Gloom and Doom Time for Tigers?

By Posted on: September 12th, 2012 in Football 4 Comments »

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
Plains.

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
with me.”

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.

War Eagle!

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  1. Ugly Joe says:

    Well said ATM. While everybody knows I’m a sunshine pumper, I spent the entire off-season singing the praises of Coach Chizik; I don’t intend to stop now. There is no question that there are problems, and there is no question that he is the man at the top and responsible for the problems. And, there is no question that he is taking full responsibility for the problems.

    So, I have had to lower my expectations for this year’s team. So what…I’m going to continue to follow them just as close, and if nothing else, I don’t have to look at this weekend’s game as a gimme; I might have to pay attention until the end to see who wins. I know in the past, and I continue to hope towards the future, that as I screw up, people in my life are going to stick by me. I will give him the same treatment.

    Critical comments and analysis are great things, and it’s one of the the things we are supposed to do here. At some point in time, if he doesn’t get the job done, then someone else has to do it. However, I won’t stoop to the level of the Scarbinskis of the world. I only know so much about the team, the coaches and the whys and whats of their actions. I know that they all know football better than me, and right now it’s their job to get things figured out. I can just about promise that they already knew what was wrong before all of us pointed it out to them. Solutions are a little bit harder, especially if you aren’t privy to all the facts.

  2. PineMt Tiger says:

    I admit I was pissed after watching the game but I’m going to give Chizik a chance to make it better. I think after a SEC and NC, he’s earned that.

    Really good read Tigerman.

  3. Todd92 says:

    Very good article and very good sentiment to the article…..I also support this staff and while I will freely admit to some fist pounding and hand wringing I am not ready to call for coaches jobs or put blame soles on one or a few…..I will however unabashedly point out the deficiencies I witness and continue to get pissed off over mistakes especially repeated mistakes. But coach Chizik and staff have my full support and these AU tigers are my AU tigers whether they are winless, undefeated or anything in between. War Damn Eagle!

  4. sparkey chris says:

    I support Auburn and Auburn’s program. I love Auburn. I am not going to defend anybody on the staff right now. I’ll cheer as hard as I can as I always do. I think changes need to happen, and I’m not going to hesitate to say that either. That starts with the new OC and Pelton the defensive line coach. I hold no loyalty whatsoever to coaches. I look at their production. I’m ready for a shift at the head coach position too. I would like to see BVG be the next head coach-but I’m just the crazy lunatic.