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My Christmas Wishlist for Auburn and College Football in 2013

Ralphie Parker - TET
One of my fondest childhood memories is of the annual crafting of my Christmas wishlist. They weren’t so much lists, as they were handwritten catalogues of every toy and gadget a boy could dream of.  I toiled over them in a manner similar to a general orchestrating a large-scale invasion. “What would you like Santa to bring you?”  That is such a dangerously open-ended question to ask a child. I could ask for anything – army tanks, race cars, a jet pack, a pet monkey-anything. The possibilities were endless, and that was what made them so special to me. Simply adding something to my list didn’t guarantee it would be sitting under the tree on Christmas morning, but no one thing was ever completely ruled out until the last shred of wrapping paper was ripped away. There were always more items left on the list than what was received, but that was the point. There was always next year.

With this in mind, I decided to treat myself to a bit of nostalgia and once again attempt to create the most perfect Christmas wishlist. However, instead of action figures and video games, this list will be centered around what I’d like to see from the Auburn football team and college football overall in 2013. 

For College Football in general:

8 Team Playoff – We(the fans) clamored and clawed and mobbed and sobbed and scraped our way to a playoff and they still found a way to put a greedy and senseless spin on the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, a 4 team playoff is light-years better than what we currently have, but an 8-team playoff removes almost absolutely all doubt.  NCAA, BCS, various bowl committees, the Illuminati, whoever is making these decisions please find a way to make this happen. I promise you’ll still have enough money left over to get you by.

NCAA Overhaul – They’re seemingly slow and inefficient. They show up in places here and there more randomly and senselessly than the rodents on a ‘whack-a-mole’ arcade game and most of the time they produce more questions than answers. If the NCAA isn’t careful to adapt to a quickly evolving college athletic landscape, they risk losing millions in revenue and any credibility whatsoever.

Stop Screwing with Kickoffs and Onside Kicks – Either have kickoffs and onside kicks or don’t. Simply reducing the kickoff to a ‘figurehead’ play is a mistake. No one wants to watch a parade of touchbacks and fair catches.  

Diminished T.V. Rights for Teams on Probation – I really think this should be aimed at teams facing post-season bans like Ohio St. did this season and USC did a couple of years ago. Quite simply, if you’re program has committed infractions that has led to its participation in post-season play being denied then you don’t get the benefit of major media outlets covering you. This is a tricky one because it is essentially un-constitutional. Media outlets can cover whomever they’d like, but I do think there are some steps the NCAA could take with this to limit the ability of certain networks covering teams being punished. If ESPN covered USC or Ohio St. any less while both schools served post-season bans, I couldn’t tell. This leads me to my final wishlist addition…

A Diminished Role for ESPN in College Football – (and other athletics) I could do an entire article on this issue. Look no further than the first letter of the network’s acronym and you will have discovered the motivation for all of their sports coverage operations: Entertainment. In a world where journalistic integrity is becoming as hard to find as Sasquatch, ESPN stands head and shoulders above its fellow scandal-mongering counterparts. Facts be damned, they will get their story. Their influence in the college football world is nauseating and in many ways far too substantial. Gonzo journalism might be the best way to describe their practice. I was angered at a piece that was featured on Sportscenter this previous football season that highlighted the Ohio State Buckeyes. It began with a recap of sorts of Urban Meyer’s journey to becoming the head coach there and the things he was doing to change the culture of the program. That part was fine, but what irritated me was that in the remainder of the piece the team was painted as a group martyrs. Guys that were falling on their swords for Ohio St. and even going so far as to give the impression that the current team was being unfairly punished. This is just flat out disregard for facts and common sense. Players could have left the program if they wished and transferred with a waiver from the NCAA (assuming they didn’t commit any infractions themselves). Urban Meyer knew the situation he was inheriting. In my eyes, it was a nothing more than an honest to goodness profile of Meyer combined with an effort to keep the OSU program somewhat relevant and give the appearance of innocence when it absolutely didn’t deserve it. As pieces of entertainment they were fine I suppose, but they weren’t presented in a manner that suggested they were purely entertainment. This is just one example of many of ESPN skewing a story or situation to possibly benefit themselves in the future. Ohio St. couldn’t be forgotten because then less people would be interested in their conference games broadcast on the ESPN network. It was the same situation week after week when USC was under their own post-season ban. Week after week, an ESPN “expert” on College Gameday would predict where USC should have been ranked in the BCS standings even though officially they couldn’t be. If these things are discussed hypothetically on a pre-game ‘tailgate’ show that is one thing, however, for a major network (that has contractual agreements with the NCAA granting them full broadcasting rights over entire conferences) to continue to promote schools that are being punished by the very organization they are contracted to is ludicrous to me.  I also realize that there is basically zero chance of ESPN’s role in regards to sports broadcasting is going to diminish any time soon. 

For Auburn:

No more discussion of the NCAA and Auburn in relation to one another. It seems that every other day there is a story “breaking” on a sports talk radio show or ‘SportsCenter’ that places Auburn’s football program on the brink of total annihilation. I don’t know who or what is responsible for the high frequency of Auburn/NCAA stories of late, but this is something the school has got to address.  Enough is enough already. Either someone has the goods on Auburn and is waiting on the development of reliable time-travel to spill the beans or we’re too easy a target to draw ratings with. I’m leaning towards the ratings.

Program Stability – Gene Chizik took Auburn to the top of the college football world, but overall the ride was rough and exhausting on the Auburn family. I’d like to go an entire season without hearing about coaching conflict, team chemistry issues, etc. I hope Gus Malzahn is able to run the program in a way that will allow us all to focus on football and not behind the scenes issues. This also applies to the on-the-field product as well. Looking back, outside of most of 2010, you couldn’t look at any given game on the schedule and really have a good idea of what the team would like that week.

Less tailgating restrictions on campus for gamedays. I know that the chances of this coming to fruition are low, but this is a Christmas wishlist. I just think adding more things to pay for in order to have access to tailgating each year is moving in the opposite direction of making Auburn a family-friendly environment. I know there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution for this, but do we really want an all ‘Tailgate Guys’ campus tailgating presence for gamedays?

An edge. A mean streak. A disposition. Anything resembling fire. When Gus has finished separating the men from the boys in spring practice he will then have to start replacing the physicality of the Auburn football team that has vanished the previous two seasons. This has nothing to do with talent, which is why it is such a discouraging sign. I have no doubt that the team that runs out of the tunnel for the opening kickoff of 2013 will look much different from an attitude standpoint. Gus will restore belief, and with it, passion to perform.

Live Tiger(s) Mascots – Think about it: a night game, in Jordan-Hare, against a ranked opponent, the pre-game eagle flight, and as a last minute surprise Auburn debuts a live Tiger present on the sideline. Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle baby! “Pumped up” wouldn’t come close to describing the crowd in attendance for that game.

Less Two-Bits and More Bodda Getta – Or better yet, more Trackem Tigers… But seriously, two-bits?

JUST WIN BABY – I’m not trying to be funny or mean spirited. I just really want to start winning more than we lose again. The amount of recent blowout losses to SEC foes is also something I’d like to see remedied. Jordan-Hare was not properly raucous not once outside of LSU in 2012.

Orange Jerseys – Imagine the scenario above that involved the debut of the live tiger. Now combine that with the team running out for the kickoff in previously unseen orange jerseys. Yes, please.

Beat Alabama – What would an Auburn Christmas wishlist be without this request? The post-game press conference rant from Saban about Malzahn’s “illegal” and “unfair” offense would be an instant classic.

Cousin Eddie - WDE Merry Christmas
The good news is that if you’ve made it here: (A) my ESPN rant wasn’t crazy enough to run you off (or you skipped it) and (B) the Mayans were totally wrong. Which reminds me, I’ve got a lot of previously unanticipated holiday shopping to get to. Please chime in and let me know what you want and don’t want from my list and also feel free to share your own Auburn football/college football wishlist.

Maybe you want the eagle to fly clockwise instead of counter-clockwise around the stadium for its pregame flight (or vice versa), maybe you want your own pair of Auburn’s practice short shorts (which would be weird but it’s your list), a mustache like Brian Van Gorder’s (be sure to apply for all of the legally required permits), or a genuinely clever name for your ‘Tailgate Guys’ setup; it doesn’t matter. Just remember it’s your list, and the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy your families and your time together with them this Christmas. Have a safe and wonderful extended weekend.

Merry Christmas! War Eagle! 

35 Comments

  1. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    Excellent post, however, NO ORANGE JERSEYS!!! GAG, GAG, GAG?><"(*&&)

    • Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

      Haha. Well, it is just a wishlist…

      …for now…

    • OrangeKnight says:

      I love orange! Orange is my favorite color, period, and the first thing that drew me to Auburn when my uncle gave me a rubber, orange Auburn football for my birthday when I was about eight. And I would very much like to have one of the orange QB practice jerseys (anyone know how I can get a hold of one?)…

      But since orange jerseys have not been historically kind for Auburn, and the current trend in new uni treatment has been more often horrendous than classic… And since Auburn has some of the most classic unis available, especially on the home side (solid navy blue and just the right amount of orange and white to contrast)…
      I’d say orange jerseys would be… an unnecessary risk.

      I would, however, be amenable to seeing orange jerseys in the A-Day game… Orange v Blue? Maybe go with white thin-thick-thin stripes on the sleeves.

      WDE

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Orange Jerseys? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo !!!!

  3. challenger10 says:

    NO to the orange jerseys.

  4. autgr4life says:

    Really good post and like most everyone else I was in agreement up until the orange jerseys. Please let’s not do those.

    While I do like the classic white and blues and would not mind seeing a spruce up every once and a while. Now I am not suggesting we go completely Oregonish but just a little modern every once and while for special occasions would be nice.

    Since it is a wishlist I will give mine.

    Mine are simple I want AU to win more games than it loses.
    I want AU to be competitive in its loses, with a chance to win those late.
    But most of all, with all my heart, I want Auburn to destroy Bama in the Iron Bowl next year.

  5. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    That was fun but NO Orange Jerseys!! I’m okay with the fans wearing it as it looks good in the stadium but not the players!
    First, on my wishlist would be a NEW PR FIRM that knows how to counteract the media mafia. We have got to quit being quiet about everything. This is not the old days of not answering back because it makes you look guilty. News is moving too fast these days to sit around and wait in hopes that no news is good news. I did agree with how Chiz handle the news the week it all came out. But we NEVER rebuttaled even after being cleared. Don’t know what the answer is but I hope this is someone a NEW AD will address!

    Second, I agree on the Two Bits cheer!!!!!! Even when I was a cheerleader (30 yrs ago!!) it was a stupid cheer. We are already up and cheering so what’s the point. Thanks for that as I haven’t done that cheer in years and I don’t see many around me that do either. While, we’re at it, the cheers in the middle of the field are a waste of time also!! We are getting pumped by everything else and then they come out and do the old cheers ~ what’s up with that?! Just get on to the videos and all the hoopla. Leave the cheerleading for the sidelines.

    So as AuTgr4life says:
    Mine are simple I want AU to win more games than it loses.
    I want AU to be competitive in its losses, with a chance to win those late.
    But most of all, with all my heart, I want Auburn to destroy Bama in the Iron Bowl next year.

    ^^THIS^^ is the BEST place to start!!!!!
    War Eagle and Merry Christmas!

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      You said – “First, on my wishlist would be a NEW PR FIRM that knows how to counteract the media mafia.”

      When you start openly arguing with idiots, nobody else knows who the real idiot is. I say the firm stance, the quiet stare, and the results speak much louder than arguing with the Thamels, Evans’, and Scarbo’s of the world. Let ‘em kiss the ass of the Red Elephant gang, and let Auburn be Auburn.

      And not no, but NO WAY! to the orange jersey.

      Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

      May each of you, have a wonderful Christmas season. I ask that each of you, say a little prayer for the families of Newtown, CT and all those babies that won’t be home for Christmas. It breaks my heart.

  6. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Excellent article, especilally the ESPN segment. I can remember several Chris Berman rants about how the networks had too much control and too much influence over college football. Now they have become that which they claimed to despise. No, I take that back. ESPN is worse than the networks ever thought of being. What is the solution? I have no idea. All I know is that I refuse to watch ESPN, listen to ESPN, or read ESPN, even if it pertains to Auburn. Rant over.

    Orange jerseys? I think we need to leave that to Tennessee and Miami, but I am open to radical uniform changes. I say try some new uni combos at non conference lightweight pay per view games just to gauge fan response. I bet Under Armor would jump at the chance and do it for free. They probably ALREADY have several new Auburn unis designed and ready to produce. As a rule though, I think all SEC games should be played in our traditional uniforms. They are without question the best looking uniforms in football, college or professional.

  7. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    YES: To less ESPN. NO, NO, SUPER NO: To orange jersey’s…it would be the fruitcake of Auburn jersey’s…..

    Also, I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of a live tiger on the sidelines. 1. seems too much like the purple tigers. 2. seems really uncool to the Tiger who would have to be heavily sedated in order to be comfortable in a small cage surrounded by a throng of screaming fans….of course this scenario remarkably resembles what it was like being a fan this last season, but I don’t think we need a live animal to make an ironic statement….that’s what we have hipsters for…..

    I believe that part of Malzahn’s Spring cleaning involved our Media d00d…so maybe that means we will get someone in there who knows how to hedge off these silly NCAA-Auburn’s going to H-E-double hockey sticks on super secret probation accusations.

    This fall’s latest ‘brush’ with the NCAA seemed more like a high school issue than an Auburn issue, but that might be my naivete about the whole thing. We had a virtual colonoscopy (very healthy) during CamGate and nothing turned up, so I would have a hard time believing that they ‘finally found something’….check Danny Sheridan’s cell phone records to confirm anonymous tipstering to the NCAA….

    My Wish List includes:
    1. Justice for Toomer’s corner. I want that idiot in court and then in jail. It is inexcusable how long this has dragged out.
    2. I want to see that Auburn Fight back on the field. I want these kids to be leaving it ALL on the field–win or lose.
    3. For people to quit caring so much about recruiting and all of those stupid stars. There’s a reason why these high school kids have such big heads.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Well damn. I agree with ToTm again. I forget, today IS the end of the world as we know it… :) I guess a good apocolypse every now and then is a good thing.

      Yes to Updyke. He needs to get his moment of glory (AKA accountability) before he passes away. I don’t like to even kid about this but I imagine God will be wearing orange and blue so that might not go well for him. Better to get this dealt with here and now. Payment in full should clear the ledger.

      Yes to Auburn fight.

      And about recruiting… I don’t so much care about the stars but the ability of the kid to perform.

      I’d like to add my own – great coaches to train these young players to their fullest capabilities.

      No more excuses.

      WDE

  8. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Derrick, great article by the way. Love the pictures. I was half way expecting you to say… “I want my red rider pump action bb gun with a compass in the stock.”

    And then the chorus of “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”

    LOL

    Good stuff.

    Merry Christmas everyone and War Eagle!

  9. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    If only I could have foreseen the mere mentioning of orange jerseys would have caused a bigger uproar today than the end of the world. Who’da thunk it?! Haha.

    Thanks to everyone who has dropped in and added to the discussion. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and that you aren’t too busy to enjoy every moment. My wife and I have the pleasure of attending a family event 7 nights in a row for this Christmas season (began this past Wednesday). Hopefully, in roughly a week from now I’l still have my sanity firmly intact.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all WAR EAGLE!!!

  10. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Since this IS a wish list, my wish is for many, many undefeated seasons for our Auburn Tigers and utter and complete destruction of uat in many, many Iron Bowls. If we HAVE to lose, let it be by less than three points with a chance to pull out a victory on the last play of the game in every game.

    For Coach Malzahn, a smooth transition to head coach and a rock hard defense that can prevent other teams from scoring at least three or four times in each game. If our offense can score like they did in 2010, this should be enough to win many games.

    Since I’m a native of Baton Rouge, LA, I HAVE to say no to the tiger(s) on the sidelines. Let the eagles be our mascots and show strength just like the USA bird.

    While we’re at it, we may as well wish for another Pat, Bo or Cam as a recruit. Stars didn’t matter with them, they were stars.

    To each and every one of you in the Auburn family, a blessed and happy CHRISTmas and a wonderful New Year. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!!! TRACKEMTIGERS!!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  11. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I gotta say no to the live tiger mascot. I don’t want to climb up on to big of a soap box, but it’s simply too costly to give a live tiger the space it needs to be happy. I know they’ve greatly improved conditions, but it used to break my heart to see Mike in that little cage at LSU. Besides, we have our eagles. If that’s not enough to get us going, I don’t know what would do it.

    Oh, and bleeagh on orange jerseys.

  12. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I am in the majority on no orange jerseys. Maybe some orange, white, and blue shoes, or more orange on the socks, but lose the shoes.

    I want kickoffs moved back to the 25 or maybe even the 20. It would bring the kickoff return back in to college football and certainly change the thinking on whether to onsides kick or not.

    No on the Tiger, we have a little of schizophrenia in the mascot department already.

    What I do want is a return to hard nose, slobber knocking, running backs going backward, making them look out the ear hole of their helmet, defense. I have not seen that in several years and it was always a guarantee when you played AU that we would bring some pain.

  13. AU6 AU6 says:

    Let me be present when ESPN Shoots its eye out.

  14. Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

    Awesome Article! I agree with the orange jerseys. I like them on occasion.

  15. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……Man, all I wanted for Christmas this year was a day off, and I got FOUR! First order of business is to sleep till AT LEAST sunrise tomorrow! Yeah, I lived through the Christmas list mania, too. Except I was pretty poor at actually sitting down and being proactive with it. When I had the pen and paper in hand, I never could think of anything! My mother would take notes, and see what we raved about multiple times. I have a great mom!

    ……And of course, there was the inevitable “is this all there is?” year. And the “you greedy little &^%t, we spent a fortune this year on you!” answer, that was actually worded a lot nicer than that in reality, but felt just as brutal all the same! I don’t look for “stuff” anymore these days. I look for family and friends to get together and enjoy, over great eats and drinks. And an eggnog. I have to have a good eggnog on Christmas. I make my own rum, brandy, raw egg and half n half version, with fresh grated nutmeg on top. I guess Christmas is not complete without the salmonella risk!

    …..I agree on most of the points in that great post! I’d expand the kickoff section to include a lot of general rules tinkering that seems to be happening more and more. Frankly, I love a good Auburn touchback. I lived in fear on kick returns for many years, till we started getting kickers that could park ‘em in the end zone. Jarrett Holmes, Rob Bironas, Damon Duval, Phillip Yost, Matt Clark, and now Cody Parkey are a heck of a lineup of monster kicking legs! As much as anything, I think moving the kickoff line back to the 30 for the 2007 season helped kill Tuberville’s career at Auburn. Every time we scored in those two years, it seemed like we were giving up a 50+ yard return.

    …..ESPN… eh… it’s a love-hate relationship for me. I hate the smear stuff. I hate games on ESPN-U, which I won’t upgrade my cable tier to get. BCS Title game on CABLE? Blasphemy! I should be able to watch that with my antenna from my discarded furniture crate in the back alley, plugged into the traffic light box!

    …..ESPN has foisted Lou Holtz, Lee Corso and Bob Davie on us. But man, we are getting a LOT more football broadcasts since they came on the scene, especially SEC ones. Folks, their internet scoreboard on football Saturdays is second to none. They maintain up-to-the-play box scores on hundreds of games around the country, on a pretty user-friendly format. Want to know how the UAB-Memphis game is going? No problem. All of those “Checking the Community Coffee/Club-400 Scoreboard” updates from me over the years were because I always have the ESPN CFB scoreboard running on a tab in my browser.

    …..I was a student during Auburn’s previous orange jersey usage. I was a freshman in the band back in 1978, when the Tigers warmed up against Georgia in their traditional blue shirts. We formed up during our pregame show, creating a path for the players to storm through, and paused. In stormed the team, in orange jerseys with white numerals! The stadium went absolutely BONKERS! As was typical in the tear-away era, up close those things looked like rags. That was true of the blue shirts, too, I’m afraid. I personally think a navy blue rag looks more regal than a too-light orange one does, too, but that’s just me. I’ve been guilty of wearing black to weddings, and white shoes after Labor Day. Sartorial paragon, I is not!

    …..In 1978, Auburn played a powerful Georgia team to a 22-all tie, in a game the Tigers dominated in their faded orange shirts. If you think Rogers Redding and Steve Shaw have fielded some bad officials in recent years, you ain’t seen nothin’! That was quite possibly the worst officiated football game I’ve ever seen on any level! And naturally, Georgia caught all the breaks. Much like Georgia’s recent “blackout” jerseys, the repeat performance of Auburn’s tattered orange shirts left a lot to be desired. Herschel shredding our defense horribly. It’s a great gimmick once, but it’s not something to adopt permanently.

    …..It does seem that Auburn University is openly trying to gouge the tailgating set, and that might well be a mistake. Those same folks are the ones who donate the dough that makes it all work. I could say that I don’t really care, because I’m more likely to park way the heck away/where-ever’s free, walk in, and just plop down on the ground anywhere with a Walmart bag full of sandwiches and stuff I made myself. But I think the tailgating scene is the most amazing thing about the college football fandom universe, and I think it’s wrong to tamper with it. My most treasured Auburn moments of the past decade have been walking around campus before the game and seeing what’s going on with the tailgates. It’s just amazing.

    …..Just win, baby. That’s what we’ve got to get back to. I don’t know about y’all, but I will never be satisfied with 3 wins a year, one of them in OT vs. La. Monroe. I’m very confident we’re heading back to double digit win years! War Eagle, and happy holiday weekend!

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Raise your hand if you think William Andrews scored on that long run just before the half (hand raised).

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..I was lined up behind the south end zone, on the opposite end of the field, but my hand is raised nonetheless!

      • DBAU81 says:

        Another hand raised here. I have talked to several Georgia fans who were there (the play happened right in front of their section) and they all have said there is no question he scored. That game was by far the most memorable of my years at AU. Of course, it was the Barfield era, so that bar is pretty low. It was a great game, though.

      • mikeautiger says:

        He scored! I was there and when I saw reply it confirmed he scored. Very questionable officiating that game and several in that era against GA

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        To all above, hell yes he scored! My father (AU Class of ’63) and I were seated on about the two yard line. A UGA DB hit Andrews low at about the three, maybe the two and one half, and Andrews goes sailing. The first thing that hit was his arm with the ball in it. At least half of the ball was across the goal line at impact. Several UGA fans seated near us were openly embarrassed by the call. Anywho….rant over.

        It’s Great to be an Auburn Tiger!

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      If you’re using pasteurized eggs in your nog, I wouldn’t worry about salmonella. Now unwashed salad greens or cantaloupe…..YIKES!

      Of course you’re talking to the microbiologist who like to eat raw cookie dough, so there’s that…

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..Heh. You’re talking to the bagged spinach addict! I always put a fist full of those succulent leaves in my sandwiches, and often have a spinach salad that evening, too.

        …..What I do when I open the bag is to pour them into a clean bucket of water, swirl the leaves around, then pour the bucket into a nylon bag outdoors. I then sling the bag in circles till I shake most of the water out. Then I put the hopefully somewhat cleaned leaves in a new gallon ziplock. The nylon bag gets washed with the next load of sweaty work clothes.

        • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

          So does Santa know that you need a salad spinner?? Cause Brookwood is right down the street :)

          War Eagle, Acid! I hope that you have a lovely vacation!!!

          • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

            …..Yes, I can see Brookwood’s Christmas tree from my front porch! For many years we referred to them as “Crookwood,” due to high prices, and lack of coverage from the HMO I was a member of. I have to admit that I was mistaken. My hospital of choice in the Tragic City area was St. Vincents, for many years. Both of my brothers were born there, and both of my children.

            …..We had medical issues with my dad a year and a half ago with St Vincent’s, and their related cardiac staff. They had him on the table for nine hours for open heart surgery, and didn’t recognize the liver cancer that killed him 6 weeks later. Curious. We never got a bill for that last week in ICU, then the dreaded death watch in the “south tower.”

            …..Meanwhile, this past spring my daughter came home very sick from a UAB archeology trip to India, and she was rushed to Brookwood, which my work policy now covers. The great folk there saved her from a bad death from an untreated kidney infection. Now, the bill for a week of IV’s was close to two hundred grand, but Blue Cross paid up.

            …..Whew. If I get really bad sick, my choice of hospital is pretty clear.

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            Dude, that’s scary pants! Kidney infections can get bad quickly….often start as seemingly innocuous uti’s…..and we know about changing health benefits. We came $200 out of pocket for little ToTM’s birth, and close to $3000 for new baby…..that’s the difference between government insurance and not…so the Congress Critters railing against health care reform have no idea how ‘normal’ folks deal with health care costs……..

            In other health related news, we just had a smoked salmon scare…literally just got an email about a recall for smoked salmon that we SERVED two nights previously….so pissed…then we realized that our sub lot batch number didn’t match the ones that had been contaminated with listeria. I’ve got listeria in our -80, and I’ve used it in experiments, but I’m not okay serving it to guests or ourselves. The problem is, we bought it beginning of December…what about those folks who used it earlier in the holiday season? Smoked salmon from Sam’s people, check your fridges!

            Glad that your Christmas was happy AND healthy! :)

  16. BedouinTiger BedouinTiger says:

    My feelings toward your wishlists-
    College football as a whole – I agree 100% and would like to double tap the TV restrictions for teams on probation. As much as 1993 allowed me to develop an appreciation for radio broadcasters vice TV broadcasters, it would have been much nicer to watch the 22-14 IB win on the tube. The NCAA and conferences today won’t do it because they depend too much on television revenue but it should be an option of discipline. Anyone know the last time TV restrictions were placed on a major program? I am curious…

    Auburn – Agree with everything but I could care less about the pre-game cheers. I liked the students rocking out to Livin’ on a Prayer during the rain-delay prior to the ’09 WVU game (I wasn’t there, but my dad said it was awesome). I am too much of a traditionalist to be a fan of orange jerseys on the field, but I’d like to see Auburn go solid blue (blue helmet, jerseys, and pants) the next time we play a school that has orange as a primary color; but wear it once and be done with it.

    I’m sure most everyone have seen these, but below are what the solid blue unis could look like:
    http://www.warblogle.com/2011/04/18/football/the-truth-behind-the-blue-helmet/
    http://www.thewareaglereader.com/2010/09/the-uniforum-all-auburn-all-blue-all-good/
    http://www.warblogle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/163074_1685878582095_1091564246_1833836_3675786_n.jpg

    An additional thing I would like to see in college football for fans to regain a sense of perspective. Living vicariously thru the accomplishments of 18-23 year olds, vandalizing historical sites of your rival, sexually assaulting passed out opposing fans in Krystal, slashing the tires of a vehicle with your opponent’s flag on it in a parking lot, and the general vitriol that so many fans of all teams have is unhealthy. College football news being able to be consumed 24 hours a day, in and out of football season, may perpetuate the rabid nature of today’s fandom, but it is still the individual’s responsibility to behave responsibly. At the end of the day, college football is a bunch of kids playing a game and wars will not be won or lost or diseases cured because of the outcome of any sporting event.
    Sorry for getting on a high horse…