Nov 282018

“Here’s hoping Auburn is at a similar point of purge and lands a similar superstar hire—with a certain bothersome trustee’s testicles in a mason jar waiting on his desk for him on day one.  Coach should be Coach, folks.  Get him in and stay the hell out of his way.” – Bo Williams, December 3, 2008

Wow, they are slow studies down on the Plains.

(Now lest you forget, they don’t have a corner on that. Alabama paid dearly and repeatedly while it learned to stop overvaluing connections to the program when hiring head coaches. But today isn’t about Alabama.)

Auburn’s current malaise started when the Powers That Be decided that running off journeyman-plus coach Tommy Tuberville was in Auburn’s best interest. And it may well have been, depending on what the next steps were. (See above.)

But Gene Chizik was a horrible blunder. (And don’t talk to me about 2010. A lightning-in-a-bottle, once-in-a-lifetime athlete nearly single-handedly delivering a national championship was an anomaly.) Without Cam Newton under center, Chizik was 19-19 at Auburn. The huge red warning lights in 2011, and the 2012 disaster, are his accurate legacy.

Photo by Thomson200.

So, fired. Then, Gus Malzahn. I said at the time it felt a little small to me, but maybe it would be all right. Well, now we know it was a little small. He came within a minute or so of winning the 2013 title, mostly because no one knew what to do with athletes of Auburn’s caliber running his gimmicky offense.

But now everyone knows his gimmicky offense, and though he won the Iron Bowl and the West last year, he promptly went to pieces in Atlanta, and then dropped the Peach Bowl for good measure.

Auburn’s response? Extend his contract. Increase his buyout.

And here he sits. Auburn will finish either 8-5 or 7-6, and that was pretty clear when athletic director Allen Greene gave him a vote of confidence after he somehow won the Texas A&M game. So, he’ll be back.

Except—wow—apparently there has been enough scurrying about post-Iron Bowl to generate rumors about scraping together the buyout, or possibly an I not dotted or T not crossed to invalidate a lot of it. Let’s get rid of him and get a big star—maybe Bob Stoops.

And now reliable Auburn beatmaster Phillip Marshall writes that Malzahn is close to accepting a deal to reduce his buyout and put other restrictions in place, such as on what he can or can’t do with his assistants.

What does it say about Gus Malzahn that he’s apparently entertaining this deal? Hasn’t he the spine to stand up and say no, you fire me and pay me, or you leave me to my work? Were I in a similar position, those would be the terms.

What does it say about Auburn that it’s apparently entertaining this deal? Malzahn is now primed to be eaten alive on the recruiting trail, with such an obvious and humiliating short leash. And what does it do to him, and by extension his team, at the first sign of adversity in 2019?

Auburn apparently has the inclination to blow it up and make it A Thing, but it never finds the chutzpah to finish it. If Auburn’s confidence in Malzahn is significantly damaged, and clearly it is, then the superstar hire, with a gigantic paycheck and a hand-him-the-keys level of control over the program, is the right step now.

Instead, Auburn appears on the verge of all-but-guaranteeing itself a similar predicament next year.

 Posted by at 10:30 am
Nov 232018
  • Meghan Trainor did the halftime show at the Cowboys-Redskins game yesterday. Several primal components of my being continue to approve heartily of Meghan Trainor.
  • I actually went out and commerced today. I went to Publix, because the single best time of the year to go to the grocery store is Black Friday morning. And then I went to O’Reilly to get an oil filter for Lea’s car.
  • I crockpotted chili all day today just to put it in the fridge so we could crockpot it some more tomorrow. We had a sausage day to keep us out of it. Such struggles we suffer.
  • I recently purchased a wristwatch with a strap intending to replace it with a bracelet, and for the first time in nearly 20 years messing around with watches, have encountered curved spring bars. I had no idea these things were out there, and the lugs are drilled unusually deeply. It’s not a straightforward swap. Again, such struggles we suffer.
  • Douglas Rain, the voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010, has died at 90. God be with his family and friends. RIP.
  • Used this successfully yesterday morning. Was trying to clear the clog with my compressor earlier and lost my blow gun in the duct. I guess it’ll be there for the life of the house now, or maybe until I can fetch it with a drone.
  • Got our Solo Blu-ray, because we’re not Star Wars hate bandwagoners. Looking forward to seeing the train robbery again.
  • Guys Night Out is the best commercial of the football season. Candles is runner-up. Interesting that they’re both insurance ads.
 Posted by at 6:10 pm
Nov 202018

When I saw the Kiss reunion tour in 1996, online ticket sales weren’t a thing yet. You called on the telephone repeatedly until you got through, you took the operator’s assessment of “best seats available,” and that was it. That show sold out in less than an hour.

When I saw the Kiss “farewell” tour in 2000, it seems like it was online by then. I can’t quite remember. But that show sold out in less than a day.

I took a look last week at the Birmingham and Nashville dates on the End of the Road tour. The cheapest Nashville seats are $86 each (out the door); the cheapest Birmingham seats, $103. When I looked, tickets had been on sale for two weeks, and there were lots available. Like, thousands.

This is not going to go how Gene and Paul think, and the primary complaint is exactly the one I raised when I wrote about seeing them in 2014. There is nothing new to see here. What will be different? More explosions? Three more songs in the set?

We know we won’t get deep cuts. It’s not like they’re going to come out and do “Almost Human” or “Get All You Can Take.” We know we won’t get any former members either. There are too many hatchets in that hole to try to bury any more. At best, this show will be 110-115% of exactly what they’ve been doing for the past ten years.

Who cares?

Well, somebody. But at a C-note for a crappy seat up to God-knows-what for a good one, will enough somebodies? I doubt it.

 Posted by at 10:26 am
Nov 192018

I had no idea. I didn’t get you anything. What was I supposed to wear? Are there cookies?

I thought this tweet was pretty great.

 Posted by at 9:57 am
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