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Zone Read Between the Lines: Entire Auburn Beat Suffering from Severe Ear Infections

The whole "Zone Read Between the Lines" series is all satire and just having fun.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

So a lot of news came out of Auburn’s first practice. Quarterbacks took snaps. A quarterback not currently on the team was just hanging around. Players who had recent surgeries were held out.

And, I’m not sure if you heard, but “Jovon Robinson got dismissed today.”

Now, while you may have heard that, I’m pretty sure the Auburn beat did not. At least not the first time. Or the second or the third. Listen for yourself how many times Carl Lawson had to tell them that “he got dismissed today.”

Let’s step back and think about why someone would repeat himself five times.

The ones listening don’t understand because of a difference in language, dialect, or accent.

Nick Marshall might have had shark eyes in high-pressure situations, but only because the adrenaline was going 100% to his arms and legs. And apparently his mouth. He was still feeling the effects of it after the close win over Kansas State in 2014.

Something similar happens to me when I get all excited watching people speed run through Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.

“Oh, the TRIPPLLLLLLE!” “Oh, that egg shot!”

Anyway, I don’t think that’s the case with Carl Lawson. Nothing that exciting is going on at the time and he seems very calm. It must be something else making him repeat himself.

The ones listening don’t understand because the subject of discussion is a complex one.

I know what you’re thinking.

WRE, didn’t we learn this spring just how wicked smart Nick Ruffin is? Literally, evil genius level? Maybe Carl’s just really smart too and he’s trying to get the beat to understand that “He. Got. Dis. Missed. To. Day.”

Could be, but I don’t think so. A poor teacher might just stand in front of students and blandly repeat the same information over and over, thinking the constant rehearsal will make the information stick, but a good teacher knows that there are better techniques.

For example, a silly mnemonic such as “Jovon is gone” or “Jovon boyage!” can be helpful in remembering difficult concepts. And since Carl didn’t use these two headline-worthy phrases, and because the concept of Robinson being dismissed isn’t that difficult to grasp, there has to be some other reason for the repetition.

The one speaking is dodging a particular line of discussion.


The ones listening are suffering hearing loss.

Assuming the problem is on the listener’s side of things, this is the last reason I can think of. The beat writers simply didn’t hear him.

Because the Vine above cuts out the conversation between Carl’s words, I assume it went something like this.

He got dismissed today.


He got dismissed today.


He got dismissed today.


So on and so on. And why would a entire room of young folks such as the Auburn beat all have trouble hearing? It’s not like they’re a bunch of octogenarians. The answer is double ear infections. At least that’s what WebMD told me when I entered the symptoms. Either that or anything else on this list.

Is it possible that they all have a foreign object in their ears? Yep. But foreign objects don’t spread from person to person as easily as microbes.

So, by my thorough process of elimination, I feel confident in saying the beat writers all have severe ear infections and need to be treated immediately.

So where do we go from here? Well, first, I’m glad Carl stayed up there behind the podium. We’ve been saying he needs to stay healthy this season and though that usually means avoiding injuries, it applies to ear infections, too.

Second, we need to stop the spread of this disease as soon as we can. So if you were at the “Auburn beat crew cookout” on July 30th, 2016,

or have been in direct contact with anyone who was, contact the CDC at 855-242-PAUL (7285).