Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5 More Reasons Gene Chizik Will Win at Auburn, No. 2: Gene Chizik

Optimism Day!'s No. 2 new reason Gene Chizik will win at Auburn:

Gene Chizik.

Let me explain, because I know that makes no sense. It's not really so much that "Gene Chizik" is the reason that Gene Chizik will win, but that other things aren't going to be the reason he fails. Specifically, nebulous, intangible, not-really-football-related things like "buzz" or "negative atmosphere."

Look, things have sucked lately. That the national media wants to juice its ratings by calling Auburn's administration a bunch of closeted Klansmen sucks. That Auburn fans have been hacking each other and Auburn's leadership to pieces over the Internet--and occasionally driving to the airport to boo--for the better part of two weeks sucks. That every college football fan in America looks at Auburn as the quickest and easiest punchline in the football comedy book at the moment sucks.

But none of that is going to win or lose Auburn any football games. Sure, the race comments will sting a little bit on the recruiting trail, probably, but nowhere near as much as hiring a new, 5-19 coach will. Everything else is temporary, a firestorm that will pass on somewhere else in a few weeks when our natural fan anger burns itself off and the media need something else to honk their car horns about. What's leave behind will be the hard work of building a football program and nothing else.

Blowhards like Mandel who claim that Chizik will fail because he doesn't have "the support of the community"--and who exactly at Auburn isn't supporting him?--never explain how "the support of the community" leads to winning football games. Yes, it would be better if Chizik was thought of as a rising star in the coaching profession. Yes, it would be better if Auburn was portrayed as a shrewdly-managed powerhouse rather than a program enveloped in turmoil and run by the chimps from the Career Builder commercials. Yes, it would be better if potential recruits couldn't log onto messageboards and read WDEEufaula76's prediction that Chizik will be fired after one year and replaced by a homeless guy wearing Pat Dye's pants.

But if Chizik can't get the current Auburn team to stop the bleeding and build some modicum of momentum, if he can't convince recruits that Internet morons like WDEEufula76 (or Jerry Hinnen) don't know what the hell they're talking about, it wouldn't matter if he'd been greeted as the man to bring about the 100-miles-per-gallon car, world peace, and a Talking Heads reunion. He'd fail. At the end of day, it's about Gene Chizik, his players, his staff--but mostly, Gene Chizik. Everything else is a red herring and nothing more.

Note: This picture is borrowed from flickr and is awesomely titled "Gene Chizik is my Homeboy."

No comments: