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Tuesday Ramblings From The Plains (Super Bowl Edition)

By on February 7th, 2017 in Baseball, Basketball, Football, News 14 Comments »
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Jonathan Jones #31 of the New England Patriots celebrates after the Patriots defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28  during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  Getty images

Former Auburn star, Jonathan Jones celebrates after becoming a Super Bowl champion. (getty images)

Jonathan Jones can now tell others never to give up on their dreams. The defensive back was an All-SEC selection at Auburn, went undrafted in 2016 but played in the Super Bowl Sunday night. He became the first former Auburn player to become a Super Bowl Champion as a rookie.

I’m not a big Super Bowl fan or for that matter an NFL fan. However, what does interest me is how former collegiate players fare at the next level, particularly former Auburn players. And I was proud to see Jonathan run around on the field celebrating as a champion.

Jones was one of three former Tigers to play in Super Bowl LI. Joining him on the Patriots roster was second year NFL veteran, Brandon King (DB), also a free agent who beat the odds after going undrafted in 2015. The other player was long snapper Josh Harris, who played for the Falcons. Harris has played in every game during his five-year NFL career.

To play in the Super Bowl is a big deal. Most play for years and never get a chance to play on sports biggest stage. Congratulations to all three men.

***
After shelving the proposed $145 million dollar North End Zone expansion to Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs has announced a $28 million dollar renovation project for the south end zone.

The new facility is scheduled to be completed before the 2018 football season and calls for relocating the press box to the southwest corner of the stadium in order to add 150 additional club seats on the west side.  There will also be two floors of club level seating above a new football locker room and recruiting lounge.

Auburn’s two National Championship Trophies and three Heisman Trophies will be on display in the recruiting area. While I’m sure the display will be nice, how much more impressive would it be for the Tigers to display not just two but all the national championships recognized by the NCAA?

Better yet, why can’t Auburn have a showplace museum of Auburn sports history to educate fans and impress recruits?

There are tons of Auburn sports trophies and memorabilia stored away, just collecting dust. Georgia and LSU have museums, and that school on the other side of the state has one of the best. I asked Jay Jacobs about this once, and he said it was something that may be considered at a later date. Why not now?

***
It always seems strange to think of baseball in the middle of winter. However, the Tiger baseball team will be hosting its inaugural fan day on Saturday, February 11 at Plainsman Park. Gates open at 9 a.m.. and events are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. A team scrimmage will be held at 11 a.m. with players and coaches signing autographs afterwards. There are several other special events planned. The most important to this donut aficionado is that free Krispy Kreme donuts will be given to the first 200 fans.

***
Finally, Auburn basketball has had its best start since 2002–2003, the last time the Tigers reached the postseason. And the Tigers are doing it with a freshman cast. An apparent healthy Danjel Purifoy helped lead the Tigers in beating Alabama Saturday night for the second time this season. And on Monday, Jared Harper was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance in the game.

The Tigers currently sit at 15–8 overall and 4–6 in the Southeastern Conference. Could Auburn still reach the NCAA Tournament? Probably not. But if a couple of “ifs” can be answered positively, there’s still a small chance.

If Auburn can win five of its remaining eight games, they will finish with a 20–11 record. And if Auburn can get couple of wins in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers would have 22 wins, which would make them a bubble team, and the decision might then come down to an acceptable RPI.

Auburn starts that final stretch tonight when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to town. The game tips off at 8:00 p.m. CT in the Arena and will be broadcast on ESPNU. If you can make it, why not come out and help the Tigers get the W? Until next time …

War Eagle!

14 Comments

  1. zotus zotus says:

    ATM, congratulations are in order to Jonathan Jones, his teammates, his coaches, and the entire Patriots organization for winning Super Bowl LI.

    It’s been some rookie season for #31!

    But, man, for folks who have followed the Atlanta Falcons, the 4th Quarter provided just one more example of the ultimate fan agony that the Falcons — one way or another — have dished out to their fans for the 51 years of the team’s existence.

    This time it was dished out to those long-suffering Falcon fans — who with 8:31 to go in the game, the Falcons 3rd Down & 1, and still up 28-12 — were saying to each other, “By golly, we’ve got it … not even the Falcons can find a way to lose this game.”

    Clay Travis described what happened next, the best:
    “Most football coaches would be making $50,000 a year as gym teachers if they weren’t making millions of dollars a year coaching football.”

    “As good as Tom Brady is — and he’s the greatest quarterback of all time — if the Falcons just utilize rudimentary game management skills — the kind possessed by every 12 year old playing Madden on earth — they win the Super Bowl.”

    “Yep, the Falcons had the Super Bowl won.”

    “And they lost it.”

    “All because Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan completely choked on the sideline. When their intelligence and game management mattered the most, both coaches failed. Falcons fans have no one to blame, but their coaches.”

    “Sadly, this is what happens when gym teachers make complex decisions, time after time, these erstwhile gym teachers now making millions coaching football can’t analyze the game well enough to make the smart strategic decisions.”

    P.S. To all you Atlanta Falcons fans out there: This loss was so tragic that you might not want to see some cold-blooded analysis of how the Falcons LOST Super Bowl LI right now. But, when you are the frame of mind, you ought to reach for Travis’ article. It might help you face another season.

    Keep hope alive. War Damn Falcons!

    Click here: http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/the-atlanta-falcons-choked-away-the-super-bowl-020617

    • Tigerpharm says:

      Agree 100% with this Zotus and kudos to the Pat’s. BUT as the article you referenced said, the Falcons not running the ball late and putting Matt Ryan in the shotgun when a field goal would have most likely iced the game was, “coaching malpractice of the highest order, the equivalent of a doctor amputating the wrong leg.”

      As a Falcon fan from the Tommy Nobis days I was Livid. There has never been more “Agony of Defeat” for those of us who have followed the birds from the beginning of the franchise. But I will keep following them and hoping. After all these years, hope is all we got.

      • zotus zotus says:

        RE: “coaching malpractice of the highest order, the equivalent of a doctor amputating the wrong leg.”

        Spot on, I’d say, Tigerpharm.

        Yeah, no doubt, there are a lot of saw-bones doctors out there … and, sadly there are a lot of saw-bones football coaches out there too.

        And, some of them are a bit too close to home. ;-(

        Keep hope alive. WDE!

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I was actually laughing when the Pats kicked that field goal to make it 28-12. “They’ll never make back-to-back 2-pointers. This is still a 3-score game.” Evidently, the Atlanta brain-trust was thinking the same thing.

    • zotus zotus says:

      Acid, I have no idea what the Atlanta brain-trust was thinking over that 8-min 31-sec span in the 4th Q … but, it’s obvious what Coach Belichick was thinking when he sent out his FG kicker to make it 28-12.

      Coach Belichick was thinking, “This is still a 3-possession game. Two possessions to tie it. And, 1-possession (in OT, if necessary) to win it.”

      Coach Belichick was in that game to win it. Period.

      That’s what separates Coach Belichick — an some others — from “these erstwhile gym teachers now making millions coaching football can’t analyze the game well enough to make the smart strategic decisions.”
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      P.S. BTW, Acid, I know you remember the 17-16 game at Legion Field. I do. I was there. I remember that every Auburn fan — within my earshot — knew as well as they knew anything (after watching a few minutes of that Iron Bowl mismatch) that the Auburn offense was not going to score enough points to win that football game. Period.

      When Auburn (down 16 to zip) finally crossed the 50-yd line (maybe for the first time all day, I didn’t look it up) they were facing 4th down, and Coach Jordan sent in the FG kicker. It was the only time (down through the years) that I ever witnessed one of Coach Jordan’s decisions boo’ed in public.

      We all know how that decision worked out.

      That’s one of the many things that separated Coach Jordan from “these erstwhile gym teachers now making millions coaching football can’t analyze the game well enough to make the smart strategic decisions.”

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      Does anyone else remember the signs around Atlanta from time to time back in the 70s?

      My two favorites were

      I-85
      Falcons 0

      AND

      “Go Braves, and take the Falcons with you!”

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……I’m kind of shocked about Jacobs putting the pressbox in the corner of the end zone. What, Auburn doesn’t care what the press prints, anymore? I suppose that having a few more sky boxes makes financial sense. It’s a different world, to be sure.

    • Tigerpharm says:

      Press box in the corner struck me as weird too. I guess that also means Rod and Stan will be moved. I hope they can still see well enough to call a good game.

  4. Tigerpharm says:

    Auburn Sports Museum is a great idea and long overdue.

    Auburn used to have one located in the Athletic offices where fans could see the national championship and Heisman Trophies. I remember there were a lot of neat things like an anatomical wax figure of Shug Jordan speaking to Pat Sullivan on the sideline during a game. The museum was suppose to be moved to the new Auburn Arena. But all we got was a plywood mural.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      I remember that museum and was excited to hear it was going to be moved to the new Arena. I envisioned a new and improved one but like you was disappointed in what was presented. To say it was a downsize is putting it mildly. Frankly, I thinks it's a shame to have 99% of Auburn's sports trophies and memorabilia hid away in storage.

  5. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    Every year, donors are asked to share areas of improvement they’d like to see. Every year thousands of fans say “concessions and bathroom improvement.” Every year, it’s ignored.

    It’s a fundamental flaw. The 90% are ignored.

  6. sparkey sparkey says:

    We need a football facility with a new weight room in it. We don’t need what we’re doing. It’s a total waste of money.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..You’re right, Sparkey. Moving the press to the corner of the endzone is going to generate negativity, nationally broadcast.

      …..I keep hearing that one can get Polish sausage and other treats in the stadium. I’ve never seen it. Even in central Section 30, we have just an assortment of Coke-Dasani-water, and a few soft drinks available at the concession stand. Not even a hot dog, chips or popcorn is an option. We have better options at the movie theater these days, than in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

  7. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Whooooo! WAR Eagle! Auburn leads MSU by TWENTY, at halftime! Dominant play, by the Tiger basketball team….