Sometimes It’s Just Too Easy
Growing up in Alabama there was one thing I was used to: the majority of folks here (including “sports writers” a term I use loosely) are Alabama fans. As such, they are biased. Bias I can deal with, crappy writing I can not. I’m not expecting newspaper writers to be modern day Grantland Rice or George Plimpton but come on, at least try to put some time/effort into a piece and not just throw random thoughts on a page (leave that to us bloggers). Above all, try to stay away from the formulaic question/answer format. You know where you ask yourself rhetorical questions in your article and then answer them with a wry grin or smug smile. (Again, leave that to us bloggers) Such as this piece from “The Decatur Daily” and Michael Casagrande about the “Tiger Prowl”
Here’s some high(low)lights:
You win, Gene Chizik.
If publicity is what you wanted, then here you go(a).
That little “Tiger Prowl” limo stunt worked at least with getting (b)Auburn’s football program back into the headlines for something other than your controversial hire (c) or for being the first to bungle the spread offense so badly (d).
Let’s just go piece by piece.
a) I’m sure “The Chiz” was doing it for publicity. But, honestly Mike you are a little late to the show, a full week late. Heck, even Auburn blogs that normally just write about Auburn baseball talked about the “Tiger Prowl”
b) I re-read this sentence over and over again. Something is grammatically wrong here (I can’t figure out what specifically) but it just hurts to read.
c) Controversial? Maybe that’s a backhanded dig at Auburn for not hiring Turner Gill, but controversy is the last thing I’d call the hiring of CGC. Boneheaded? maybe. Ill-Advised? Possibly. Head-Scratching? Probably. Controversial? Debatable.
d) Again, not to play Grammar police but that sentence is just impossible. How can you be the “first” to do something “so badly”? In order to something “so badly” you need other things to compare it too, making it unable to be first. Also, I’m sure other schools/teams have tried and failed to install spread offenses.
So let’s talk about the effectiveness of that Hummer tour de Alabama (e) that distracted talk radio hosts from discussing Nick Saban (f) for a few days at least.
Will that free pub translate into a big signing day next winter or more wins the following fall?
Had Tommy Tuberville rolled into Foley High on a hovercraft two years ago, would Julio Jones now be a Tiger?
When pen meets scholarship papers, a stretch limo won’t be the deciding factor. (i)
e) If we are going to use “faux-French” let’s at least make a better attempt then substituting “de” for “the”. I dont’ know if “Tour” is considered masculine or feminine but let’s go all out and say “Le Tigre Auburn le Tour de Hummer d'Alabama”
f) I’m sure Finebuam (who I don’t listen to personally) had an entire program devoid of Nick Saban.
g) We’ll see.
h) Honestly? If Tubs rolled up in a Hovercraft I think Senator Jones would have signed. Because how bad ass would that be? But are we talking actual hovercraft or just a swamp boat? There is a difference.
i) Again, we’ll see. I’m sure no one will come out and say it on NSD, but it might help or at least get some feet in the door.
The Prowl did, however, get athletic underachievers like me (j) and my fellow sports writers talking about Auburn again. And that appears to be the only victory Chizik (k) and his now-pampered (l) assistant coaches can claim for the moment.
It is the coaches’ message (m) to these impressionable and talented high schoolers that will bring Auburn’s reputation back to pre-Saban (n) levels ? a time before the Alabama coach brought in back-to-back No. 1 recruiting classes (o) full of in-state athletes (p).
j) I’m not touching a softball like that.
l) Now this is what actually burned me a bit and got me to sit down and write this post. Pampered? Not sure what criteria you would use to determine which staff is more “pampered” but if you mean better-payed then look at this:
|Postition||UA Coach||Salary||AU Coach||Salary||Difference|
|Head Coach||Nick Saban||4 Million||Gene Chizik||2 Million||2 Million|
|D Coordinator||K. Smart||$360,000||Ted Roof||$370,000||10,000|
|O Coordinator||J.McElwain||$360,000||Gus Malzahn||$350,000||10,000|
|WR Coach||C. Cignetti||$225,000||Tr. Taylor||$320,000||95,000|
|D Line Coach||Bo Davis||$250,000||Tr. Rocker||$300,000||50,000|
|O Line Coach||Joe Pendry||$390,000||Jeff Grimes||$290,000||100,000|
|RB Coach||Burton Burns||$250,000||C. Luper||$260,000||10,000|
|TE/Sp. Teams||B. Williams||$290,000||Jay Boulware||$180,000||110,000|
Not that much of a difference really. 4 of the 7 Asst. Coaches for Auburn make more than their ‘Bama counterparts. It’s really just split down the middle. Considering Nick Saban makes such an un-godly amount that the Birmingham News ran a special “Compare your Paycheck to Saban’s” Calculator, I’d think that “pampered” wears Crimson and White.
m) Again. Grammar Police. You have to have copy-checkers to catch transpositions like that.
n) In case you weren’t aware Alabama football doesn’t refer to dates using our normal calender system. They only have BB (Before Bear) AB (After Bear) and now PS (PreSaban) and AS(s) [After Saban (sells-out)]
o) Are we really counting these things now? I’ve seen T-shirts that declare “Recruiting National Champions” but seriously, it’s got to stop. That’s almost as bad as Ole Miss putting National Champions on their stadium for polls that don’t even exist anymore.
p) I’m sure every one of Alabama’s recruits last year were from Alabama. That is the only way the signing class could be full of “Alabama recruits”
Look no further than the one-time darling of reality television to illustrate Alabama’s rising popularity among prep stars. Framed by Hoover High’s recognizable front entry, the picture of the limo that ran on Saturday’s front page of The Daily’s sports section was fitting when considering the Buccaneer program has funneled a good chunk of its talent to Tuscaloosa in recent years(q).
Even after graduating three-year starting quarterback John Parker Wilson, Alabama has five other Hoover grads on the spring roster.
Auburn has one, Ryan Pugh, an offensive lineman who played with Josh Chapman as a senior. The two were supposed to play together in college, as Chapman was once committed to the Tigers. Then Saban arrived, and the defensive lineman traded in his blue and orange to sign with the crimson and white.
Chapman’s 6-foot-1, 305-pound (r) frame surely would have slowed down the Alabama running backs who rolled up 234 rushing yards in last season’s 36-0 Iron Bowl blowout.
q) That’s a real slippery slope to try to climb there. Considering that fact that Hoover and Alabama together have been the subject to rumors of grade changing and other improprieties. So perhaps its not the wisest of things to boast about Hoover players going to Alabama. Especially when things like this:
The report states Borie received a call on her cell on May 30 from Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, who told Borie he learned the player was "seven one-thousandths" a point below the GPA he needed to be eligible.
Borie said she received the call from Steele because Alabama officials were having trouble reaching Cindy Bond, a college and career specialist.
Are still floating out there.
r) Yes, that’s the same Chapman listed above who didn’t play a down last year, has been replaced by Terrance Cody, and went from Academically ineligible to “able to enroll” after a phone call from an Alabama assistant coach.
And don’t expect Saban to rent a tank to shuttle his assistants from high school to high school. (s) Where would you attach the crimson car flag? Either way, Saban’s program already has 11 commitments for the Tide for the incoming Class of 2010. (t)
Auburn has four, according to scout.com. All four are one-star recruits on the five-star scale, and only one is from Alabama. (u)
s) Alabama doesn’t need a tank. It has the Crimson Caravan. Where it charges fans over $100 to bathe in the glory that is Saban. So don’t give a holier-than-thou attitude when Alabama does the same thing. Only it involves alumni, charges fans, and steals the idea from Tennessee.
t) This is true. Alabama has 11 commitments so far. Yet only 3 are from Alabama and further, only 2 are considered “four-stars”. There is also the matter of Keiwone Malone, the Memphis recruit, contacted during a dead period, who might get the Tide in more hot water.
u) Again. Technically true. However, see that “NR” by the players name? That means “Not Ranked” which means they haven’t been evaluated yet. These guys could be anywhere from 1 star to 5 star guys. However, we won’t know until Scout gets around to ranking them. Also, 1 out of 4 means, technically, 25% of Auburn’s early signees are from Alabama. Alabama has 27% of its early commitments from in-state players. See? I can fudge numbers too to prove a point.
To declare a winner in the recruiting battle in May wouldn’t be fair. Chizik is still trying to lay the groundwork to lure those stud recruits back to his part of the state. (v)
He can claim this small victory in the battle for column inches and air time in the state.
But will this limo stunt pay off on signing day?
Now, that would be a stretch. (w)
v) Yet, that is what you’ve tried to do for a whole column.
w) Punderful. Quite punderful.