In a country that thrives, nay, requires a weekly feast of ancient and even pre-ancient fantasy television characters to survive (Hey, Game of Thrones "fans," y'all been outside lately?), we actually might have just one too many soldier-like mascots in the football business. We've got the green ones up North (Michigan State Spartans), we've got the tan ones on the West Coast (USC Trojans), and we've got the Silicon Valley guys (again, not a TV show) that'll be pulling into Auburn in the next few hours, I'm sure.
What do we know about the San Jose State Spartans? You might assume "not much," or "very little," or "enough to assume they were in my March Madness Bracket somewhere and OH, THAT SAN JOSE STATE?" Yep. Not much to write home about.
And SPEAKING of writing home, how many postcards or carrier pigeons or guy-on-horseback's have the San Jose State guys used up by now? If we're to believe a report by @WarBlogle from earlier this week...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The San Jose State equipment truck is leaving now to make it to Auburn by Saturday. Seriously, that's it. <a href="http://t.co/0GQT93Tchb">http://t.co/0GQT93Tchb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wareagle?src=hash">#wareagle</a></p>— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) <a href="https://twitter.com/WarBlogle/status/507248201012117504">September 3, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Poor San Jose State. They had to travel almost 2,400 MILES to get to the flat earth of yonder Auburn. The land of plenty. The place that flows with milk and honey. Wait, now I'm getting my references mixed up.
We're talking Oregon Trail, folks. Where half of you aren't going to live to see the brighter side of 17, and half of your siblings are starting to look pretty delicious, given the shortage of ammunition in the back of the wagon that was supposed to be for hunting, PA. Man, why did you have to get drunk again and fire all of the rounds into the air last night? And why is Jim Irsay our Pa in this scenario, and who gave him a license to drive a covered wagon in the first place?
San Jose State, you travel to a distant land, but you don't plan on colonizing the Plains once you arrive. You see, there is no victory for you in plain sight, because Auburn is going to throttle you. And trust me, it's no fault of your own. It's just that deep down, you know this is just a really really really REALLY long round trip of suffering that only begins with losing to us in the South, and then dropping off one by one as you get attacked by bears all along the road back home. Back to sunny California, where head coaches get dumped in parking lots quicker than a junior high relationship that started 6th period and lasted through the first round of hanging out by the Piggly Wiggly (a new record!)...only to land in places like Tuscaloosa where they're put on a pedestal and get their own special camera angle, even when they decide that they only need to wear an undershirt for the remainder of the game...
I apologize, everyone. That went nowhere. Kind of like your wagons when you realized that you didn't prepare thoroughly enough to ford the river.
Honestly, though. If you're the Spartans of Silicon Valley, this is just one more thing you've got to do to earn your school a little more money. You don't go into this game expecting to win, and shame on you if you think you can ford that river without the proper wagon features and still make it to the other side. Nope, this is a business trip, not unlike the one Green Bay took to Seattle last night, except neither team had to spend their grandfather's inheritance to afford the horses needed to pull their wagons to the stadium, not unlike the thousands of dollars in gas money that you've probably already blown on the way to Jordan-Hare.
Again, it's not your fault that you're not going to successfully trek the Oregon Trail to Auburn, San Jose State. It's just that after last week, Auburn is not going to be happy to just let you walk in a have your way. You see, after "hanging on" to beat an SEC West rival in the opening game of the season by TWENTY-FOUR POINTS, we're going to be looking for new, scary, Pentecostal ways to beat you like a drum. Four things are going to happen:
1. Auburn's defensive players will reveal their true identities: Transformers Beastwars-Animorphs Hybrids.
Gabe Wright will turn into an actual rhino and sack your quarterback (who's about as hefty as a real rhino, by the way) at least 3 times, once with a fumble attached. Robenson Therezie and Cassanova McKinzy are going to sprout velociraptor legs and ram themselves into your receivers until they beg for the Cretaceous Period to just be over already, geeeeezzzz. Our defensive line will feast on your running backs like a horde of starving Great White Sharks having their way with a school of helpless mackerel. Because that's all you are: Silicon Valley Mackerel. A fish, by the way, that you probably can't catch on the Oregon Trail because you spent your gold on blankets instead of a fishing rod.
2. Our offense is going to make Bearded Jesse Palmer pay...at the expense of your entire defensive unit.
Please hear me when I say that this isn't personal, but our offense has a vendetta to take care of, and it just happens to fall on the day when you arrive from the year-long trek by covered wagon to what you think is a land ripe for agriculture and happy hunting. It's not your fault--it's Jesse Palmer's fault.
Bearded Jesse Palmer didn't give us ANY credit last weekend. People on our side often go a little crazy with the whole "ESPN is out to get us" thing, but believe me, this was just awful. The "hanging on" descriptor was bad enough by ESPN, but what's worse? Duke Williams being an average route runner and maybe pretty decent after the catch, according to Jesse.
Duke Williams is going to score one billionty touchdowns on Saturday. A billionty. After his first touchdown, he's going to turn around, rip up the very sod from Pat Dye field and somehow spell out with the dirt underneath, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED, JESSE PALMER?" And it is going to be so glorious. It's going to make what Bane did to Gotham look like your clumsy sister tripping over your Lego house.
3. Our running backs have had enough of the Ginger, and you're just in their way, San Jose.
Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant, Peyton Barber, and Roc Thomas are going to tear off your wagon cover, rip your wheels off the axles, and leave you for the coyotes after they've each scored a touchdown, because, quite frankly, they're sick of folks like Greg McElroy claiming that Alabama has the best running back corps in the country. This, of course, coming from the same guy who proclaimed that he was more prepared for the NFL than current Carolina Panther starting quarterback Cameron Jerrell Newton.
4. Nick Marshall is going to start, and that's also bad for Greg.
Oh yeah, did we mention that Greg thought Brandon Allen was the best SEC quarterback last weekend? Did we also mention that a Greg McElroy-led Alabama team was the last SEC team to play San Jose State, somehow making it okay to give SJSU quarterback Blake Jurich (6-4, 235) SEC credentials, making him somehow better than Nick Marshall? (Watch out, Brandon. Your Heisman race just got shortened by a Sumo wrestler from the Mountain West Conference.) Nick Marshall is tired of your homerisms, Gregory, and he's ready to throw about 5 sexy-spiraled touchdown passes just to spite your insignificant NFL fantasy. MMMMYEAH, GREG.
Look, we're sorry, but no way, San Jose. No way are you fording that river. No way is your entire family going to avoid dysentery. No way are you going to beat us. It's not personal. We wish that it was the SEC Network crew on that covered wagon trek, and not you, San Jose State. We'd love nothing more than for Greg McElroy to be driving that wagon, and for Jesse Palmer to be next to him wearing his best summer bonnet, flopping in the breeze as he makes nonsensical claims about how the raven is actually a better bird of prey than the might red-tailed hawk, and oh, mother, how magical will it be when we can make cornhusk dolls once we arrive!
We'd also love nothing more, for whatever reason, than for Michael Landon to still be alive.
My prediction? Pain. Lots of it. Just take it, San Jose State. And be thankful that you don't actually have dysentery, that you don't have to ford a river in a covered wagon, and believe it or not, that I'd rather listen to a bunch of nerds from your hometown talk about circuit boards and computer chips than hear Bearded Jesse Palmer talk about how Dak Prescott is the dark horse Heisman candidate.
And be thankful that you don't have the problem that I had in 3rd grade, where all I ever did was hunt for food on the Oregon Trail, only to have "shot too many animals," and having to leave the waste to rot in the hot sun of the midwest. I mean, can we just talk about how that game was the closest I got to playing the deer hunter arcade game IN SCHOOL? How that game was educational in the least is beyond me.
Final Tally: San Jose State Spartans, you have died of dysentery.
Opposing Team/Coach Hate Index: .7/10
Score Prediction: Auburn 62 - San Jose State 10
Because where there's smoke, there's fire (which is especially bad on the Oregon Trail when you're surrounded by nothing but DRY PRAIRIE GRASS), and I'll fire these hot takes until the cows come home. DON'T TELL ME HOW TO BARN! WAR DAMN EAGLE!