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The Smoking Barn 2.3 - Mississippi State Bulldogs

2014 was the year of Dan Mullen. 2015 is the year of DraftKings. Let's put 'em together and ruin somebody's weekend.

Suddenly, those one-week fantasy leagues don't seem that bad, huh?
Suddenly, those one-week fantasy leagues don't seem that bad, huh?
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


Yikes, sorry. Just a reflex. Definitely way too early for that.

Your humble Bringer of the Barn reclines on the sofa, sipping hot tea, and suddenly the world doesn't seem so crazy and loud and hectic and /sip HOOOLLLYYYY AUGGHHH MY MOUTH IS BURNING!

That's more like it.

Well, we're 2-1, and for some people that's not a big deal (like, me, for example). We lost to a pretty good LSU team in Death Valley, had a September Heisman winner run all over (and under and around and through) our defense (don't worry—LF won't be able to do jack squat against Alabama's joke of a defense and Les Miles will be at fault in typical Les Miles "Saban owns my sweet little tushy" fashion), and with a "decent" or "good" quarterback, we're at least competing through the fourth quarter.

Hm, okay. Good points all around, gang.

For some people, that's a big deal. In fact, it's the end of the world. It's the kind of glorious carnage that causes the online masses to say things like, "We're not a very good football team," or "We suck," or "I hate us," and bask in the glow of favstars and RT's and the sweet brick wall of insecurity forged from the mortar of impossible standards and the straw and clay of not giving a crap anymore.


Well I'm here to tell you it's not the end of the world, because I'm still in it, and Auburn's got this new quarterback who's supposed to be the next Tom Brady according to the talking heads and sportswriters who gave their various mea culpas this week for labeling Jeremy Johnson the Heisman frontrunner (only a few months after naming Jeremy Johnson the Heisman frontrunner). Sports is truly a curiously insane thing. I thought we were done with hype like we were done with those toe shoes that were supposed to end the debate over "barefoot or foot prisons?" but just ended up being taken off the market?

Nah, Twitter needs hype.

In related news, perennial Auburn head coach candidate and "damn good football coach" Bobby Petrino is 0-3. Sure glad we have him on retainer. Is that in the Creed somewhere?

Tonight as I type these words and stack ice chips on my singed tongue, Tommy Tuberville's Bearcats put up 752 total yards of offense against Memphis in a losing effort.

On top of that, William Shatner is my hero tonight.

Thursday night Twitter is the weirdest Twitter there is. It's the girl you meet downtown one night, and when you go on a proper date with her, she turns out to be a complete psycho, and she's talking to homeless people and shouting when it's uncomfortable for anyone to be remotely loud indoors, and she's crying about social injustice in the world...but hey, you feel like maybe there's a chance you can still save this from being a disaster because you're a glutton for punishment, so you're committed.


Like I said, it's not the end of the world, but let's pretend it really is for a bit, shall we? We're playing Mississippi State this weekend, after all, and what a great time to be alive this is!

The Smoking Barn presents...

"Dan Mullen or DraftKings?"

That's right. It's the game where I'm making up the rules as I go, and nobody's keeping score, and nobody wins—so it's kind of like Upward Basketball. It's also kind of like "Truth or Dare?" because everything about it is just super embarrassing and aggravating and somebody will end up crying.

I'm already crying.

Situation One: You need a wingman.

Auburn's offense sure could use a wingman right now. And so could its defense.

Special teams? Eh...they're doing okay, but sometimes it's appropriate to ask,

It's Friday night. You're going out. For some reason, your best buddy has elected to fast forward his lady situation to the "Define the Relationship" conversation, so he's out of commission for at least three more weeks. He will be missed.

You've got a few options. There's the guy in your Calculus II class who let you borrow his notes the other day. There's the guy you run into at the Rec Center every Tuesday night shooting hoops. There's even the guy who, like, is your TA, but he's only a couple years older, and finals are only three months away, so maybe it's not weird?

And then there's Dan Mullen or DraftKings.

Dan Mullen. Eh, you know he's...he's always looking for an angle. I mean, I'm not gonna say he was the whole reason Cam Newton rumors ever gained any steam, but he certainly didn't look away while it was going on. Do you really want somebody like that in your squad? Somebody who you offer a beer to for the first round of drinks, but he actually wants a Vodka Red Bull, and he never hits you back for it because hey, he'll be right back because he's friends with Tim Tyler (and actually, how does this help anything?)?

On the other hand, you've got DraftKings. Sure, DraftKings is super annoying, he's on your walk home every other day, but it's only a one-week commitment at best, so this just makes sense, right? DK might be aggressive in the back room at SkyBar, but he's really just taking all of the attention from people you don't wanna talk to anyway. Plus, DK is not gonna call you up tomorrow and ask what you're doing at 2:27 in the afternoon. I think this is a no-brainer.

Verdict: Dan Mullen / DraftKings

Situation Two: You need someone to watch your dogs for the weekend.

Oh, what's that? You don't want to have any children because you already have a child and that child is actually your dog? You don't say. You're the salt of the earth.

It's a simple task, really. Basically, feed them, clean up their mess, and don't let them run off.

It's kind of like Auburn's defense. You had one job, defense. Or, hell, I don't know. Maybe there were more jobs. It was Leonard Fournette, after all. Just be glad that there's only Nick Chubb to worry about later in the season.

Oh, wait, you noticed I didn't throw Derrick Henry in that mix? The only more disappointing than Derrick Henry is Birmingham media types when they caught wind of the Lane Kiffin rumors today, and among things that are faster than Henry is the denial of "rumors" by those same folks who seemed all too eager to speculate about Cam Newton.

We would've also accepted "Trent Richardson" or bar service anywhere in downtown Birmingham. Both very slow and very disappointing.

It would just be nice, you know? To have a weekend where you could relax and not worry about what's going on with your dogs. You just want to be able to trust someone to handle it with next to zero problems. So it's just like watching Auburn football—you just want a quiet, relaxing weekend where you don't go to work on Monday having given up three more years of your young sexy life.

On one hand, you've got Dan Mullen. His team is called the Bulldogs, so in a way, he's used to taking care of dogs. He's got, what, 70 or so of them in the locker room? But Dan Mullen is not used to taking care of Heisman contenders or his kickers (scroll down in "Play-by-Play" mode for the happy ending to that one). It's a lot of pressure.

On the other hand, you've got DraftKings, where you just pick your players, set your lineup, and they do the rest. It's almost as if they've been in your house all along, and they know you, and they love your dogs. You can hand DraftKings the keys to your life, and you feel good about it. 20,000 jabronis from Long Island can't be wrong!

Verdict: Dan Mullen / DraftKings

Situation Three: You're looking for a new doctor.

Auburn's looking for an answer to its wounded offense. They might have found the perfect practitioner of the passing game in Sean White, but this is still yet to be seen under the lights of our giant video scoreboard, which is still big as he—GAH, NOPE. CAN'T BRING MYSELF TO PERPETUATE THE MOST UNFUNNY RUNNING NON-GAG OF ALL TIME IN THIS SACRED FORUM. WHY DID YOU MAKE THIS A THING? YOU LET THIS HAPPEN, TWITTER. FOR SHAME.

Hey, here's a serious question: why would you ever give Dan Mullen any confidential information about your body? Like, ever? The guy cannot keep a secret. Dan Mullen is also one of those people on the Shingles warning commercials who is super pretentious about the fact that "Well if you had chicken pox, nyeahhh, then you're probably gonna get Shingles...myeahhh nyeahhh...can't do anything about it....byeaehhh."

But really. Do you want a guy prescribing you medication who talks like this? I guess it's your call...


On the other hand, there's DraftKings. They're gonna shoot you straight, man. I mean, you don't need a long-term cure. You just need a quick fix that's gonna guarantee you some feel-good this weekend, followed by immediate regret and soul-searching life questions. For instance, "Where does DraftKings get all of this advertising money???"

Verdict: Dan Mullen / DraftKings

Situation Four: You need a mechanic.

Whoo, boy. Yep. There is certainly a blown gasket in the Gus Bus, right? Something isn't quite churning correctly under the hood...

Dan Mullen knows nothing about cars. He really knows nothing about maintaining anything good. I mean, the guy led Moo U to what, it's best season in like, what...ever last year? And it got them how many SEC Titles? THAT WOULD BE A BIG OL' GOOSE EGG, BOB!

DraftKings, though? They cater to so many grease monkeys and New Jersey sandwich artists that getting your car fixed is almost worth the trouble.

Except when there's trouble. DraftKings is television's version of when the guys at Express Oil ask you if you'd like your door hinges oiled. What? When do I EVER need that? Or even want it? Just a bunch of cheap gimmicks as they try to steal your money under the guise of a solid business relationship.

Don't worry, Express Oil. I still love you.

Verdict: Dan Mullen / DraftKings / Carpool, take the bus, risk your life with Uber

Situation Five: It's Netflix and chill, and she's down, but you've gotta pick something to watch.

Sigh. It's a tough world we live in.

Netflix and chill? Is that seriously what a date is nowadays? Yeah, you know, I guess "exerting a respectful effort and chill" just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Dan Mullen is an Adam Sandler movie. Some of them are kinda good, and you forget that sometimes. But you're ashamed that you've found yourself on the couch multiple Sunday afternoons sitting through an entire viewing of "Grown Ups" on FX (and worse, it's "FX Movie Download"). Oh, and also, most of his movies are terrible. In the end, you just feel kinda sorry for him.

DraftKings is every bad reboot, ever. Seriously, why even try to reinvent something as perfect as REGULAR FANTASY FOOTBALL? IT IS SO PERFECT A CONCEPT THAT IT'S STUPID. And yet, you went ahead and ruined it, because you felt that the original version of one of the funniest and most classic 80's movies of all time needed actors not named Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd to cater to a generation whose biggest challenge in life is deciding whether I'd rather run through mud and reward myself with Instagram likes and free beer afterwards or run through paint and reward myself with Instagram likes and free beer afterwards.

Verdict: Dan Mullen / DraftKings / Be single

Auburn will probably beat Mississippi State this weekend, which means Dan Mullen will be on the losing end.

DraftKings' business model won't last them a full year. Take heart, my fellow Americans. You'll be back to the good ol' boring days of Angie's List and Alexander Shunnarah ads in no time.

Winner: Auburn

Opposing Team/Coach/Fanbase Hate Index: 8.9/10

Score Prediction: Auburn 20, Moo U 14

Because where there's smoke, there's probably a fire that Dan Mullen started, and I'll fire this thing up until the cows come home and all DraftKings ads are a thing of the past.