Tag Archives: ULM

E-Mailed ULM Review from Chris Shelling, Jr.

I like reviews of last Saturday’s game just before the upcoming game. A reminder of what was and the changes the week has brought. (For example, the minor clamor for Kodi Burns to be named our starting QB in the immediate wake of the ULM game, is now at least (supposed to be) temporarily moot due to a pesky 7″ gash. Chris Todd will be starting against Southern Miss and, as Jerry noted, he might play the whole game!)

[And Leonard Postoties Smart Pill Prediction Time: I say Todd lights it up like Desert Storm. FWIW quote from Lubbockite coworker who fondly remembers Todd from his Texas Tech days: “Man, once Todd starts, that other kid won’t have a chance…”]

This brings me to Chris Shelling, Jr. I’ve mentioned him before. Chris Shelling, Jr. lives, for the time, in Japan. No one knows more about the game of football or the game of life. And he’s only 16, a child prodigy, or wunderkind, if you will. He’s teaching Japanese children English, also convincing them, through the magic of YouTube, that he played / plays (?) for the Auburn Tigers. If I were Japanese, I’d believe him, too.

He’s yet to write an official post for TWER, but he recently gave me permission to steal his lines and quote him without credit (didn’t you?).

Here is a portion of a recent e-mail he sent me following the ULM game. I hesitate to post it for some of the language — afterall, TWER is a family blog. Rather, it’s a blog that family men read, family men that might not hesitatate to click on a British girl in her Auburn-shirt and panties (not because “hey, it’s OK, we’re guys,” but because “hey, it’s OK, it’s Auburn.”) but who might feel bad about patronizing one of these… blogs, they call them… featuring gratuitous eff-bombs. But wait! you say. What the eff, you hypocrite! Ah, but the Thom Gossom story was, obviously, literature. That makes it OK. And I was mostly quoting (as I am here.)

And besides, CSJ is an artist and I respect the hell out of him. I respect his opinion.

Here it is (with only one word omitted, out of pure personal preference, and whatever, none of it’s really bad at all):

i got the espn gameplan online. its hot. hot hot. so after watching the game and the replay (twice) there is no doubt in my mind that a) we will be fine and b) burns needs to be the qb (with cox#2 uh i mean todd getting a few snaps). kodi has the ability to out of nowhere go rembrandt on that ass. did you see the non-touchdown to rod smith. he was running backwards. it was like michael jordan hitting a fadeaway. there were times i couldn’t tell if he was flustered and running because he didn’t know what to do or if he was like, ‘fuck it the recievers can’t catch so ima bust out mah fuck lion.’ either way it was awesome. but we do need to get better. i think we ran about 10 plays all game and showed almost nothing. its the auburn way. quoth the robert dunn:

“I know what plays we can run and what plays the coach could have been running. On the defense the middle of the field was wide open. Anyone could see that. Just throw a post and we score a touchdown every time.

“We really didn’t want to open up the playbook much,” he adds. “We were up. There’s no need to pile it on. You’ve got to have respect for the game. If you’re up 28-0 or 34-0 there’s no need to try to hail mary the ball. Things like that get players hurt. We just kept it basic and simple. I don’t feel like we have any struggles.”

oh and eric smith, neiko thorpe, and pybus looked good. if we can find some super fast midget running back to compliment smith for the next few years we will be tough to defend. hmmm

Family Man warning, turn this down, especialy half way through. And when he says “weak ass” you don’t have to respond.

defense – jamaican fast and… strong. bynes may be better than blackmon. blackmon should be at olb with stevens. johnson and harden can backup everyone. do it willis.

What do y’all think?

***

A quick update: my new and very real, real job is currently keeping it quite difficult for me to post much of anything at the moment. But that’s like, so the bloggers badge of honor, n’est-ce pas? Still, ah, mmmm, so much to write about.

Good news, however, is that I think I can, I think I can, I think I can get the game this weekend. The Buffet Bowl. Watch. Sit. Scream.

War Eagle.

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Thoughts from the West Texas observatory – La. Monroe

Anonymous Flickr Auburn Fan mocks my handicap…

By J. Henderson

I promise I’ll soon shut-up about my expatriate acclimation, but allow me to say that while running out to the new neighborhood grocery store with my young’n just before kickoff to buy the Fritos we forgot earlier at Wal-Mart, and hearing the Texas Tech game (they won big) playing over the intercom, but then having my Dad call, holding the phone up for me to hear the eagle fly, fly, fly, me trying to keep the phone on my shoulder while holding young’n’s hand in the check out line, and then hearing the tinny, apocalyptic “hell, yeah, hell, yeah dun, dun, dun, dun, dun”-style pre-pre-game video as she said “Look Daddy, Auburn colors” to the M&M’s I just poured out for her before we hopped back in the van, well, allow me to say that I almost broke down.

It was all XM last night. The first I saw of anything that happened yesterday on Pat Dye Field was this wee-hour morning, I was the 45th view of Plainsgmail’s YouTubed ESPN 40 sec. highlight clip.

Listen to Holtz gush over Robert Dunn (and James? Jane?) — do you think The Auburner got to him? (They did make this, right?)

And speaking of The Auburner, then I found their highlight video. And it made me very happy.

Amazing, and thank you.

But now, knowing that I only heard, knowing that I wasn’t sweating my way back home through the steamy kudzu shouts of victory up Bragg Ave. after the game (oh mercy), but thousands of miles away in a computer chair, allow me my thoughts on Week One.

I think it says something, a good something, that a first game 34-0 shutout of any team, even (or especially) one bearing the psychic “remember what they did to… what if… ” gravitas of this year’s La. Monroe (though I was the first to predict a loss almost literally impossible because of said gravitas) at first seemed so disappointing, inauspicious even.

However, from my pathetic vantage point I don’t there is as much cause for gloomish alarm regarding the offense as text messages from the front (thank you Russell) made out. I won’t run through the stats and such (but a little something interesting was Rod Bramblett’s comment that by scoring his touchdown, Robert Dunn broke the nation’s longest no-punt-return-for-TD drought, it was our first punt return for a touchdown since 1996, seems almost impossible — and while we’re on the subject of Dunn, though my dreamy “watch for this” regarding a Todd to Smith shuffle pass to the right for a touchdown almost seemed / sounded to come true at some point in the 3rd quarter, I say we go ahead and award Jerry the Leonard Postosties Smart Pill Award for the entire year for his just before kickoff prognostication:

4. Robert Dunn is going to break a punt return this year.

End parentheses)…

Here’s the obvious:

Tony Franklin is obviously to be taken seriously when he waxes strategic on his spread wearing down defenses as we obviously got better in the second half, thanks perhaps to the much improved performance of the offensive line possibly resulting from, as Will notes, and Quentin Riggins reported, a lively exhortation from Tony the Tiger … we obviously should get the ball to Fannin more (guaranteed and instant five yard gain from first point of contact with defender), Ben Tate is obviously awesome, Antonio Coleman will obviously, tragically kill a man before December, and Paul Rhoads should obviously be pleased — his first coached play as Auburn’s defensive coordinator resulted in a touchdown, the first point’s of ’08.

As for the quarterback situation, it’s obviously as I, and most everyone, suspected, and as the handwriting on the wall said all along — total Voltron-style.

I, for one, don’t think this is a bad thing. I never have. Perhaps I don’t know anything, not one thing, but I can’t help but think that as long as (or especially if) Chrodi Torns (or, if you prefer, Khrisodi Burn-Stodd) is fine with it, it’s actually a good thing. I don’t think the purported, and yeah, logical, psychological benefits of lone leaderdom negate the potential for similar benefits / results from a dual-threat tandem. Nor do I buy into the idea, batted around by Q and the gang early in last night’s radio broadcast, that the revolving doorness of it all might be the source of Chrodi Torns’ seemingly stymied grooves. That might fly if Burns and Todd were switching places on every down, but surely not every series — wouldn’t a QB’s specialized biorhythms simply interpret the extra breathers as a sustained drive by the other team or a long CBS-style TV timeout? In fact, as my man Stan White countered, the system, as implemented last night, might theoretically enhance said (said said said) biorhythms, infusing them with the dopamine of competition. Or something. I don’t know. I just don’t think the quarterback rotation had much of anything to do with the early, very ’07-style offensive ineffectuality. I think that’s mistaking a symptom for the cause. I just think that, instead of one first-time-starting quarterbacks struggling in a a season opener, we saw two.

I don’t think that will last long.

My continued hopes however, oh yes, they last, they go on… because if the loitering hurricanes, the new coordinators, and the new offensive system haven’t seemed familiar enough to flood your veins with pangs of the eternal pangs and dreams of ’04, please to enjoy not only Will’s great recap of yesterday (and Jerry’s too! great!), but his included recap of 2004’s season opener against… La. Monroe.

Disclaimer: this is not by any stretch a prediction. But. Four years ago, I wrote this about an Auburn opening against… LAMO:

On the one hand, you’ve got a workmanlike shutout of (let’s face it) one of the worst football teams in the country. To their great credit, Louisiana Monroe’s players didn’t show a lot of give-up on Saturday, but they also didn’t show a whole lot of ability. Auburn substituted all the way into the scout team by the fourth quarter, and the closest LA-MO ever got to scoring was a couple of missed field goals. On the other hand…

Look, it’s obvious that the AU coaches went into this game intending to show future opponents absolutely nothing of use, and it’s safe to say that they succeeded. “Vanilla” doesn’t begin to describe the blandness of the formations and plays displayed on Saturday. Try “tasteless and odorless,” or maybe “invisible.”

… With that understood, there are still worries. Either La-Mo’s defensive line has gotten a lot better since last October (entirely possible; they were big and quick, easily the best-looking athletes as a group that the Indians fielded), or Hugh Nall still has a lot of work to do up front. Run blocking was hit-and-miss (sometimes literally), and pass blocking was downright bad a lot of the time. And don’t get me started on the reappearance of last year’s bugaboo, the dreaded slanting defenders. More than once, a friend sitting nearby said, “It’s a good thing they suck, or we’d be in trouble.”

I would also be remiss if I didn’t admit that Jason Campbell’s play was not encouraging. Whether by habit, design, or just happenstance, Campbell is still locking in on his first guy and not seeing open receivers down the field, he’s throwing behind the receiver too often, and his two turnovers were flat-out awful, the kind of stuff you expect from a freshman, not a fifth-year senior.

Sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?

Now, once again–not a prediction, or anything remotely like it. I’m not expecting, anticipating, or even wildly dreaming about a 2004-ish run for this team. But it’s still comforting, in an odd and nostalgic kind of way, that the best Auburn season in recent history also started against LAMO, and not with a bang, but with a “What the–?”

Now, in other news, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Bama is back.

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The Assassin

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Dreams on the eve

Last year before the Iron Bowl, Chris Shelling Jr. told me he had a dream (he has Iron Bowl dreams every November).

In this dream, he stalked J.P. Wilson on Tuscaloosa’s campus. He followed him to the bathroom after class. He handed him a pillow and told him he should take it with him to Jordan-Hare, even carry it out on the field for Bama’s first play.

“Why,” Wilson asked.
“So you can bite down on it while Quentin Groves is…”

Last night, I had a dream. It didn’t have as silky a narrative as Jr.’s but I want to think that it’s fairly poignant, even if for the mere fact that I dreamed it at all.

It was the first game of the 2008 season. It wasn’t on TV, and being in Texas I couldn’t see it on pay-per-view — only that first game was, somehow, the Iron Bowl. And somehow, somehow, The Corner of Wire Road and Shug (which has really been rockin’ it lately) had some pirated game-tracker that included live video, and so I’m watching and we score in four plays, the touchdown coming on a 30+ yard straight ahead, head down barrel run by Eric Smith! He took it from the quickest shuffle pass ever from Chris Todd who was actually under center, he just pushed it like a bullet over to Smith on his right, and Little Rudie just never slowed down. Watch for this.

I woke myself up with a “War Eagle.”

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Season Preview Game One: Roadtripping the possible impossibility of losing to La-Monroe

Monroe, LA – It was an impromptu reconnaissance mission. It turned into a thought experiment.

It was too dark to stop in Monroe on my way out to Lubbock (I went to find a place to live). Left at 2:30 in the afternoon and drove the 16 hours straight, pulled in at dawn. While there I checked out Texas Tech’s tiny stadium (it looked like the Hoover Met from the interstate, I swear), I queried their fan base (the pre-season attention has them confused, even frightened), I even happened to cruise past someone named Michael Crabtree (Tech’s star receiver, I’m told), on Buddy Holly Ave (my tour guide told me he’d “lost what the game was about” – Crabtree, not Holly). After all, we’ve been picked to meet the Red Raiders in the Sugar Bowl, and we (7th) are making out with them (8th) in the latest Sports Illustrated preview. So gettin’ the scoop on what I guess protocol demands to be my second favorite team, at least temporarily, seemed wise.

But I really wanted to take the opportunity of this gasser of a trip to get a feel for Monroe, for ULM, some scouting, some sleeping with the enemy, really take some notes… which is what I did on the way home. No, I’m lying. There was no scouting. I was there for The Billboard. And you’d better believe that it’s still up, oh it’s up.

The kitchen and wait staff at the Copeland’s at Pecanland Mall Dr. were more than glad to help get me there. They noticed the Auburn hat right off. Even though we’re locking horns in three weeks, it was still very ‘the-enemy-of-my-enemy’ up in there, smiles all around, refills without even asking. It made me think of Chris Shelling Jr.’s preview:

LaMonroe Prediction=sweltering heat, short skirts, auburn wins. Expect some funny t-shirts and possible standing-O for the visitors.

“Just go out this way, take your first right…”

There are actually two of them. I just went to one, the closest one. The sunset was incredible. It was almost too dark to find it. But then. There. It. Was.

Wait! No, that’s not it! Oh hot damn, please tell me that’s Alabama, oh it is, it totally is! They’ve not only gloated over the win a la billboard for almost a whole year, they’re actually using the victory in their promotional campaign for ’08, “Hey Monroe, come out and support youurrrrrr Saban Slayers, first 10,000 kids get a koozie.” Oh man, beautiful.

OK, well hmmm, where is it… wait, there it is, yeah, yeah, pull over.

Ahh. Man, it’s even sexier in person. Here… take one with me, make sure the hat’s in it.

There you have it. Yeah, there was no reconnaissance, would have been fun, but I’m a busy man. But now let’s talk that thought experiment. Alright, now, I promise this is not arrogance, not cockiness… I am no foolhardy braggart… but I just want to ask: recent Iron Bowls excluded, has Auburn ever had (in theory) less of a chance to lose a game than this year’s opener against Monroe?

No. 1) … it’s the first game, the boys are fighting themselves, beating each other up, salivating, throw them some meat, we’re going to be ready.

No. 2) … after nine months in the oven, it’s the first real debut of Spread Eagle, which in just nine days time was effective enough to beat Clemson, the team this year picked to win the ACC (aren’t they?)…

No. 3) and most importantly … we’re going up in this first game with all of Tony’s Toys against a dinky-ish team that not only famously embarrassed Alabama on the field but a team who’s fan base will pay thousands to hoist their schadenfreude high over interstates and thoroughfares and will potentially use photos of their players scoring on faltering Auburn defenders to advertise War Hawk Football ’09. The coaches will surely beat these facts into the players.

So again I ask you: have we ever had more incentive to be up for a cupcake? Discuss.

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30 days…

[by J. Mcdonald]

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Remember the AL-La-Monroe!

It appears, here near the half, though they’re driving — and holy crap, just scored a touchdown, that Colorado is no La-Monroe. Not even close. But we can still have great, related fun at Bama’s expense.

So, good Lord, I hope ULM doesn’t slip up on us next year, for anything close to a proportionate Bama reprisal would be brutal.

In the meantime, bombs away…

These photos were sent to The War Eagle Reader by Monroe, La. resident and devoted commenter “Tiger Fan”… believe he pulls for the bayou variety, but hey, he gets the job done (check out his Cafepress store).

Apparently an Alabama fan broke down en route to Shreveport… directly… under… The Sign.

Guess they sorta speak for themselves…

0061.jpg

007-2.jpg

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Blurry but beautiful…

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