Some Fiction in Which the Author Pretends to be a Football Booster: Commentary on the 2011 Auburn Tigers

Disclaimer: This column is fiction and it is based on lies and misinterpretations by the author. The author is not a football booster, nor does he know of any ill deeds committed by Auburn or any other college. In fact, the author is a well-known cretin. Enjoy the lies and misinformation…

Like most Auburn fans, I watched LSU thrash Auburn Saturday. The papers are full of recriminations about the savage beat down at the Red Stick on the Mississippi (i.e., Baton Rouge, Louisiana). Stuck at 5-3, Auburn might still salvage a decent record. Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that this year’s team lacks that “extra something” that made last year so special.

It’s not Cam Newton or Nick Fairley.  We miss them, but we knew going in that they’d be “playing on Sundays” this fall. No, I’m thinking about a quality – a spirit – that the best college teams all possess – and which Auburn completely lacked Saturday. You know what I mean.

I’m speaking about professionalism. The 2010 Tigers had it. In 2010, there were a lot of close calls, chances to roll over. (Remember, the Alabama game?). But did they quit? No, in 2010 – when the chips were down – the Tigers were steely pros, who understood that you have to offer your employer a return on investment.

If we’re going to do an imitation of Vanderbilt’s JV team every Saturday, why are we paying these guys? I don’t mind my “scholarship” money going to the team when they knock off South Carolina – and I can even forgive the road loss to a good Clemson team. But why pay these slack-jawed losers after Saturday’s game? It’s kind of like when a student earns a buckshot (0.00 grade point average), but Daddy won’t cut off the funds. Where’s the incentive to improve?

So, here’s a modest proposal – tie pay to performance. Certainly, 2010 cost us – and me – plenty. Does anyone like stuffing a suitcase full of cash, then meeting someone at Stuckey’s at 3:00 a.m.? Of course not – I have a family that I have to spend time with when football season ends. Sure, the stories on the linebackers who are ex-cellmates and the defensive end who took a pay cut to turn pro didn’t help AU’s efforts to become “the Harvard of Dixie.” But, we did get a Heisman trophy and a national championship out of 2010. I paid the price – and we got the best. This year, I’m still paying  – and getting nothing for it.

OK, I made all of that stuff up about paying Auburn’s players. I am an AU grad, but – even if I had the money (which I don’t) – I wouldn’t use it to pay college players. Also, I have no idea whether any of our players were or are getting paid (except – of course – for those that the NCAA has proven in its numerous past investigations of AU). But a) college football players are unpaid professionals who toil away for hypocritical, millionaire coaches and b) Auburn’s football shenanigans over the years (both proven and alleged) have done grave damage to AU’s reputation.

In my humble opinion, a good college football team is sort of like a sausage, you enjoy the final product, but you don’t want to know what it took to get it to you. And college football has nothing do with education. Years ago, a wise man named Elbert Hubbard noted that, “College football is a sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture.”

And – oh by the way – we better beat the hell out of Ole Miss next week. War Damn Eagle!

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About mobilemojoman

I have been a Mobile resident for about a decade. Working as a college professor keeps me off the streets and pays the bills. I am married to a woman (the MojoWoman) who is a much better person than I am and we have two beautiful girls who keep us both jumping. My interests are varied - food & drink, sports, politics, exercise, books, travel, Mardi Gras, and all of life's rich pageant. In the future, I'd like to learn more about sailing, photography, Cajun/Creole cooking, making beer and wine, and writing.
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