***The following was written very late Wednesday night. Read accordingly and at your own risk.***
Thursday night games. They throw off everything.
Like today, when I went to work, and everyone's tweeting all like, "herp derp, it's really Friday, derp."
FALSE, sophomore walking home from your 11:00 am class at Lowder to watch last night's recorded episode of whatever terrible AMC or FX show you convince yourself is comparable to Aaron Sorkin's acrid blathering while you blast Snapchat stories from your couch to your various social circles. It is most certainly not Friday, because tomorrow, which is actually Thursday—yet somehow Saturday to some people—is not actually Saturday. It's Thursday, which means those of us not setting aside dirty, gin-soaked Washingtons for tomorrow night's drink specials are working on the excuses we're gonna try on our bosses tomorrow around 4:30 as to why we need to dip out early to watch the Tigers play football—on a Thursday night.
Today was Wednesday, by the way.
Also, I'm sorry for being so bitter. Adulthood is dumber than Mack Brown calling a football game. Although, to be fair, Mack Brown recruited the Auburn-Kentucky game as a Friday night game. Eh, enjoy the thrill of an early weekend, kids. Thursday nights are better than Friday nights. So much better. Take advantage of 'em.
But seriously. This has thrown off my whole schedule. It's kind of like when your mom, who normally cooks dinner on Thursday nights, ends up going to book club, and you're left with just, well, Dad. Poor Dad. He doesn't cook (I look forward to tomorrow's first think-piece on how I'm a toxic threat to contemporary gender roles).
WAYLP (too soon, Spencer?), time to pack up the Honda Pilot and head out for a Thursday night special.
The Smoking Barn presents...
A Wildcat Cracker Barrel Country Evenin'
Yessiree, Bob! It's a reg'lar hootenanny and a half in good ol' Lexington as the Tahgers try to tame the Wildcats. All right, kids. Here's the lineup:
1. Dinner: Turkey n' Dressing...n' Barber
There are so many options that Dad totally can't take credit for on this menu! But let's keep it simple, shall we? Oh, sure. We could've come in here on a Monday night and ordered the Pork Chops. We could've been super lean on a Tuesday and had some Lemon Pepper Grilled Rainbow Trout. We even could've gone nuts on a Wednesday night and let some rookie break in his gold star apron with a complicated order like Broccoli Cheddar Chicken.
But no. It's Thursday, and if we're gonna mix up the dinner schedule, we're at least gonna set some ground rules. Turkey n' Dressing. That's a standard. Hearty, filling, delicious.
You know what else is hearty, filling, and delicious? Peyton Barber. Hungry for yardage? Send Peyton behind the pulling guard and watch him tear up a 14-yard run. Got an appetite for smack-you-in-the-facemask punishment? Peyton's skatin' toward you, Kentucky defense. He's not shying away from a hit. Like the Thursday night dinner special at Cracker Barrel, Peyton Barber is the perfect entree. When nothing else on the menu looks interesting—or, like, I dunno, nothing else is working on offense—do yourself a favor and run Peyton up the gut for some satisfying, made-from-scratch domination.
2. Dessert: Kerryon Cobbler
Apple pie. Peach cobbler. Strawberry ice cream. How come all of the best desserts have fruit in them?
And come to think of it, did you know that in some restaurants, banana pudding (which is a dessert containing banana, which is a fruit), is considered a vegetable? I know, right?
So, if you think about it, Kerryon Johnson is our banana pudding. He's a running back, but he can also catch the ball, and lately, he's been lining up at quarterback in the Wildcat. Yeah, that Wildcat. Gosh, it's 2015 and we're still using the Wildcat. Isn't Auburn football strange and wonderful?
If you finish all of your turkey n' dressing, you can have your banana pudding—which, again, is a vegetable in some places—for dessert. Translation? A healthy lead established by the run game should free up Auburn's Wildcat offense...against the, uh, Wildcats.
3. That agonizingly frustrating peg game on your table...aka Auburn's passing game
Okay, well here's the awkward part. That peg game on your table? Yeah, like, a million other people have touched that thing. So maybe wait until after you eat to figure out if you're "Just Plain Dumb" or an "Eg-no-ra-moose."
Another awkward note: Duke Williams is gone. But it's actually a good thing. Yeah, I know. It still stings a little bit, but trust me—as talented as the kid is (and he is talented), this was for the best. Trust Gus. He's the one doing the cookin'.
Honestly, though. The only thing about as frustrating as leaving like, five of those golf tees on that triangular wooden germ sponge is watching Auburn's passing game (or, apparent lack thereof).
So is Thursday night in Lexington when we see Jeremy Johnson 2.0? Or is Sean White finally gonna light up the field with an intermediate passing game? We won't know until kickoff.
4. An early stocking stuffer from the ol' Country Store
You know the one. It's one of those items your grandmother still manages to stuff in your Christmas stocking every year because, bless her heart, she still thinks you're five. I mean, give her credit for buying all the grandkids' Christmas gifts in July before the morbidly obese regulars stop by in droves and clean out the location off the interstate on the way to the beach.
The problem with Cracker Barrel toys, God bless 'em, is that they only work for like, a day—maybe two if you're lucky and not one of those kids that destroys things for fun. I mean, they should work. Shoot, half of them are made of wood. How does wood stop working, exactly?
It's kind of like Auburn's kicking game as of late. It should work. Every time. Daniel Carlson is one of the surest things in the game. And if you're unsure about that, just hop on a bus to the school west of us and ask them how they feel about kickers (the good news is that nobody ever got death threats in the mail for buying their family members toys or candy from Cracker Barrel).
Do us a favor, Auburn coaching staff. Don't watch the play clock run down to nine seconds, then send the field goal unit out to knock in a 30-yard chip shot, then get upset when we hurry up to snap the ball and the holder doesn't get a good hold and Carlson shanks it or dings it off the right upright. Auburn's kicking game should work every time. It's not one of those Cracker Barrel talking parrots.
5. A Cracker Barrel Exclusive Artist CD: "Auburn CFB Twitter's Greatest Gospel Hits of 2015"
1. "We're not very good"
2. "I miss Nick Marshall"
3. "We suck"
5. "Is Carl Lawson healthy yet?"
6. "We haven't had a good defense since 2004"
7. "Bench (insert Auburn player's name)"
8. "/pants off"
9. "Hey, look! Defense!"
10. "I'm about to drunk text my ex"
11. "PEYTON BARBER"
12. "I'm dripping with irony" (Remix)
13. "TURN AROUND!"
14. "Takes" (WARNING: EXPLICIT)
15. "Gus is gettin' cute"
16. "Daniel Carlson for Heisman"
Bonus Track: "Oh, Auburn. Not Like This." (sung by @LonelyTailgater)
Cover Art: The finest GIF reactions from @peggyrossmanith
C'mon, Auburn. This game messed up our week. How about we open up the playbook and mess up the Wildcats in Lexington? Those of us whose Thursday is still actually, you know, a Thursday, need this win more than any win so far this season. Make it happen.
And for goodness sakes, let's get to 30 points faster than it takes for a three-star server to bring you your cornbread and biscuits at Cracker Barrel...
...I mean, Gus doesn't have time to wait for you, Mark Stoops. Just bring us the check.
Opposing Team/Coach/Fanbase Hate Index: 4.5/10
Score Prediction: Auburn 27, Kentucky 24
Because where there's smoke, there's a Cracker Barrel fire burning by the giant checker board, and I'll fire up some good ol' country cookin' until the cows come home, baby!
DON'T TELL ME HOW TO BARN. WAR DAMN EAGLE.