I can’t remember a time when everything was going right outside of my Auburn football obsession when Auburn was winning and vice versa. For instance, in 2003 it seemed my career was taking off but AU struggled that year not meeting national expectations at making a run at a national title. They started 0-2 that year with losses to USC and Georgia Tech. I think we lost 4 games that year.
My career was still rocking in the fall of ’04 when AU went undefeated but then my employer announced the sale of the company (rumors started during the football season) on the heels of the Sugar Bowl victory.
1993 was a whacky year, but there’s a reason for that one that I shan’t elaborate on here. At least I predicted an undefeated season on my college radio program though.
So we turn to this year. New job. New home. I just started my run for an MBA. Seems like things are going well.
Here we go again. Auburn goes 1-2 to start the season today. As I’m typing, Alabama has gone up on Arkansas 14-0.
Whoa-is-me. If you recall from my post-Georgia game post from last year, life can be humbling. Brandon Cox is learning. Some learning could do him good. At some point in his life “it” won’t be handed to him. He’ll have to perform or else. Seems like Tommy wanted to get him started on that part of his degree today (a little late in my opinion but I don’t make the $ for that call). Cox threw two interceptions to start the game and got yanked.
Enter young Young Kodi Burns. A true freshman with monster scrambling ability. Mississippi State had no answer for him, for all about 20 minutes. It was enough to get my Tigers ahead of the Bulldogs at the half. But not enough to continue the charge through the 2nd half.
Back enter Mr. Cox, the 24 year old 5th year senior. I know the coaches are thinking “this is in the bag. Cox has got to have learned his lesson.” Exit the old man Cox, who now after throwing an incomplete pass on 4th down inside the 10 with less than a minute left to hand the Bulldogs a win, is now 44 years old. I’m calling Vegas tonight. I don’t think we’ll see Cox again.
It’s the adverse of what I like about sports, particularly college football or other youth sports. A individual or team comes to a point in time when thinking, skill, or luck turns them to goat or hero. I love the hero side. Jason Campbell shedding the “can’t win the big game” monkey off his back in 2004 with two late minute gut-check passes to beat LSU is a perfect example of herosim elevating him to legendary status for all time.
Today Cox had a moment for temporary redemption – a chance to solidify his position as the starting QB and rally the AU family. Call it a poor throw, bad luck, whatever. “It” went against him. And that’s what we’ll remember, or won’t remember. It’s what I don’t particularly like about sports. The private side we don’t see or know. I’m positive with as many foul-ups that I’ve had in my life, Cox will overcome this. We, the fans, may never see it.
HATS OFF: Kudos for ESPN for interviewing Cat Whitehill during tonight’s Bama v. Razorback game. When asked why she was such a Alabama fan, Cat answered: “Well I’m from Alabama. I just love football especially SEC football. My Mom went to Florida. My Dad went to Georgia. My sister went to Auburn. So when Alabama isn’t playing any of those teams I root for them.” WAR DAMN EAGLE! Sounds closer to an Auburn fan than Bammer.