Good Monday morning to you. Five more days of work and another long weekend for most of us. Who says January is all that bad?
We've all had fun this weekend with Alabama's BCS Trophy being put on display at Walmart. I mean really, did any athletic department official stop and think about the perception such a move would make? Talk about playing to a stereotype. What's next - a school announcement to partner with Walmart to offer the Bear Bryant Houndstooth Collection of men's apparel?
The move was part of a promotional agreement made with BCS officials, but the choice of Walmart was all Alabama. The school had the choice of displaying the trophy at any of a number of local establishments. They simply chose to go where there fans go...
From the looks of the crowd at Saturday's Auburn-South Carolina basketball game, it appears that Jeff Lebo has placed his team in the witness protection program. The reported crowd of 5,638 was extremely generous. Auburn lost its conference opener for the sixth time in seven seasons.
It looks like it will take a miracle for Lebo to be around next season when the new Auburn Arena opens. Auburn sits at 9-7 with three of its next four games on the road at Tennessee, LSU and Vanderbilt. Its lone home game comes Saturday against third-ranked Kentucky.
You really hate to see things end like this for Lebo. Anybody who's ever met him comes away impressed. He's just never been able to take the program to the next level. With $100 million invested in the new arena, there's no doubt some new energy will be needed to help pay the bill...
Stephen Naughton is one of the good guys in the Auburn Athletic Department. During the holidays, I ordered four sets of the "Saturday Six Pack" basketball tickets from the Auburn ticket office for gifts. They never arrived. I drove over to the office four days before Christmas, but they were closed already for the holidays. Needless to say, I came up short on the gifts.
After several frustrating calls and emails with office employees, I finally asked to speak with Stephen, the ticket office manager. Have you ever been frustrated to the point where you are just itching for a fight? I'm ashamed to say, that was me in this situation. I couldn't wait to get him on the phone and demand my money back.
Instead, what I found was the nicest, most accommodating person I've ever dealt with. He apologized, didn't accuse me of lying or losing the tickets (I didn't) and offered to do whatever it took to make me happy. After that exchange, I was ready to buy four more sets.
After a minute on the phone, the problem was resolved and I agreed to keep the tickets anyway. No, I didn't need them any longer, but how can you demand your money back from a guy who's so darn nice? Looks like I'll be spending the next five Saturday's watching bad basketball. Kindness will make you do crazy things. Auburn is lucky to have Stephen Naughton.