Monday, July 31

OK, I'm not letting this one go.

OK, yes, I've heard all the smack talk from Auburn fans about how the Tigers have won two in a row against Georgia and are 5-2 over the last few years, and yes, I've heard all their spirited defenses about how the recent charges of academic impropriety at Auburn are just a lot of trumped-up hooey, yes, I've heard it all, blah blah, zzzz . . . but Auburn fans, I defy you to read this quote and tell me that deep down you aren't cringing with shame:

"It has not been a distraction, not to the team," linebacker Will Herring said. "Has it been fair? I can say it hasn't been fair, but life's not fair, you know? We've climbed up to the top of the nation academically and when you're on top, people want to shoot you down."

Yes, you heard that right: Auburn has climbed up to the top of the nation academically. I'm sure administrators at formerly respectable institutions such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Princeton have been working feverishly for weeks at a stretch to find ways to combat Auburn's academic superiority. Yes, the Auburn intellectual juggernaut is a mighty foe, they say to themselves, but surely it is not invincible! We can produce students with the extrahuman brainpower of supergeniuses such as Carnell Williams and Doug Langenfeld! But how, dammit, how?

Ah, yes, football season is awful close, isn't it? The smell of smack talk is already rich and redolent in the air. Can't wait for September.

Oh, and I forgot . . . The second-dumbest thing I've read on the whole Auburn sort-of-scandal was penned by Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News sports columnist and resident Auburn kneepad-wearer, in this column, penned July 16 basically in an effort to reassure Auburn fans that "Fear the Thumb" (or, their threats to in-state rival Alabama that they're going to win their fifth in a row against Bama this year) still carries a bigger sting than "Fear the Dumb" [above]). Scarbinsky's howler, not quite as overtly stupid as Herring's quote above but damn near, was as follows:

The members of the football team may not all be legitimate candidates for Mensa.

This drip-drip-drip of revelation may pool into a lake of fire, or it may evaporate into thin air, but one thing seems certain amid the hysteria.

Auburn will not have to give up its 2004 People's National Championship.

And isn't that really what's important here?

Yes, what's really important is that Auburn will not have to give up its contrived, arbitrary title that was never earned on the field of play and is recognized by absolutely nobody. Hands off, bitches! Can't touch this!

I went through a lengthy stretch a few years ago where I stopped making fun of Auburn because my sister was engaged to an AU student at the time -- and I can't tell you how glad I am that that never went any further, because seriously, making fun of Auburn is one of life's greatest pleasures. Even if Auburn somehow won five national titles in a row, dissing them would still be a richly rewarding (and easy) pastime for football fans everywhere.

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