Malzahn Waits His Turn at Waffle House

By Posted on: November 19th, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 16 Comments »
Malzahn-Richt

What does it take for a guy to get a seat at Waffle House?                     Photo:Julie Bennett al.com

Apparently, more than a ten win season and the most improbable victory in Jordan-Hare Stadium history. Declaring after Saturday’s win over Georgia that, “this is definitely a Waffle House night,”Gus Malzahn continued his tradition of heading to the local greasy spoon after a big victory.

The only problem was there were no tables available. Like any normal patron, Gus grabbed the first seat he could find along the row of other diners waiting for an open table. It didn’t matter that he was seated next to some very freaked out Georgia co-eds. It didn’t matter that minutes earlier he’d led Auburn to a potential BCS bowl berth.

In Auburn you either wait your turn or go somewhere else. After 15 minutes or so, he and his wife did just that, heading to a less crowded joint. The most famous and beloved man in town can’t even get an omelet when he wants it.

That story sums up the unassuming character of Malzahn and this Auburn team. Let Nick Saban and his tattooed pretty boy quarterback get all the attention. Gus and the guys are just like us, except when they put their pants on Saturday afternoon, they go out and create havoc across the college football landscape. Cue the cowbells.

Assuming that Auburn players and fans get over the euphoria of the most exciting college football finish since Doug Flutie threw that pass against Miami way back in 1984, this town will host the most significant Iron Bowl since 1989.

Thank goodness there’s a 14 day window – we’ll need every second to recover. While Malzahn said he planned to “flip the switch” to Alabama on Sunday, it will likely take the rest of us longer.

The stakes couldn’t have been much higher for Auburn on that final drive. According to BCS guru Jerry Palm at CBS Sports.com, the win quite possibly sealed the deal for an Auburn berth in the Sugar Bowl.

“The result (of the Auburn win) is that the Tigers are now the choice to replace archrival Alabama in the Sugar Bowl (should Alabama win out or otherwise lose),” says Palm.

“In fact, the only thing that could keep Auburn out now would be if the East Division champ wins the SEC title.”

Don’t mention replacing Alabama to this Auburn team. They have no intention of being anyone’s consolation prize. Like in 1993, 2004 and 2010, these players believe they can’t lose. That’s a very potent weapon. Malzahn has this team expecting to win the SEC Championship.

I don’t care if you are Alabama or the New England Patriots, that has to be cause for concern if you are planning a trip to Auburn.

In the coming days, every Alabama blowhard from Paul Finebaum to Danny Sheridan will declare Auburn has no chance on November 30th.

I watched Saban’s bunch play Miss St. I saw them against LSU. I saw both with my own eyes. This Auburn team can compete with Alabama’s best. It can beat Alabama. It can beat anyone in the country. No amount of media coverage will convince me otherwise.

Malzahn summed it up best in the locker room following the win, “”I told our team that I think we’re in the midst of something special here.”

That may be the greatest understatement I’ve ever heard.

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  1. mvhcpa says:

    Great write-up about Gus. I tell you what, he could share my booth any time he needed a place to sit down! It’s great to see that he feels he’s no “better” than any of us and will wait his turn just like the rest of us schlubs. MVH

  2. DBAU81 says:

    Can you imagine Nick Saban even going to a Waffle House, let alone waiting his turn at one?

    War Damn Eagle.

  3. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Yep. I could see it. My brother and I have the same tradition. Breakfast for dinner is good occasionally. And Waffle House is about the best, quick, no nonsense place to go and get it.

    They don’t care if you make $300 a week or $2.3 M a year. Or if the patron earns $150K for the SEC title game. Or $500K for a BCS bowl game. It’s all about the food.

    WDE

  4. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    We comin’.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      He’s dentally challenged. Shocker.

    • Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

      For shigs and gittles, I looked over the uga game blog today. Quite humorous to see them all checking out at halftime and the end of the third qtr only to have them show back up with their vitriol during the comeback. And only to have their heart ripped out at 7:27 EST… I wish I could include a screen shot that captured the actual moment when their heart stopped beating.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Normally, I don’t like to lurk and take in the other side’s pain (karma and all that), BUT we’re talking about Georgia here and I hate Georgia. Which brings me back to a point that I was trying to make a few posts ago…wins against Georgia whether they be big or small all have the same glorious effect……

  5. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Jay,
    Great article! It pays to be just an ordinary human being. Gus is one of us. Thanks for the writeup.

    Almost 48 hours after “The Miracle in Jordan-Hare”, this 50 year Auburn Tiger is still having trouble believing what I saw with my own eyes. Since “Punt ! Bama Punt!”, “28-27!” and “the 2010 BCS Championship” happened elsewhere, that was the BEST victory in Jordan-Hare history, at least in my memory. This team is indeed SPECIAL They have a special destiny. One game at a time. Bama can only play 11 men at a time. It can be done. BELIEVE!!!

    And, NEVER FORGET:

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    BEAT BAMA !!!

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      Agree,
      He’s one of us. He doesn’t fit the sometimes M.O. of an high paid egotistical head coach. It’s one of the things that I like about Gustavius.

      And this win has to be one of the greatest at JHS. After this emotional win, I just hope the coaches can keep the team focused for the Big one in 2 weeks.
      Good read Jay.

      WDE!

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      Thank you Domaucan1. I appreciate it.

  6. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Not surprised he did not want to wait. He does not like slow.:)

  7. AUTigerinBR says:

    Love the article, Jay. The Waffle House tradition cracks me up. Wonder if he and the GA co-eds had a conversation? My guess is that Coach Malzahn was super gracious if they did. I also would love to know what he and Mark- I’m a pretty boy so let me whine some more- Richt said during the hand shake…

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      Thanks AuTigerinBR! Not sure what was said. There were a lot of selfies being taken without Malzahn’s knowledge.

  8. jwreeves55 says:

    Really cool story and a nice article, even from my Alabama point of view. Gus looks like a great fit for the program and a great man for sure. But maybe you shouldn’t lessen the professionalism of your writing by calling out two of the classiest winningest people in college football. Just a thought

  9. [...] in voters’ minds – regardless of what Palmer and Davis say on Sunday night…Last week’s story on Gus Malzahn not being able to get a seat at a crowded Waffle House following the Georgia win [...]