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Undercover Barner: GIFt of the Bye

This week's Undercover Barner pronounces GIF with a hard "g" and loves Steve Spurrier more than life itself like a good American.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How wonderful are midseason byes? Back in the dark ages, when both Auburn and Alabama saved theirs for the week after the Iron Bowl (and more importantly, the week before the SEC Championship Game), we were locked in for 10 or so straight weeks of nail-biting anxiety. Now, a simple (and mandatory) schedule adjustment has given the teams (and us) a much-needed break in the drama and exhaustion of football season.

Unfortunately, bye weeks aren't always the most interesting things to write about.

But wait, can't you just watch other teams' games and revel in their misery? Write about that!

I mean, I totally would, but I was stuck without cable or internet all day on Saturday and the only team's misery I got to revel in was Georgia's. Don't get me wrong--their tears were delicious (see below). But it's hard to enjoy their suffering as much when I know that in all likelihood, they're going to beat us by like 45 at home in a month.

What about relaxing and taking a day off from sports?

I honestly tried that. But the ESPN app kept calling my name. Plus the USMNT played Mexico on Saturday night. Even if I took a football break, I couldn't take a futbol break.

Okay...what exactly are we doing here then?

Haven't you always wanted to see the story of a weekend told in GIFs?

Not super.

Too bad. Onward!

Remember how I got a dog not too long ago? Well, since I work for the state and can't afford to board him, I had to transport my blue heeler in the car for the first time. Before we left Opelika, he had turned the windshield wipers on, activated the seat heaters, and knocked the car out of gear. Here is a close approximation, if Barkley were a pug*:


Ergo, I stopped at a Dadeville McDonald's, ordered him a plain hamburger, and put two Benadryl in it. The rest of the trip passed peacefully.


I have no regrets.

So what does one do when one has neither cable nor internet? One proves just how cool one is on a Friday night. Get at me, fellas.


Saturday was consumed with a family reunion. It really was a great time. But the real MVP of the weekend was the family reunion food. You know, the delicious potluck Southern fare that always accompanies awkward questions about your marital status. We had everything from squash casserole to chicken and dressing, and I'm surprised I fit through the door when it was all over.


But I'm glad I did because as the reunion was winding down, so was Georgia's will to live. I saw rumors of a Georgian collapse on Twitter, and my heart began to flutter.


While there was no cable, there was an antenna that picked up CBS. We tuned in in time to see Tennessee tie the game. You know the rest of that story**.


Unfortunately my glee was short-lived. There was a soccer match to [receive text message updates on because, again, no cable]. As much as I hate to admit it, I haven't been very excited about the USMNT since the Gold Cup. It's 100% a me thing, and I know I should be a better fan. I guess I've been spoiled by our women's team**. It's just hard to see them get run over.


Anyway, this match was kind of a big deal for the USA. They went out with a whimper in the Gold Cup but they had a chance, if they beat Mexico, to salvage a Confederations Cup appearance out of it. And since I couldn't watch, I was even more nervous.


After trading early scores, the match remained tied at 1-1through regulation, sending it into extra time. MEX scored early in extra time but Bobby Wood came off the bench and provided some late heroics once again, tying it up with around 12 minutes left. Maybe we all got too comfortable. Maybe we were all just thinking about PKs. Maybe our defense is just atrocious. However it happened, with about two minutes remaining, MEX put one past our keeper and that was that. Put an iPhone**** in Richard Sherman's hand and you have actual surveillance footage of my reaction to the end of that match:


So while Saturday wasn't all bad, the end of it kind of put a damper on things.

And if last week's Duke Williams news breaking during the composition of a post wasn't enough, while writing this tonight, we received word that Steve Spurrier will be retiring immediately.


At this time, we don't really know why HBC is hanging up his visor, but I hope he will go on to terrorize golf courses for many years to come. He is completely wonderful and I could not love him more. Partially because he couldn't beat Auburn once he left Florida. But mostly because he was the crazy uncle you always wanted. In his day, he was ungodly good at his job and had absolutely zero filter. Spurrier is the anti-Saban and I cannot describe how much I will miss his press conferences. Hopefully he has an ESPN contract signed, sealed, and delivered by now.

Here's to you, HBC.


If you're making the trip to Lexington on Thursday, enjoy a beautiful city. Rhett Lashlee said they aren't ruling out a two-quarterback system so I don't want to talk about the actual game. We'll cross that rickety deathtrap of a bridge when we get there.

Enjoy this abbreviated week, Tiger fans.

Until next time--War Eagle.


*@IfBarkleyWereAPug is actually an Instagram account name I've been meaning to snatch up

**And what an absolutely wonderful beautiful glorious story it was. Go to hell, Georgia.

***But like, who wouldn't be?

**** By this time, I'd traded the text messages for an actual phone call. I needed real-time updates.