Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:41 am

VINDICATION and lessons learned

I have learned it is very simple to be a hater; very hard to be a fan.

It takes a little more help to be an effective hater, but here's the rules. For the one person who might read this who is not me, let me know if I missed something.

1. Hold on to some loose fact about the team you're hating on like a starving dog holding on to a piece of meat.
2. If some positive fact comes out about the team you hate? Deny the fact or immediately slant the positivity. Bonus points if you direct it back to point 1.
3. If the team is vindicated of wrongdoing, hold on to the fact that the team got away with it and the truth is still out there to be found.
4. Make sure you get as many ugly and hateful comments out about the team and fans along the way.

and this one is MEGA important:

5. Immediately accuse the team's fanbase (that you hate on) of being delusional and wearing homer glasses. At all times you MUST do this.

About 13 months went by of this whole Auburn ordeal. After the Cecil Newton admission that he worked with some yahoos from Miss State about possibly receiving money for Cam to attend Miss State there wasn't anything even close to an actual fact presented.

I can tell you as an Auburn fan I was nervous at first. Very nervous. Then I was angry. I have never seen a college athlete drug through the dirt like Cam Newton was. And the phrase 'pay for play' was brought up as if this were all of a sudden a new, fresh concept within college football. It was a stunning process.

As time went on I grew calloused to the whole thing. Then more at ease. I kept waiting on some hard fact to come out that would sink Auburn or Newton and nothing came. Simply more innuendo and generated smoke, not from the event itself but from people desparately trying to fan something out of nothing.

The last gasp would be the Chizik 'confrontation' when the NCAA lady famously said, "The investigation isn't over yet." People cackled with glee...that's right Auburn! It's not over yet!

Well, it's over now. You know it's been on my mind, could you stand right here, look me straight in the eye and say...that's it's over now. (Alice in Chains, anyone?)

All that's left is the rejoicing and the haters. I know what side I'm on. Heck, I could have told you that all along.

If you are a hater, consider letting it go. I know that might be crazy talk but maybe one day you can put down your pitchfork and join society again. If not, hold on to that hate. I hope it keeps you warm at night.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 31, 2011 4:26 pm

Random Sports Thought

You know how in sports there are times where someone other than the big teams get to the finals? Let's take last year's world series, which pitted two first time dancers to the World Series: San Francisco and Texas. The ratings for that series were among the lowest ever. So almost immediately what the sports heads say is: well, if you're a fan of that team then you aren't showing it because you aren't watching.


The reason the ratings are so low would be because the major markets of LA, NY, and Boston all have teams who didn't make they stop watching. Seems kinda obvious, but then again I just thought of it and I also never hear anyone mention it so maybe it's not.
Category: General
Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:39 am

What people don't get

I was at a bar with some friends when Alabama won the title back in early 2010. I didn't want them to win. I rolled my eyes when McCoy went out; the game was over before it really even started. Quick aside: that isn't Bama's fault at all that McCoy got play to win. It's not like you have to lay down because the other teams' main guy falls. In fact, you put the foot on the throat even harder.

I wasn't happy that Bama won. I actually thought that the previous year, when Bama started off 12-0, that I couldn't take Alabama winning another title while Auburn was mired in a season of sucktitude. I was wrong about that. Alabama won and that's that.

If anything, the question I had was how in the world had Nick Saban only been there 3 years and had just 2 players from his original roster. But guess what? While he made have diced and shredded the team to get it to the championship to my knowledge he did nothing illegal. My whole point to this is Alabama won the title fair and square. I do not have to like Alabama to acknowledge that.

That's why the vitriol over the Auburn thing still floors me.

What people don't get is that the season was a total shock for any Auburn fan. I don't think you could find an Auburn fan who was expecting to win a national title at the start of last year. We started some JUCO kid who didn't look quite as good as Barrett Trotter did in the Spring game. We watched this guy put on some dance moves and rushed for a ton of yards against nobody state (our first game)...

I went to 4 of Auburn's home games and all of them were thrillers. Clemson (who was sooo close to beating us), Arkansas, LSU (the loudest I have ever heard a stadium), and Georgia. I went to the Iron Bowl and watched the biggest comeback in that illustrious game's history. All the while Auburn fans were buzzing like bees. "Can you believe this season?" I had to make a decision at the start of November, at the height of the Cam Newton media frenzy, about whether I was going to drop coin on a BCS championship package. I had faith and went for it. Then Auburn beat Georgia and Bama... this time the reality that Auburn might go to the title game was real...there was no question about where we were going to be in the polls: if we beat South Carolina we were going to the title. That game was tense...up until the Newton to Adams hail Mary for a TD to end the half. When Spurrier was shown on the sideline shaking his head as if to say, "There's nothing I can do" (this after a pick six from Garcia), the game was over. I ordered airplane tickets not more than 30 minutes after the game ended.

What people don't get is that Auburn fans outnumbered Oregon fans 70-30 at that game. It was a family reunion. Alum from old and new were there. People were so happy that the Tigers were getting a shot to play for the title after many in our nation felt we were wrongfully denied in 2004. By the time game time was ready to start it just felt surreal. I still could not believe that Auburn made it here. Not after all of the heart attack games. Not after Cam-gate. No way we're here. Don't we normally falter in these situations?

What people don't get is that I saw friends at that game who I haven't seen in years. When the game started someone had the idea of letting a bald eagle circle around IN THE STADIUM as a tribute to something or the other. Auburn fans, right on cue shouted "WARRRRRRRR....." and then the eagle landed on a giant American Flag.... "EAGLE! HEY!" There had to be an Auburn guy on the planning committee...

What people don't get is, when Mike Dyer made that ridiculous run to get us to around the 15, then broke off another run that appeared to score that Auburn fans were unhinged...we had an 8 point lead and Newton get stripped from behind (!) This never happened in any other game, it seemed! We found out later that he had a back injury, Oregon got some good pops on him. We gave up a TD and a 2 point conversion to tie the game. But we never doubted we would win. Why would we? The game was tied with about 3 minutes to go...we've been down 24 points...what's driving the length of the field gonna do to phase us at this point, right? (gulp).

What people don't get is when Byrum kicked the field goal to win it, many Auburn fans shed real tears. Alabama wins championships. Auburn never does, right? We're 'little brother'. We're the school where no one knows what state we're in...this does NOT happen to us! But it did. People were shouting WAR EAGLE everywhere all the way out of the stadium. I probably watch the same SportsCenter highlights about 5 times. I could watch it 50 more.

And after the game and for the entire offseason we now have to hear how we cheated to get what we got.

What people don't get is...they would never want for their team to win and not receive the respect they deserve from that. I don't see why people don't get that. It's very, very simple.

To talk about hammers dropping and all of that like it's simply ordained to happen? I would never wish that on another school.

But if people don't get that I will defend my school from those attacks? That's their problem. I'm fighting for a season that I would never want cheapened in any way.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:44 am

The truth

I've heard a quote, and since I'm way too lazy to google it (and really, that is good and dang lazy) I'll paraphrase: People are inherently lazy. If you tell someone something that is a fact and sound authoritative enough people will buy that explanation and accept it as truth.

For instance, if you're a high profile college football coach and you wear a sweater vest and profess your faith in Christianity you might be able to speak and have any word you say about football and the way it operates as true. Especially to those who don't have a normal day to day job in football. Too obvious to talk about Ohio State?

How about something more down to earth? A military guy can use a bunch of acronyms and talk about something they generally know nothing about. To a civilian that person may seem like the most credible person in the room. As a guy in the military people I know have inferred that I have been trained to fight; that I have been taught map-reading skills, that I have knowledge on how to operate aircraft, etc. It's funny...if I actually did have training on all of that how would I have time to actually do anything other than train? I digress.

As it relates to sports, what I am talking about is that the media is the lay person's source for information. More specifically as an Auburn fan I have seen the media constantly take second hand information and spin it as 'breaking news' or 'fact' when it takes only a modicum of thought to see that the story was very hastily put together. But as soon as this news hits the masses and it's reported by media the word is taken as true.

It is an awesome responsibility to have and I wish that more members of the media took it seriously. Nowadays members of the media seem more interested in getting that insta scoop or promoting hit rates rather than tell the truth. Salaciousness rather than substance.

It's not likely to change. That doesn't make it right.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:59 pm

LeBron James

It might be my nature. But I seem to have this thing for rooting for the underdog.

But not in the way you might think. I normally think of an underdog as someone who is the 'lesser' team playing the 'favored' team. In this case I'm talking about the famous athlete who is viewed negatively by the media for whatever reason.

Case in point: Terrell Owens. Many people think that the guy is a straight up cancer. Nothing can come good of your team if you pick this guy up. By all accounts no one has heard of Owens even picking up a traffic ticket and as chiseled as the guy is you have never heard of a steroid accusation. He's called a cancer while guys who have been in jail, guys who have been accused of heinous crimes, guys who womanize and beat women are called team players. Forgive me if I don't see TO as a cancer as opposed to someone who really wants to win while simulataneously not knowing how to shut the eff up. I think there's a difference. Teams like McNabb's Eagles don't get divided unless you have weak leadership. While I'm thinking about it, remember when Dennis Rodman played for the Spurs and he was a cancer? I love David Robinson but he was not a strong enough leader. Next year Rodman goes to the Bulls and they win a title. Because Jordan would have murdered him. Rodman by all account was a lovable nut; doing crazy things like cross dressing and partying but I don't remember him being in and out of jail at the time. Long point being in the case of TO I think his image has been blown to hell by a hungry media more than anything he actually did. That he keeps landing on teams with poor leaders does not help. Let him play for the Patriots and just like Moss, he'll play ball until he opens his mouth too much. Then he'd be gone. Back to James.

People HATE this guy. I don't. I root for him. Why? It could be as simple as because everyone seems to hate him.

It's also because for a guy who has been given dang near everything you have not ever heard of him getting in trouble. LeBron (and I hope this continues) has not been caught drunk driving or beating women. He has not been partying all night and making it rain. And if he had you know the media would have been all over it.

This is a guy who took less money to play for a better team. This is a dumb thing?

I think the worst I keep hearing is that instead of trying to beat a rival he joined them. Um, LeBron's main rival in the years leading up to 'The Decision' was BOSTON. It was not Miami. It was not D-Wade. I don't get this line of reasoning at all. This Boston team took the best star from Seattle and Minnesota and made a mega team who united under 'Ubuntu'. Won a title the first year they merged powers. I don't remember anyone telling them they shouldn't be taking a shortcut.

If I could erase anything it would be 'The Decision' for LeBron. But how many people can say on their worst day they gave tons of money to help kids get to college?

I totally got Cleveland fans anger even if I was never on board for it. Gilbert led probably the most hate filled diatribe I've ever seen an owner direct to a player. Fans followed suit. But they more than anyone had to know there was a good possibility this was gonna happen. I digress again. I get Clevelans fans anger but after a while it got old. By the time the 'Cavs for Mavs' came out it was outright pandering to LeBron James again, even if they didn't know there were doing it. You either show someone intense passion in pure love or pure hate.

Take away the decision and the time it took James to make his mind up and maybe he wouldn't be the villian he is today. Maybe it was buiding toward that all along. Maybe James needed to be hated to appreciate what he has.

I know I didn't do a good job in explaining my case about James but I just won't be one to add on to the hate train. Lord knows there's enough on that bandwagon. So I'll root for him instead to find his place on his new team and become the player we all feel he should be. He's not there yet. And in a way that's truly the scariest thing of them all.

LeBron James can get better. For him and the Heat to win a title he must get better.

Maybe if this happens people will forgive and forget.

Until the next time.
Category: NBA
Tags: LeBron James
Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:39 pm

Like it or not, Auburn....

...should join LSU as being 2-time BCS champs.

By the way, I'm still strong on my stance. I don't take pleasure in USC being stripped of their title. In all honesty, I think it's an overly dramatic, caught up in the now kind of thing that says if you make a mistake we must destroy you the utmost in every way possible. Did Reggie Bush do some against the NCAA stuff? Yeah. Did Pete Caroll know about it? Probably. Should they be stripped of the title? Eh. Seriously, eh. The team did have Leinart and White. The team did lose Mike Williams before the season because of the NCAA and still steamrolled damn near everybody. Bush was electrifying and you could probably argue that USC STILL could have won a championship without him. They were GOOD.


Since the BCS did decide to strip USC of their title it should fall to undefeated Auburn as a result. Am I homering? No way in hell that I, as an Auburn fan, can say that I'm not homering. But hear me out.

The result of the Orange Bowl is wiped but Oklahoma is still counted with a loss. Oklahoma got whipped so soundly by the team which can no longer be named that the BCS saw fit to drop Oklahoma to number THREE. Behind 13-0 Auburn, who beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl 16-13.

The BCS powers that be are intentionally muddying the waters when they say that 'we can't go back to play another game' or 'we can't speculate who would have been in the championship if USC is out of the picture'. Sorry. This is a beauty contest. Auburn finished second. USC had to step down because years ago they took nude photos and we just found out about it. The crown goes to runner-up.

It seems that the BCS is almost saying that 'we want to punish USC' but not 'we want to piss off USC'. They're already pissed.

Guess what? Fans of the 2004 Auburn team, not to mention the team itself (duh), were pissed too. We were denied the opportunity to play in a game we felt we belonged. And as years went by it was simply a footnote in history that the Tigers of '04 were a great team that chose to be great at the wrong time.

History has now been revised however. The story should have a happy ending for Auburn. 2 time BCS champs.
Posted on: May 31, 2011 10:40 am

Ohio State situation

This isn't good for Ohio State and you have to wonder how did it all go wrong so quickly.

Jim Tressel resigning really was a 'duh' moment. At some point anyone with common sense could tell you it was coming, despite the protests of many an angry Ohio State poster. But then again I saw many more that were talking about who Ohio State could or would hire after Tressel was forced out (or resigned, or however you want to put it).

But it's crazy to me how something so seemingly innocuous turned into something so ugly so fast.

I'm not happy about this. Ever since this Auburn stuff came out some months ago I've had a change of perspective when it comes to other teams' programs getting slammed. Granted, Auburn hasn't been slammed but the scrutiny of it all is the worst. I hope.

I don't ever remember being happy about a team getting slammed. If anything, it seems to be something that a bottom feeder fan would harp on. My team can't beat yours on the field so I'm gonna cheer that the NCAA kicked you in the shorts. Or, I hate your team so much that I cheer for every downfall your team has. Both are kinda pathetic. Which is to say, if you're an Ohio State rival and you get overwhelming joy from this...more power to you, I guess. But isn't it better to beat 'em on the field? It's the same question I wanted to ask Alabama fans this past season. Before the Iron Bowl this year, I attended the game, Alabama fans were crowing about how they were going to ruin Auburn's chances to win it all. During the first half there was much celebration from Tide fans. But once the game was over I started hearing how Auburn was gonna get sent to conference USA after the NCAA slams us. More power to them, I guess.

But back to Ohio State. You look back and just feel that had Tressel acknowledged this small trespass things would have been over and done. Admit that there was a small fray in the red and gray carpet and the NCAA would have ignored the rotting corpse that was apparently underneath the carpet. But now it's all hit the fan.

I'm not trying to trash Tressel but people seem to be going out of their way to say how this doesn't tarnish his legacy. That would be great if he literally made one mistake; one trespass. But as this goes on it's pretty apparent that Tressel did not just make one omission; the cover up has been going on for quite some time. It wasn't just the tattoo five. It's the tattoo twenty-five. Or more!

There is nothing wrong with having someone seen as a 'man of integrity'. Or that 'man of integrity' getting the benefit of the doubt when his integrity is first called into question. But once it is revealed that something truly has gone awry the time for apology is over. The 'man of integrity' is just a man. And all men are accountable for their actions.

I don't think Tressel is done paying for what he's done. And in the end I don't think that Ohio State fans will necessarily keep him on the pedestal where he currently resides. The foundation of that pedestal is seriously eroded. The damage is not quite over, either.

What a mess.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Ohio State
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:11 am

Connect the Dots

As an Auburn guy I've heard the following paraphrased statement a bunch of times:

"Yeah, Auburn won the national championship. Better enjoy it because it's gonna be taken away in about five years hahahaha.."

OMG. That's so hilarious! Wait, I'm an Auburn fan. It's not really that funny to me.

I guess what I don't get is that the people that say this are very, very lousy at playing a game of connect the dots.

Surely I'm not so old that by saying 'connect the dots' I'm dating myself. I bet if it were an IPad app you'd have people connecting the dots all over the dang place, acting like it's this new, hot thing. I digress. For those who aren't in the know...or over 30 (ahem)...connect the dots is a game where you start at '1' or 'start' and draw a straight line from the beginning to the next number. 1 to 2 to 3 and so forth. At the end your drawing has created some sort of picture.

If Auburn were to be stripped of a national title that would mean the NCAA has gone from 'start' to 'end'...and Auburn is somewhere closer to 'end' than 'start'. What's in between 'start' and '(whatever the heck number 'Auburn' would be in this scenario)'?

Well, at a minimum, Mississippi State University. I'm not going to bore anybody here, but Rogers and Bond and blah blah...this is where the pay for play stuff started. Presumably. Wouldn't questions have to be asked about the recruitment of Cam Newton at Miss State? Wouldn't Miss State have to face sanctions first, since this is where things started?

Wait. Cam Newton didn't start playing at Auburn. Or Miss State. He started at Florida. Now, Cecil Newton made a comment about 'not gonna be free this time' or blah blah...but if we're gonna be thorough we'd have to start from when Newton was first recruited right? No? Yes? Cheese?

My point is this: if Auburn does go down, and the NCAA has to explain WHY Auburn went might be a lot more than Auburn that goes down. If you're gonna assume AU is gonna lose the BCS title and chuckle to yourself, acknowledge that nothing happens in a vaccum. Connect the dots, if there are any to connect. In order to do that you can't simply start at 'Auburn'. Start at the beginning. Get the entire picture. And that picture, if any part of it is true, would be very, very ugly for a lot of schools. At a minimum, this connects Miss State and Auburn.

Or conclude that maybe the whole picture you were looking at was one of those magic eye images that reveal there wasn't anything to see in the first place but Auburn holding the title for 2010. And the only people that wishes that a team that wins a title and loses it to NCAA sanctions are kinda pathetic.

Category: NCAAF
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