Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Works, lucky numbers-style

You've got to give Tubby some credit. After all, knowing that his Middle East swing was being so closely followed back home and that (with the possible New Jersey wiseguy exception of Weis) none of the other coaches on the tour have anything like his southern Riverboat Gambler charm or penchant for manipulating the spotlight, he could have easily been turning the tour into a Tubby for Awesome campaign. Instead, seems like he's been keeping a fairly low profile, letting the focus stay on the troops, quietly letting his good deed speak for itself, not drawing attention to ...


Kidding aside, the JCCW's take is that Tubby flashing those lucky seven fingers neither deserved to be as overblown a story as some mewling Tide fans (or its national coverage) would have it nor as underblown as, well, Phillip Marshall would like it to be.

Would Tubby have done it if he hadn't been surrounded by the same soldiers whose morale he'd been sent to improve egging him on? Probably not. Did he know the cameras were on him and how it would be received on either side of the state back home? Oh my yes he did. Pretending as some 'Bama fans seem to be that Tubby was just waiting all offseason for the perfect moment to extend those fingers--and by extension, a single, middle finger--in the Tide's direction and saw a flag football game in the desert as his NOW NOW DO IT GO opportunity is silly; pretending Alabama fans should just shrug their shoulders when Auburn's coach essentially predicts a victory over them this fall in a public setting, no matter how unusual, is equally silly. It is a deal, just not a huge one.

Which is why in this case, I'm all for it. I didn't like Tubby's t-shirted approval of "Fear the Thumb" or the Baton Rouge cigar smoking or a handful of other gestures that crossed the line from needling our rivals into outright taunting them, but here Tubby:

a) has the built-in (and legit--even if you're a 'Bama fan, would you have told those soldiers "Sorry, can't help you here, I have to worry about what Paul Finebaum would say," or even want Tubby to?) excuse that he was fulfilling a request

b) was in freaking Iraq, rather than, say, Bryant-Denny

c) was in the middle of a freaking weeklong tour of goodwill for American soldiers

so it's awful hard to see any real criticism from Tide fans and/or the media sticking. He was always going to get a free pass. So as an Auburn fan who couldn't help but say War Eagle, coach when someone forwarded me the video, no, I don't see why he shouldn't have used it.

Anyway, now that that's past, Tubby can get back to his usual off-season routine of prepping for the fall and quietly going about his business without going all Les Miles on us about, say, how good teams from other conferences would fare in the SEC.







Wait, he said what?

Two other links of interest on the topic: as usual, TWER has two sterling responses ("I knew they were ahead of us over there, but I didn’t know it was six months ahead"); Capstone Report has a point when he says Tubby's association with President Bush could hurt recruiting, since he's going to have to work a lot harder now in the fertile recruiting grounds of San Francisco, rural Vermont, and France.

Hey, did you hear Auburn had hired a new offensive coordinator? The general media/fan preference for offensive matters over defensive has been on full display in Auburnworld over the past couple of months, as everybody wants a piece of Tony Franklin and barely a drop of ink has been spilled over Paul Rhoads.

Not that I care; with all due respect to Rhoads, knowing that he's going to have the likes of Sen'Derrick Marks and Antonio Coleman at his disposal, I'm more worried and interested in the OC position (don't call it that) myself. So, hopefully we'll get even more of the kind of quotes we got here and here, my favorite of which is:
I hate having to listen to a coach come in and say 'To get what I want, it's going to take us a couple of years.' Players hear that and go, 'Well, I don't guess I'm a very good player then.' Then they have built-in excuses. And you give your assistant coaches built-in excuses. I don't believe in it. I believe whatever is there is good enough to be successful with.

Great to hear you say that, coach. That's exactly the kind of attitude we Auburn fans like to hear. Do you think you could explain that one more time for us? Because, if you could step over here, we'd like to introduce you to Auburn head men's basektball coach Jeff Lebo ...

What's that? What, this?

That's a wickedly cool chart put together by recently discovered part-time Auburn blog Grotus' Acorn, who uses it here to explain why Tide fans who mow their back lawn into a portrait of the Bear you could only see from space might not be completely insane. It's worth taking a few minutes to read more of Grotus' work even when it's not Auburn related, thanks to prose like this:
I managed to demonstrate exactly NOT what to do, which is:

1. hold the lime in your hand
2. place a gigantic turkey-carving fillet knife against the lime where you wish to make the cut
3. think you're really cool
4. apply downward pressure with your thumb and upward pressure with the machete you've chosen to mutilate produce with
5. half cut your damn thumb off
6. better get sewn up, you chump.

"Better get sewn up, you chump" is now my go-to Mario Kart Wii battle mode smack, and yes, that's supposed to be a compliment. Anyways: read the whole thing.

Credit where it's due. Much as I would like to see the Tide's coachbot caught drinking a quart of oil by Ian Rapoport, subsequently fired, and have the school taken to court for "lifeist" discrimination, I have to admit he and I apparently see the Iron Bowl the same way:
One team doesn't have to be good and the other one be bad ... our game is not rated that highly anymore and it should be rated very highly. It should be the game that everyone wants to watch at the end of the year because it's a great rivalry, there's great tradition and passion and it should be the greatest game in college football. To do that, you have to have two great teams. We have two great schools. We need to have two great teams.

Preach it, brother! I agree. Though I am required by Auburn Blogging law to point out first that one team of the two has been much closer to greatness in recent years than the other (not that Saban would disagree, I'm sure) and that the ellipsis above contains the following piece of wisdom:
This is what I believe for this state. I believe we should be one and they should be one, and another one should be two and us have a great game.

Um ... what? (FWIW there's yet more Franklin in that same article.)

Etc. A Lifetime of Defeats finds an Auburn T that might be worth $42 ... SMQ's patented sidebar reveals how staggeringly long Tennessee's SEC title drought has really been ... 3rd Saturday in Blogtober takes the webcam revelation to its logical endpoint (and writes some quality limericks) ... Jay G. Tate accurately takes Athlon's Auburn preview down a peg ... apparently, the real winner at Victoryland was Auburn basketball ... UAB unveils "something for everyone in the local community to be proud of" ... and if there are any Hawks fans out there, know that Joe Johnson puts just as much effort into destroying the ozone layer as he does opposing defenses.

Lastly: The following video (HT: BS's Jeff Bull) is not recommended for those at work, the elderly, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, or anyone, in fact, who is not an eight-year-old boy or possesses the sense of humor of one:

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