I'm sure these (oh-so-Photoshopped) designs are complete rip-offs of some famous Canadian NHL team I'm not recognizing, and I could probably do with numbers instead of the logo on the sleeves of the white jersey ... but still, damn, would I pay a substantial amount of money for an Auburn hockey jersey that looked like either one of these. (Colors adjusted to the proper hue on the second, of course.) We should find a way to get the team started, just so we could buy the jerseys.
On the beat. It's not a particularly quick news day around Auburnland, but there's a couple of worthwhile pieces from the beat writers. One comes from Jay G. Tate, who works through a brief overview of Auburn's recruiting in light of Chizik's "targeting guys to fill those needs" quote. A key point: despite Mario Fannin's bursts of explosiveness, Onterio McCalebb's speed and excellent spring, and the potential of Aycock, Washington, etc., there's no guaranteed workhorse on the roster set to replace Tate. It's not exactly a position of "need," but Auburn's not at the point where they've got a Ronnie ready to take over for a Cadillac or anything.
Also: Andy Bitter wrote this Ledger-Enquirer story on Scott Fountain, Chizik's former tight ends coach at ISU turned "coordinator of football operations" at Auburn. What's interesting is the obvious tension in the story and in Bitter's outtakes at his blog between Fountain's desire to come home to Alabama and help Chizik vs. doing the job he actually wants to do, i.e. coach football.
Shucks. Hey, remember back when Jordan-Hare (and three-quarters of the stadiums in the SEC) was on that extremely preliminary list of possible venues for a 2018 World Cup bid? They haven't survived this week's cut down to the final 37 stadia involved in the bid. In fact, only two SEC venues are still alive: Neyland and--WTF?--Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. The former makes sense, since it's always impressive to have another stadium whose capacity is listed in six digits on the list. But Arkansas's joint? Fayetteville? Over Athens or Gainesville or Baton Rouge? You got me.
Yep, that's stupid. Mike Bolton wrote a column in which he argues, basically, that Auburn and Alabama fans care too much about football. Like most finger-wagging columns like it intended to elicit a response first and advance an argument second, it's not so good. My favorite bit is when Bolton argues that college football fandom is causing people to become politically uninvolved ... which, of course, was the exact opposite conclusion of that study done in Auburn last year.
Anyways, PPL takes Bolton to task with the appropriate thoroughness. A highlight:
See, that's mistake One. Don't use "al.com" as a barometer to measure AU/UA fans. The internet is for jack-asses. Plain and simple ... Lumping in all AU/UA fans into one group and assumption based on internet chatter? That's akin to saying all teenage males who post on the internet love anime and poop jokes based on some perusals of 4Chan.Also responding is the Good Doctor, who rebuts Bolton's claim that everybody should hold hands and bake cookies together with their other, free hands, but also issues a call for fans to "Get out of the niche every now and then." Which, speaking as someone who's read the words "Bammer" and Barner" enough to last me several lifetimes, I heartily cosign.
Speaking of the Doctor ... like any rational human being, he calls Auburn's 2004 team the SEC's best this decade and the fourth-best college football team this decade, period. It's only logic.
That's new. Amidst the flurry of 'Bama fans and pundits calling for Mal Moore's head, OTS says Tide fans ought to worry more about the man behind the curtain:
(F)or all intents and purposes, Mal Moore really isn't AD anymore. At this point, Mal is really just a figurehead. Oh sure he may be the one releasing official statements and doing press conferences, but in reality Mal is essentially just a glorified fundraiser at this point. He works with Ronny Robertson, Associate AD for Development, on fundraising initiatives, but that is about it, aside from having a few general oversight responsibilities.As an Auburn fan, frankly, I'm disappointed to hear that Mal Moore doesn't have as strong a hand as possible in the Tide's decision-making process.
In reality, official titles notwithstanding, the real AD now is Dave Hart. We officially turned over the keys to him this past February, the day after National Signing Day, and Hart is now in charge of day-to-day operations. Now, all members of the executive staff, including compliance, report directly to Hart. To be sure, Hart is technically still underneath Mal in the chain of command, but again Mal is just there for general fundraising and a little oversight, he's not really actively involved in anything other than trying to get people to write checks out to "The University of Alabama." People can call for Mal's head all they want, but again he is not the man in charge any longer. You may as well be begging George W. Bush for a presidential pardon.
More rebuttals. For those of you who enjoy a good dissection of a member of the mainstream media every now and then, Braves and Birds gears up for Mandel Season with a takedown of Andy Staples, and for you Atlantans out there, here's Mark Bradley advice for the Hawks getting pwned by Hoopinion and Jeff Schultz'a advice for the Braves having the same done by, hey, Braves and Birds again.
Etc. It's kind of rare to see the usually inoffensive types at local TV engage in such a naked, flagrant piece of Tide-baiting, but here you go (HT: the Wiz.) ... Jessel Curry says "Coach Roof is going to be like my Dad," which is cool as long as we're talking about leadership and life lessons and all that and no, you know, taking him on expensive fishing trips to Colorado or something.