Tag Archives: Kodi Burns

2007

It’s never going to stop…

… like Brad Lester. Last play. “Look at that run.” I cry every time.

Do it again, Brad. And again. And again. This is it.

But Kodi, 2008 might be yours.

Torch the field. Make a cage of fire from which there is no escape. Light it up. 400 yards. No sliding. Go at them like they have the ball.

If you throw an intecerception, so be it. Chunk it down the field. Make it hurt anyone who touches it. If they pick it, relish it. Run down the field, zero in. Strip the ball from them. Hit them harder than they’ve ever been hit. Stand up, stand over them, and look down and say something horrible.

Kodi Burns Kodi Burns Kodi Burns. Make us remember you.

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2002

The last time we rode into Tuscaloosa on low expectations:

Kodi Burns = Tre Smith. If we don’t win by at least 10, I’ll be disappointed.

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Filed under BEAT BAMA, Iron Bowl 365

Thoughts from the West Texas (and I-20) observatory: Tennessee-Martin

I heard Kenny dip into that neat-o Hollywood butter-style – “Brad Lester gets the hand-off and gets maybe a yard” – and that’s when it hit me.

The last time someone was doing a play-by-play for me over the phone was the Vanderbilt game. I was in east Texas, en route to hand off the fam in Shreveport. Dad was at the Holiday Inn Express watching the second most glorious first quarter of Auburn football this year. He was describing it through the phone and we were feeling good. I got to the hotel. The feeling didn’t last.

“Kenny,” I said, not knowing I was on the phone with the once-voice of the Auburn High School Baby Tigers, a team that ran the table this year and could have given the big boys a run for their money, say the experts, “have you called games before?”

Yeah, it was right around there when it really sank in. I was back in east Texas, I-20, the South slowly reappearing, on my way to retrieve the fam at the same hotel.

A whole month I’d been by myself. A whole month starved of Auburn victory.

It got surreal, man. Everytime I called, Kenny would describe some horrible nightmare. The text messages were flaming barbs of disaster. “This is not good.”

Kenny is good. He made Kodi sound exactly like this picture he took of him.

We held on. We won. War Eagle.

Might I add that my week whatever prediction, which leads into my Amen Corner, etc. prediction, was all but dead on:

We struggle against UT-Martin but eventually win by like, three touchdowns… Bama makes it out of Baton Rouge…

We struggled but eventually won by like, two and half touchdowns (from what I understand we just sat on the ball rather than score the last one) and Bama barely made it out of Baton Rouge…

Next:

We beat Georgia with turnovers… [Bama] pulls a Bama win against Miss. St. with some fluke, but get banged up.

Let’s do it, men. Carpe Diem. Flex. Suck in your gut. And ladies, gather ye rosebuds. Let’s all bow are heads. 11:30. Raycom. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

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Thoughts from the West Texas observatory – Ole Miss

Can’t really remember much of anything. Proud the way we came out in the second half. I think Kodi is improving, despite the interceptions. Here’s how the rest of the season is going to go down, in case you were wondering.

We struggle against UT-Martin but eventually win by like, three touchdowns. We beat Georgia with turnovers. Bama makes it out of Baton Rouge. They pull a Bama win against Miss. St. with some fluke, but get banged up. We go into Tuscaloosa and beat them by 10 or more. Bama loses their last three. They get split in two by Tebow in the SEC championship game and go on to whatever bowl and lose in a squeaker. We go on to whatever bowl and win in a really good game that gets a lot of media coverage for some insane play. ’08 gets pressed into the books as 9-5.

Tuberville – I can’t even believe I’m bringing it up – goes nowhere. I’ll be honest. In the midst of the Franklin trauma, I caught myself in a one second day dream about what it might be like with…

But he’s owned up to it and I think he’s learned from it. Honestly, I think he could have two seasons like this and come back for a third. I think he’s earned it. I love him. Sue me.

Finally, remember the streaking thing? TWER’s most popular post ever? Well, there’s a separate blog for that sort of thing now. Spread the word.

War Eagle.

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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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Thoughts from the West Texas observatory (and Shreveport)- Vandy

It was the first I’d actually watch watched with my Dad in a long time and it was in the lobby of the Shreveport Holiday Inn Express. I didn’t make it in time for the first quarter. Dad went Jim Fyffe for me on the phone. The opening drive, it was glorious. And fun. And powerfully Auburn. Dad was having fun, I was having fun letting him have fun, I was playing Stan White, color-commentating off Dad’s reports, I do good impressions. My wife rolled her eyes, but she was having fun. The glorious kid was having fun. I stepped on the gas. We were back in the technically south, just crossed into Louisiana, humidity, pine trees, hallelujah. Let’s get some food and enjoy this last night together, War Eagle, baby. Then my ear went wet with bile – they stopped us on the one. Wetter still when Foot Lauderdale broke up with me after the Fannin TD. Ominous. Gloominous. We stopped them on the one on their last drive in ’93? They stopped us on the one on our first drive 15 years later? 13 to nothing? Friends, I knew we were in trouble.

You will never find a more optimistic Auburn fan than the me that I am. The glass is half-full when there is no damn glass. The glass has been shattered by my Jericholoosa-tuned trumpet. On my faith alone, the Auburn Guard marcheth into the orgasm of hail-mary immortality.

And so it was with fear that I diagrammed the new feeling that logged into me as Vandy’s final punt was downed on the whatever. And it was with loathing that I named it “doubt.”

I mean, I pushed. I strained. I wanted it. I wanted to believe. But I looked into my Dad’s eyes and they said no. They said ‘are you kidding?’ They said, ‘backed up on our goal line? This team? It’s over.’

He was right. And it seemed, please Lord, help me understand, fated. The mugshot of their backup? He looked like a decent person – the perfect anti-example to Hattiesburg Macaulay, who I knew we’d beat – and I hate playing against decent people.

Before the game, I tried hard to ignore the potential irony of watching it in Shreveport. Knock on wood. Afterward, I was overwhelmed by the irony of my thinking that watching it in Shreveport was ever ironic. Because not even the Petro-Sun would want a team so tragic.

Given the context, the loss – the disease – we saw Saturday night was possibly the most debilitating in recent Auburn history. It was shockingly upsetting. Even in our palsied unsubstantiality, we, Auburn, the eternal Davids of the echoing green, were cast by ESPN as a greedy, corporate Goliath coming to rape and pollute the recovery of poor, populist, once-comatose Vandy. And per Bristol talking points, the Commodores went green on our ass – to the tune of a single extra-point off the uprights. Everyone clapped and signed the petition and felt good about themselves at our expense.

My post-loss habits typically involve a deep breath, a shake of the head, another deep breath, a stretch, and a moving on. Upon the interception, it was head to hands, face down, glasses off. I didn’t feel a lump in my throat but I thought, for the splittest second, I might. It wasn’t because it was a loss. It wasn’t because it was to a lesser team. It wasn’t because it was to Vandy, Saturday night’s bizarro-Auburn… (I mean they threw, they ran, the black quarterback takes himself out of the game for the white hero hurdler to come in and save the day. Freaky)…

It was because, like you, I’d never seen us look so bad.

You can tell I’m struggling here. It’s taken till Wednesday to get around to this. And it’s not very good. I think I could have taken the entire week off, actually. There’s the pain, but there’s also the endless maze of theories and attitudes to process, to approve, and I just don’t have the time. (Chris Shelling Jr.’s is drugs – drugs and Franklin. “He’s just disheveled. Have you seen that hair?” No, I said, he’s just laid back, such a nice guy, I mean, that one time I met him in practice, he so took his time with me, you know? He would have gone to Mellow Mushroom with me or something, you know? Spent the whole day with me. “Yeah, and that day probably would have ended in Meth.”)

Personally, I think that for whatever sad, unintended reasons, it has something very much to do with the scenario divined by the refreshingly unpretentious brain trust behind Smart Football, one already linked into orbit by better and more diligent bloggers than me … (superb, Jerry…)

At least the fallout has dampened the kindling of our quarterback fire – noticeably absent in The Wake, at least to me, at least in the blAUgosphere, is the premature apotheosis of Burns and the Todd-aimed bitching – but our coaches seem to be tapping dysfunction straight from the vein.

Despite Tuberville’s makes-sense insistence that the spread could beat back the pimps of Sabanism come signing day, the offensive woes of 2008 seem almost karmic, a seek-ye-first punishment for what we all (not so) secretly feared to be a season-too-soon bailing on Borges. Meanwhile, nice guy Al roams our nostalgia in Auburn pajamas, probably just as crushed as we are.

My one comfort since the drive back through the martian crags of West Texas has been to isolate and objectiy the pain, philosophic like, for what it is. Doing so brings visions: six points to LSU, one point to Vandy. A touchdown… we’re a touchdown away from 6-0… a touchdown away from 6-0 playing like this. And yet we’re in a new strain of apocalypse… it’s fascinating… it’s 2004.

I’ve got to wind things down.

The Arkansas game promises to be epic in the narrative of the Auburn Oh-Thousands. I hope we destroy them, leave none alive.

May the ravens that feed us in this time of crisis unveil a 7th bloated corpse on the 29th of Novemeber.

2nd Corinthians 12:10.

God be with you. War Eagle. Believe.

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Thom Gossom’s “As I See It” — Tennessee edition

Remember Jason Campbell? Yes! Did you see him this past Sunday handle the Dallas Cowboys, arguably the best team in the NFL? According to the television announcers, Jason, is rapidly becoming one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks. Why? Coaches have gotten him to adjust his throwing motion. Also according to his coaches, Jason is incredibly bright and is a team player. There’s more. According to an analysis by the NFL announcer on the Washington-Dallas game, “When the quarterback has the confidence of the play caller, it’s amazing how well he can perform.”

Flashback a few years to Campbell as an Auburn sophomore and junior quarterback trying to learn the game. The news reports then, were that Campbell was an erratic passer and couldn’t learn the system. Every mistake he made was magnified. Before long he was battling his competition some guy named Daniel Cobb, and his own self-doubts. It didn’t matter that he had a different offensive coordinator each year. The doubts were created by continual punishment and demotions for every mistake and by not giving him the opportunity to work through his mistakes.

Now, flash forward to Kodi Burns, Chris Todd and the Auburn offense of today. Auburn has scored three offensive touchdowns in the last three games. Two of those games, Kodi Burns didn’t even play. One, LSU, was a close loss where perhaps Burns could have made a difference. The offensive woes (one offensive touchdown) continued against Tennessee this past weekend. Because they get paid big money, I’ll use the words of the analysts on the nationally broadcast Auburn-Tennessee game. On several occasions, the announcers pointed out that the offense was not clicking because Todd is not a runner and because he is injured, his arm is not strong.

“He lobs the ball, shotputs it,” one said.

“You can’t lob the ball down the middle,” countered the other.”

The polite criticism went on.

“If he’s hurt why is he in there?”

“Todd is really struggling.”

“Auburn is having trouble running without Burns.”

“You can’t be a little bit in the spread, It’s like being a little bit pregnant. You can’t hide the quarterback.”

“There are murmurs of discontent.”(referring to the crowd).

“To say it (the offense) is a work in progress is a little bit obvious.”

“It won’t work.”

When Kodi Burns was finally inserted into the game, there was a cheer from the Auburn crowd. A short drive, two missed passes and a missed field goal resulted in excitement from the crowd and the team but no points.

Later Burns was again substituted for Todd to the delight of the crowd. However, the three meaningless plays that were called for Burns did not use his ability. The analyst also picked up on this; ”Kodi Burns was very upset when he came out of the game. Burns seemed to say, ‘If you’re gonna let me play quarterback, let me play quarterback.’

With a final chance to prove himself, Burns did just that by throwing on the run to clinch the first down that sealed the victory. It was not a homerun play but it was a game winner and a play Todd could not have made.

When Auburn decided to go to the spread, the excitement among the Auburn faithful was off the charts. With an offense that was advertised as no huddle, speed against the play clock so as to run more plays, wearing down defenses, scoring in the second and fourth quarters, full of trickery, blah, blah, blah.

But, as of Monday morning we’re back to the same old, same old. Todd has been named the starter for Auburn’s next game against Vanderbilt. I have nothing against Chris Todd. I think he’s being put into a no win situation. He’s not playing well. If he’s injured he shouldn’t be starting. And it’s obvious right now to fans and television announcers that he’s playing in front of a guy who is better than he is. The quarterback position was supposedly so close you could flip a coin. But after starting the first game, and getting injured, Burns is now a distant second in the competition.

Auburn has a good team that could be special and exciting. The rock solid defense has proven on every Saturday but one this fall that it can withstand some offensive mistakes and still come out with a victory. That said; why not go with the guy with the most ability. He learns, gets better, becomes a better passer, and maybe the offense lives up to its promise. Makes sense to me.

Is it personal that Kodi Burns does not play more? Go figure.

Thom’s book Walk-On, My Reluctant Journey to Integration at Auburn University, is available in Borders and Walden bookstores, J&M Bookstore and at walkongossom.com

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