Auburn News and Notes
Paul Finebaum has gotten a lot of press the past week for his move to the new SEC Network and his relocation to Charlotte where the network will be headquartered. While he’ll get more exposure regionally, it’s a huge victory for the state of Alabama.
The move effectively silences all of his former callers. While ESPN, who oversees the network, is saying all the right things, you can bet they will not let their brand be invaded by the morons who dumb downed the state for so many years.
It’s also a huge victory for the Iron Bowl. Hopefully tensions will ease now that those who attended neither school will no longer have the loudest voice. With any luck, some sanity and civility will return now that he’s exiled.
Finebaum was a cancer to this state for too many years. He and his legion of ignorant callers damn near wrecked the rivalry and embarrassed the state. These past several months of him being away from the airwaves have been nothing short of awesome.
His hiring is a risky move for the fledgling network. I’m somewhat surprised that the SEC and ESPN would gamble on him becoming the face of their new enterprise. The jury is out on how he’ll be received on television.
If you watched his syndicated fall Saturday television show the past few years, you know it was a snooze fest. He doesn’t exactly have the personality to keep you tied to the set for an hour, much less four.
Personally, I’m all for it. Anything to get this guy out of Birmingham is a positive move. Something tells me he’ll never survive long-term up there. Unfortunately, I believe he’ll end up back in Alabama reunited with his band of idiots sooner rather than later.
Let’s enjoy it while it last…
Auburn president Jay Gogue revealed last week that he expects season ticket sales to be down about 5% over last year. That should come as no surprise considering the product put on the field last season.
Nationally, attendance has been down among all major conferences. With the addition of more stations carrying SEC football and the price drop in big screen, HD televisions, schools have to work harder to lure fans to campus on hot Saturdays in September and October.
Gogue says Auburn is focusing more attention on parking this season in hopes of making the game day experience better.
Here’s a suggestion: Instead of placing hourly rent-a-cops, with brains the size of a dime, to block tailgaters from setting up 15 minutes early on Friday afternoon and then treating them like criminals, why not place University employees at these intersections and have them welcome alumni back to campus and then nicely ask them to refrain from setting up early?
A little kindness goes a long way. If Gogue would have looked out his Samford Hall window one Friday last fall, he would have seen a rent-a-cop berate a middle-aged woman for marking off her parking spot five minutes early.
The lady later told me that she drives four hours each football Friday to save her spot for game day and then stays at a local hotel for the weekend. After that encounter, she said that was the final straw. A holder of six season tickets for more than 20 years, she will not be back in 2014.
Unfortunately, I hear way too many stories like this from fans each year. The University as a whole must do a better job of welcoming back its fans and alumni each week…
The first preseason football magazines hit the newsstands over the weekend and as expected, many are not high on Auburn this season. Athlon’s picks the Tigers sixth in the Western Division of the SEC, ahead of only Arkansas.
They project Gus Malzahn’s first team at 6-6 overall, but only 2-6 in conference play. As expected Alabama is picked to win the conference and national title with Georgia the favorite in the East.
What does it all mean? We know the answer by now. Few predicted Auburn to win it all in 2010 and certainly no one could foresee the disaster last season. That said, if we remove the orange and blue colored classes, that prediction sounds about right as we sit here in June.
Then again, most of us felt the same way heading into the 1993 season. You just never know. Keep hope alive.