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Onslaught on Number Ones Relentless


I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something, something I can use
People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down

--Don Henley, Dirty Laundry

I wasn't quite prepared for what I saw from the announcers Saturday night. All Auburn fans know what I'm talking about--showing the video of AD Jay Jacobs getting heckled by a lone fan upon his return to Auburn from Ames, Iowa, after he had hired Gene Chizik. In the end, the segment, shown twice, seemed slimey to me. Did they go too far in trying to tear down a #1 ranked team before the game even started? Allow me to elaborate.

Like Jay mentioned yesterday, I think most commentators in the country had bought into hype concerning consecutive #1s going down in flames with each succeeding week. Don't get me wrong--it makes for excellent television and CFB theater when you have the top teams consistently getten beaten. Few of us will ever forget the 2007 season when more teams were toppled than in an Ugandan coupe de tat. That part I understand. The ESPN announcing crew certainly tried to build up the angle with the comparison of Jerimah Masoli to Cam Newton--both dual threat QBs, both looking for redemption after wrong turns in their life, blah, blah, blah. Again, I get that part. This game, to a reasonable person, was going to be a test and tune for Auburn. Nothing monumental was going to happen in the game, so the network had to create some enthralling backstory leading up to it.

With Chizik's brief flash last year, rolling off five quick victories, and with a 8-0 team going into Oxford, the network decided to orchestrate a piece showing the shotgun wedding that came before the long honeymoon we've been enjoying with Gene this season.  They went public with something that most of us in the state have seen--our own dirty laundry with what one fan took upon himselve to do that made the rest of the fanbase look like a bunch of jackasses. In my opinion, this event was old news and I failed to see the reason why it had to be drudged up again. So why was it done?

Again--don't get me wrong. I don't want to hear the conspiracy theories about ESPN having it out for us. That's not the case. ESPN loves us, as best I can ascertain, because they show us on their network an awful damn lot. I just think it was in bad taste to air that segment. Maybe I'm a little sensitive, being deluged with all these negatiove campaign ads leading up to the election. And with that being said, I think that a few lessons can be learned from it that might benefit fan bases everywhere.

In this 25/7 sports news cycle world, complete with Twitter, Youtube and Facebook, you have to realize that someone somewhere is going to catch you acting the fool when it comes to your team and that sh*t ain't ever going away. REMEMBER that, especially if any of you is a convicted murder and thinks about checking out with your favorite team's battle cry. Or, if you heckle your AD, head coach, or any other prominent player or member in a way prone or probable to go viral, remember that actions have consequences and the internet has a long memory.

But let's look for a second at this hick in the video and his heckling. Was what he did any different than what some of us did electronically in this very blog? MOST of us were displeased initially with Chizik's hiring, myself included, but most of us expressed our anger and disappointment in more constructive ways. Yes, we called for Jacob's head, but is there a moral difference in that guy travelling to the airport and voicing his in person than some of the nasty vitriol spewed on Auburn blogs everywhere else? One argument is that guy has more balls to do what he did as opposed to people hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, but the result is the same--you've made your school look bad.

Normally, the main stream sports press doesn't stoop to those levels, but all that changed a few years ago with the grass roots Fire Ron Zook website that went viral and even entered into popular CFB commentary at the time on all the networks. One fan makes enough stink about firing a coach and he becomes part of the conversation. That's the power of the internet and what the blog sites now have the potential for. The fact that you are reading this site tells me that you want another angle to your Auburn information and news. That perhaps you like it with an edge, or with a twist of sorts. Homer sites can be a rah-rah fest or a bitch and moan site. It's in the hands of the readers.

Auburn fans have the reputation for being pretty even-keeled, but these days you have to remember that if you decide to divert from that norm, it's not just your reputation at stake--it could be the whole school's. Is tarnishing that really worth having your 15 minutes(or less) of fame? Is it worth being a troll on the net or in real life?