Gloom and Doom Time for Tigers?
It was an uncharacteristically cool September day. I had arrived in Northeast Mississippi the night before to watch Auburn play their SEC opener against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. I marched into
Davis Wade stadium prepared to watch another hard fought game between two SEC Western Division schools.
As I sat down in Section 312 with four of my Auburn buddies; I had my binoculars, my radio, and my
popcorn. I was ready. Ready and beaming
with enthusiasm as my Tigers hit the field to do battle with the Dogs. Sadly
though, I found out that the Tigers – were not ready.
As a fan, I can’t deny that truth. It hit me hard, as it did
most Auburn fans. Five turnovers, and a
defense that made State’ Quarterback Tyler Russell look like All-SEC… It was
hard to digest.
The eight hour ride home was only made longer by the many questions
that plagued my mind.
Even though I knew Auburn was still playing without a full
85 man scholarship roster, had to deal with switching from a spread to a pro
style offense, had an untested quarterback, and had an O-Line with only one
player who played in every game in 2011; I , like most Tiger fans was not prepared
for what we just witnessed.
With a young but talented team, we had thought that by this
point in the season Auburn
would be 2-0 and not 0-2. However, a few days removed from the event, I can see
things a little different.
We knew Auburn
wasn’t going to contend for the West Division Championship. Yet we didn’t
expect the Tigers to start 0-2 either. But is it the end of the world ? No.
Does it mean the Tigers season is over before it begins? No. Can the season
still end positively? Yes.
I say that because I have sat through other seasons when the
Tigers came out the gate 0-2 and still finished with a winning record. Most notably
for me was when another favorite coach of mine began a year 0-2, only to go on
to finish 9-4 and lead his team to a victory in the Liberty Bowl. Yes just like
Gene Chizik, that’s how legendary Coach Pat Dye began his fourth year on The
I know one thing for certain, Auburn has a coach that steps up and takes responsibility.
Some coaches make excuses and blame others when things are going bad. But you
won’t find Gene Chizik throwing anyone under the bus. Any one that doubts that
need only to view a tape of his Tuesday press conference.
“Everybody wants to experience success. It’s no different in football,”
Chizik said. “We’re not going to walk around and let our circumstances
have us holding our head down and saying ‘woe is me.’ That’s not what you do in
your life and that is not what we’re going to do here.”
He continued, “This is a man’s game. It reveals everything about who we
are. So, you know what? We’re manning up. It is starting with me. We understand
we are very deficient and have to get better and have to improve. That starts
Now I recognize some people will label me as a sunshine pumper.
That’s okay, I’ve always tried to see the glass as half full. Its what has
gotten me through some pretty tough times in life.
And even though I see the glass half full, I acknowledge that
Auburn has some
serious issues that has to be addressed and addressed quickly. Yet I don’t see
any thing to gain by wringing my hands and ranting about the coaching or the
performance of any particular player.
At the same time, I know that just because someone does
rant, it doesn’t mean they support Auburn
any less. But as for me and my house we will see the glass as half full
for the rest of the year. There will be time to ask the hard questions when the
season is over.
For now it’s time to show support for the Tigers and do our
part to help this team win as many games as possible.