitting on the ball like girls. Same goes for Tennessee and Mississippi teams and pretty much all others. They were “Tiger Meat, Tiger Meat, Tiger Meat,” not the object of boos. You learn this growing up as an Auburn fan the way you learn to walk, it just happens, you don’t question it.

But these will not be the memories of the Auburn youth of today. Today, every Auburn opponent is booed upon their first appearance on the turf, even in warm-ups, even the dinky teams, the one’s we’re paying a trillion dollars to absorb our blows. There are plenty of reasons for it that I plan to one day document and explore in a huge book, many of which pertain to the increasingly difficult task of properly transmitting to our children the tenets of the inner-Auburn culture that has sustained us as a people, but the quickest explanation is that attention-deficient, knee-jerk booing is apparently, in a stadium setting, the only mode of expression available, or rather developed, by a generation brought up on YouTubed wilding videos.

When, in 1987, Kurt Crain landed on Clay Whitehurst’s life-force, knocking him out, I, as an 8-year-old Auburn man at my first Iron Bowl, vocally enjoyed the prospect that Bama’s Whitehurst might, in fact, be dead. But only for a moment; my father corrected me – “no son, we don’t do that” – and, in the several minutes it took for him to regain consciousness, I learned… and joined the thousands-strong Auburn chorus applauding his survival. That was Auburn football.

Brandon Cox has played the role of Clay Whitehurst (another 5th year senior) to the Kurt Crain of Fate in this, his final season. And in the stands at Saturday’s game there was a disgustingly vocal minority of Auburn “fans” – and you know who you are, I got at least one or two of you to shut-up – acting like less than 8-year-olds and toward their own team, Cox in particular.

That was not Auburn football, and in an on-line announcement issued Monday, AU Dean of Student Affairs Johnny Green called upon students to buck up and shut up.

“As a former Auburn football player, I can tell you first-hand that no one wants to win more than the young men that prepare and give their all on the field each Saturday,” Green said. “A loss is devastating but lessons are learned and you move on. Booing your own team – your own classmates and fellow Auburn students – does nothing toward motivating them to a win. In fact, it is times like these when they need to hear your “War Eagle” cries and cheers of support the most… As the season progresses, please be mindful of the importance of good sportsmanship.”

AU’s Chris Browder dodges one of many cups hurled from Bama student section last year. A bottle hit David Irons in the eye.Amen, of course. However, this sort of thing has nothing to do with with lack of sportsmanship. Lack of sportsmanship is the automatic booing of other teams, which has, in the past few years, increased to an almost-irreversible acceptability. The attempted cup-pelting, however slight and for whatever reasons (it is now being reported that South Florida players actually ran over to taunt the student section, which sheds slight explanation, though doesn’t make it right), by a few students in the immediate wake of the loss to South Florida – that’s lack of sportsmanship, that’s Tuscaloosa.

Booing your own team? One particular player? That is un-Auburn. That is un-American. And even more – it is a betrayal of the categorical imperative. Booing your own team, even one player, is philosophically untenable with college football fandom. Auburn / Auburn Spirit is much more than the sum of it’s parts, but while we all carry a Platonic ember of Auburness deep in our hearts and brain stems from Saturday to Saturday (something more than just an ethereal All-Century team we field in our personal “fired-up” fantasies), the beautiful fact of the matter is that every time you have cheered for “Auburn” at a game or from your couch, you have cheered for an actual, particular and unique assemblage of real people.

Therefore, to not just withdraw support from, but to actively denigrate even a single player by booing him – and especially the most prominent and important of the team’s constituent parts, regardless of how disappointing his performance thus far this season – is to have renounced your right to enjoy his and the team’s future successes (and failures), for you have become, in effect, the enemy, an agent of defeat. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Carl Stewart, quoted in this post by Phillip Marshall, had to say about it:

“I was pretty upset. To be in your home stadium and have your fans boo you, that’s just disheartening.”

To boo is to dishearten. Disheartened teams do not win games. Therefore, to boo is to cheer for defeat.

Here is a piece of choice commentary on the subject:

“If you were not a student and booed Brandon Cox at the game Saturday, I would like to kindly ask you to donate all of your Auburn gear to the Salvation Army, burn your tickets, and never set foot inside Jordan-Hare Stadium again. To have Cox–a guy who for all his struggles has shown time and again he’d give up a kidney to help this program and has been responsible for win after win after win the past two seasons, whether you’d like to pretend said wins fell from the sky or not–booed that loudly in our stadium sickens, disgusts, and above all shames me as an Auburn fan… If you want to boo, you are welcome to do so at home. I would rather have an empty seat telling the team their “fans” don’t care than a full one busy telling them they suck. Just stay the hell away. (And students, I’m aware you’re young, stupid, and drunk, and prone to doing things like booing. Whatever. Just please don’t make a habit of it–you see how quickly it spreads these days.)” — Jerry at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash

(Also, see this from Jay at Track’em Tigers, who was sitting in front of Brandon Cox’s grandparents at the Mississippi State game. And of course Jim Fyffe’s take on the general principle of the matter, written not long before his death, has been making the rounds, and rightfully so.)

Once the shame is wiped from your eyes, this entire episode can also be seen as powerfully indicative of just how used to near-perfection the Auburn Nation at large has become since Holy ’04, the warmth from which is fast dwindling, at least on paper. (Deep down? No, we’re still there, still sweating.)

Still, I really do not know what to make of those that claim – and they do exist – that booing the Auburn quarterback was justified economically… that, since they pay ‘good money’ for tickets, refreshments, and merchandise (might I recommend the $4,000,000 metro-sexual Mike Fink Keelboat collection.), they have a right to demand, with boos, superior product, which is not currently being supplied.

First of all, as self-evidentially and previously indicated, boos simply worsen the situation. Secondly, college ball is not the NFL and that is why you love it, why it is better – for God’s sake, Brandon has already graduated. Roll cliche eyes all you want, he is playing this year for the betterment of Auburn, because he loves it.

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Auburn is not pro-football, Auburn is not some damn, trendy logo team, we are Auburn University, we are Auburn, Alabama, we are the heart’s hail mary, the twice-blocked punts, we are 1989, we are 1993, we are 2004, hell, we are 1950, we are Christ-painted sunsets, we are hope in things unseen, we are Spirit – I kid you not, we are Christmas, and Coca-Cola, we are Tygers burning bright in the Forest of the Night…

… and though Future Boy will likely be under center for much of the rest of the season in Cox’s stead, we are behind Brandon Cox be he winning us the game or costing it…

“[Brandon’s] had a rough go these first couple of games,” said Auburn center Jason Bosley. “Hearing those fans boo Saturday was a killer. That made me so mad. For a guy who has done what he’s done and fought through what he fought through last year to get booed just blew me away. I told him as soon as it happened, ‘Hey, man, don’t listen to that. We’ve got your back. We are riding with you. You’re our quarterback…When Kodi came in, I said ‘It’s your show. Take charge. We’re riding with you.’ When Brandon came in, I said ‘It’s your show. We’re riding with you. Take us down to win the game.'”

So friends, it is time to get your game-soul on, time to decide if you’re a man, then to decide if you’re an Auburn man, an Auburn Tiger, because, Saturday Night, we ride! Tonight Eternal! Glory, Glory… and, duh, do not boo the team.

Exalted Eagle!

War Eagle!

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