Guess who’s back... back again...
After a week away, Brad Law returns with thoughts from on high!
“When you drive more than an hour to get the stadium, and its still dark when you get there, you’re playing an early game – and you have a long pre-game show. That was the case last weekend in the Lone Star State.
When you go to Shipley’s donuts and the entire crew gets hopped up on sugar before an early broadcast, several guys come into the booth singing and dancing. That was the case last weekend in the Lone Star State.
When you have a balanced team that continues to improve as the season progresses, and they get several key members back from injury after a bye week, you witness a convincing conference road victory. That was the case last weekend in the Lone Star State.
Some of the broadcast crew road on the team flight while others flew commercial from Birmingham and Atlanta. During the team flight, the news dropped that Jay Jacobs would retire from his position as Director of Athletics. I was on the road between the airport and College Station when I saw it, and a plan was enacted to try to add Jay to the Tiger Tailgate Show on short notice. He kindly accepted, and the ensuring interview Saturday morning was poignant, emotional, and appropriate. Jay humbly expressed his appreciation for the kind words, texts, and tweets, and he reflected quite candidly on the struggles of the last year – even if he didn’t speak in specifics. We’re grateful he took the time to be with us last weekend and the countless other appearances he’s made on the Auburn Sports Network in years past.
We had an ESPN.com writer from Texas on the tailgate show to discuss the conference and the Texas A&M program in particular. Before his segment, I did my Lou Holtz impression during a two-minute drill segment. He seemed a little nervous about being on, and he didn’t seem sure whether it was ok to laugh as my character recited lyrics from songs about Texas.
During the game, I communicate with everyone. I talk with Ronnie about what he’s seeing on the sidelines, I give quick stats or notes to Rod and Stan as they call plays, and I’m in constant contact with Paul and the studio. Everyone on the crew possesses an impressive knowledge of the game. We often discuss things during the run of play that we may not have time to work into the flow of the broadcast. Sometimes, though, the coaches see the same things we do and everything falls in place at the same time. For example, as the first half winded down, Auburn trailed 13-7. The Tigers had run three plays in a row to the right side for no fewer than seven yards. Ronnie mentioned to me that Darius Slayton was faster than the guy covering him. “He can’t keep up with Slayton if they’ll throw it to him,” Ronnie declared. Two plays later, on second and one, Stan said, “Now here’s where you can take a shot if you want on second and one.” The next play was a run fake to the right and a beautiful strike to Darius Slayton for a long touchdown to give the Tigers a lead they never relinquished. It was just one example of many where our guys saw the play before it ever happened. That’s why they’re the best in the business.
Moving on, it’s a big week. Everyone’s focus is rightly on Georgia. After the season, we can all look back with greater appreciation for just what a quality win this was in College Station. The defense gave up some big plays but made more big plays. The offense put together a championship drive to salt the game away in the fourth quarter. It’s not easy to go 3-1 on the road in the SEC, but that’s what Auburn did this season. Now, let’s go get those Bulldogs!”