Tag Archives: Pat Dye’s Pants

The Cask of Spirito Della Tigre

By J.M. Comer

My mind swims and wallows in a dank pit, Dearest Reader. It wanders as the darkest day of the year, Dec. 21, the first day of winter approaches. Last night, I sat in my warm library with my two dogs hundreds of miles from the Plains of Auburn. My Edgar Allen Poe collection of short stories and poems was in my lap and my mind drifted to a place between sleep and waking …


The thousand injuries of Optimisme I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon the last insult I vowed revenge.

I spied him from the shadows as he staggered down the street, drunk from enthusiasm, after the Chizik celebration.

His knitted winter hat was forced to the back of his head with a single festive bell, and the beads of a New Orleans festival both orange and blue hung from his neck. His dress shirt was emblazoned with the symbol of my Tigers, his Tigers, our Tigers.

M. Optimisme was an older man of wide girth, a man of privilege. His head shook from laughter as he swayed to and fro along the cobblestone streets.

His hat bell jingled. The holiday celebrations had come early for him. He placed his hand on a lamppost to steady himself and leaned back to take in the night air, bathing in the artificial light. His laughter boomed through the empty streets. It sickened me to hear it.

But I approached him with a cautious creep, my hand coming from the gloom to rest on his wide shoulder.

He started, spun around and exclaimed, “By Dye’s pants! Young Comer! Ha ha! What a fright! Why do you hide in the shadows? Tonight is a rebirth! A celebration!”

His breath reeked of meat, heavy cream and wine. My old friend had filled himself this evening at the celebration.

“Why, I did not see you there at the coronation,” Optimisme said. His large finger poked hard at my chest; his squinted eyes peered at mine.

I coughed. “I did not feel like a celebration was in order, my dear Optimisme. These are times for reflection.”

“Bah,” he cried, swiping his hand in the air, clearing invisible cobwebs of doubt. “You think too much my dear Matthew. You still mourn? Chizik is one of ours. He’s home again!”

I chuckled, falsely, and glanced sideways at this old man. His teeth looked worn and yellowed. Behind them, his fat tongue lolled with the pleasure of his words.


He had a weak point — this Optimisme — although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine.

“I’ve been searching for you my friend,” I said with false cheer. “I have procured a cask of what passes to be 2004 Spirito Della Tigre, but I have my doubts.”

The man’s eyes rolled lazily behind heavy shut lids, but quickly snapped wide. “You jest! Impossible! 2004? A good year, but I am not a fan of the House of Tuberville’s methods.”

“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Spirito Della Tigre!”

“I have my doubts, it is a 2004.”

Again he cried, “Spirito Della Tigre!”

“I fear that such a year will not come again,” I said, placing his arm in mine. “A dear friend of mine, M. Henderson, is a fan of the House of Tuberville’s 2005 Sacco di Croyle Numero 11. He thinks it is superior.”

“He is foolish,” exclaimed old, tired Optimisme. “I frown upon anything after 1988.”

At his last accusation, my teeth clinched behind my lips.

He spat, “I have lived long … I have drank deep. For me, the 2004 had a slight aftertaste … it is bitter to me. But then … I didn’t drink my fill. We must go to your vaults.”

I patted his soft back, saying, “Now is a wonderful time to savor the 2004 again, but I must warn you, dear Optimisme, the cask lies deep within, near the catacombs. I couldn’t possibly ask you to venture there.”


… ah, Dearest Reader … I’m awake and back in Poe’s Baltimore and the year 2008 draws to a close. I’m sure to brick up dear old Optimisme in the dark vault with these words, that hopefully I’ll eat some day. I’ll eat them with glee and you can watch … if they prove to be unfounded.

(To see how the rest of the story turns out, please click here.)

But dear God, the football program of Auburn University: I’ve never been associated and loved anything that can make so many stupid, expensive, embarrassing mistakes in so short a time. And then it repeats them a few years later.

We’ll never know what really goes on behind the scenes. But I’m just sick of the croynism, men looking out for themselves, their money and their friends instead of what is best for Auburn.

But I do know this: Gene Chizik was not the best coach available or the best fit for Auburn; he was the only coach available that made the old, white men comfortable. He said what they wanted to hear and gave them the hope to relive an era that is dead. I can guarantee that the “Society of the Black Book” is about to make a comeback. Big time.

These same cronies pushed, prodded and questioned the best coach I’ll probably ever see at the helm of our university, Coach Tommy Tuberville. He’d had enough and left.

The Auburn football program has been left in a terrible position from a power struggle and ineptitude.

I hope this is the last hurrah of the idiots. The last gasp behind the brick wall.

But it is disheartening that this is all happening once again to Auburn, an institute of learning that never seems to learn.

We’ll make it through this. We always do. War Eagle. We’ll all be there for you Tigers. Give ’em hell in 2009.

But for now, it feels like we’re all hanging in a place between the wreckage and the promise.

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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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Loveliest Village de la Llano Estacado

It’s a big deal for me. Got a real job. Moving to Texas. West Texas. Intense.

Just as intense is what I’m having to sacrifice for that job. Not only my home, my Auburn throne, but media credentials. A press pass. Every Auburn home game. Don’t ask how. True story. Finally happened. In the box. Free food. Scarbinsky. Rubbing elbows. High fives with Housel. On the sidelines. Sweaty stares from Yoxall.

In fact, I could be at Media Days right now if I wanted, name tag and everything, Diet Cokes, blogging between-the-line prognostications of what shall unfold (I’m telling you, God love Burns, God love Todd, Tristan, Tray, Coleman, Ziemba, Byrum, Tate, Lester, God love’em all — but the secret, season-hinging ninja of 2008 will be Mario Fannin, just watch, just feel, he can’t run up the middle much because of the shoulders, but spread him out and feed him a mushroom), and blogging about all the bloggers and then heading over to Diamond Jims, that place still there?

But just as I achieve almost-tucked-in respectability, just as I catch my breath, just as I right myself in order to take in the finish-line view atop this Everest of (detrimental? genius?) Auburn obsession, the Lord, with a gust of His mighty wind, whisks me to the treeless board game of Red Raider land.

“mike leach. mike leeeeeeeeeachhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. the bell ringer. pirates. sharks. mike leach.”

ESPN’s Mack Schlabach actually predicted T. Tech to meet in the Sugar Bowl, which will be hard because we’ll be in the Orange Bowl. We’ll still beat them though.

This will be a strange, new world for me, not just geographically, but in the heart. Discounting away games, I’ve never been a fan on foreign shores, I’ve never lived more than two hours away from the front (what’s it like, y’all?). I’ve been in echo distance of Jordan-Hare for the past 11 years of my life — I basically walk to the games from my house — and soon it’ll be more than 1,000 miles, a fact which will be rendered utterly, utterly poignant by season’s end, as I’m sure we’ll win it all (four years from ’04, feels right).

Hopefully, The War Eagle Reader can keep things happening. Maybe my new circumstances will give birth to an actual, sustainable theme to this blog; let’s not kid ourselves, it’s been a schizoid first year… if I had it to do over again, I’d really try to craft my natural, this-guy’s-got-problems-but-I-like-it embed persona, the place you’d come not for the stats and stuff, but the Tristan Davis sightings, the smells of Haley Center, the tailgate romance, the Kroger aisle electricity, the 30 mph twilight Bragg Ave. boob flashings from the back of pickups after we’ve beaten LSU. Looking back, that kinda seems like what I was going for in my bizarre first real, real post, after last year’s Kansas State game:

The frat houses and dorms soak not with the anticipated musk of conquest, but rather the quiet mocha of relief. The kids wake up with tender smiles and cuddle. Swig not the Budweiser dregs for breakfast this Sunday, my friends, rather brunch together with wholesome grains and warm cheeses, share with one another and laugh nervously, but proudly, and press on in the faith, for next week will likely be more of the same, and we need our strength. We need each other.

Yes, thank you, Lord, for Auburn football.

Maybe J.M. will continue to rock the Toomer’s Rumors and Boomers category the way it was supposed to be rocked, and rock other things… maybe I’ll still post random pictures from Auburn’s 1970s… maybe I can finally convince Chris Shelling Jr. to recap the games, recap them with purity and wisdom, all the way from the Empire of the Sun. Maybe I can monetize this sucker and buy my family back to God’s country. I don’t see why it all can’t happen — such is the power and beauty of the internet: Toomer’s Corner web cams, the blAUgosphere, 2008.

But it could stop, I guess. Schedules and stuff. We’ll see what happens. Until then, War Eagle, War Eagle forever.

Wait, I almost forgot. There is the matter of The Pants. Who is going to take up the slacks, as it were, in my stead? Jerry, if you’re still coming down, it might totally have to be you – that would totally prove the sorta southern dedication to the game you’ve been claiming to those Michigan “football” fan friends of yours.

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There are blog friends…

… and then there are blog friends.

Yesterday, as The War Eagle Reader slipped quietly over 100,000 hits, Jerry Hinnen, proprietor of The Joe Cribbs Car Wash, blessed us with $20.00, our very first donation toward the must-win procurement of Pat Dye’s pants.

God only knows what The Sacred Trou will eventually fetch (from us!), but we are now just $80 away from “the red zone” of The Blue Jeans Ball.

As much as I would want to horde them for / glue them on myself, I would be more than willing to make The Pants a time-share heirloom among the blAUgosphere and the brethren at large: if every Auburn blogger, and every interested (Auburn) person, could find in it his heart to give as Jerry gave, we will wear The Pants.

Thanks, Jerry – you’re the pants.

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More Pants

I knew it’d hit the blogs pretty hard, and it did. But a non-AP version (yes, t’was picked up, just like the pants themselves, it’s all over the place) of the Pat Dye’s pants story actually made this morning’s Los Angeles Times.

And they say no one cares about Auburn football out there!

By the way — zero contributions so far. And only one comment! That is so not the pants!

But what is so the pants is Mike Dubberly’s impression of Dye, and yet I can’t imagine a Birmingham news station ever doing something like this with a former Bama coach.

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Pat Dye’s Pants

This is the greatest thing I’ve ever read. Read it and then come back. Total tip of the everything to The Corner of Wire Road and Shug.

OK — here is the plan. See that button way down on the right? The donate button? The S.O.A.R. thing? Click on it. We are going to buy Pat Dye’s pants. And then I am going to wear them.

Seriously, people. Let’s do this. I don’t address you with this sort of bloggish hipster hyuck-hyuck very much. But now is the time for action. Thank God that woman didn’t immediately recognize the significance of her treasure, I mean, for her sake. If it’d been me, and I’m down there with the Christmas Tree skeletons and the killer catfish tracks, and I spot some buried plaid in the mud and reach down to pull up some golf pants and feel around and whoa, oh man, actually find a wallet, and then I open that wallet to see the Glorious Face of Dye staring back at me from a pre-hologram Alabama drivers license, I would have absolutely FAINted from delight. And then the water would have come back and then “we” would be linking to an entirely different story — “Bloated Man-Corpse Found Smiling in Stillwaters Drought Bog clutching Pat Dye’s ’80s pants.” I’d be on EDSBS! And Greta!

But seriously — help S.upport real O.riginal A.uburn R.esearch: HELP ME BUY PAT DYE’S PANTS! Or maybe the blAUgosphere could take a time-share trophy approach: we start our own awards called The Pants and trade the pants from mantle to mantle. Or maybe something like that whole Flat Stanley thing and we swap them back and forth and document their travels and effect on our lives and on the outcome of games at which they are worn / present. We have until Sept. 19. Spread the word! Do I hear a dollar?

UPDATE: Yowzers, I’m gonna need $100 just to get in the red zone. Still… totally doable… as a team. And a Jimmy Buffet cover band is going to be there!

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