Thursday, September 17, 2009

of homerism, bad writing and a big waste of time

Editor's note: I knew better when I started this. I couldn't help myself. Sorry.

Wasting an entire post on a rebuttal to someone else's blog that is clearly designed to entice people like to waste an entire post on a rebuttal is a waste of my time and yours. I'm aware of that. And so I apologize in advance.

At the same time, I couldn't let Kurt Branch's most recent post at Tigers Corner go without at least a mention. I'm doing this for two reasons: a) I know Kurt, and Kurt's enough of a publicity whore that he'll appreciate the mention, even if it's to tell him how dumb he is (in this sense, he's a lot like Lane Kiffin) and b) the post is so idiotic and erratic, it deserves an FJM-like breakdown.

(Which reminds me: did you note the brief reunion tour of FJM yesterday at Deadspin? It was like the reunion of the Mayberry gang, only with way more cursing.)

So here we go, then. God help us all.

Did you happen to catch the highlights of the Auburn/Miss. State game on ESPN's SportsCenter or Gameday Final last Saturday night?

No. I don't think very many people outside Auburn and Starkville cared all that much.

Neither did I because there weren't any.

Think that kind of proves my point. Is this the whole post?

This game had so many story lines it wasn't even funny,

Actually, it had a number of story lines that were hilarious.

but apparently Auburn is just too bad to be mentioned during two hours of highlights that included the bi-coastal battle of Wake Forest vs. Stanford, Utah vs. San Jose State, and Fresno State vs. Wisconsin.

... and that's one of them: you crying "MEDIA BIAS! NO RESPECT!" at the first opportunity. Just to humor you, though, let's examine those matchups one by one and dissect how all three of them were more interesting than Auburn-Mississippi St.:
? Wake Forest-Stanford was an intersectional game that featured a team (Wake) that's been one of the best in its conference the last couple years (admittedly, the matchup looks terrible on paper, but it was decided by 1 TD).
? Utah's a BCS team riding the longest win streak in the country (and I've got the scars to prove it).
? 'Sconsin-Fresno was one of the more exciting games all day ? it went to 2 OTs.

I don't know about you, but I just couldn't wait to see what happened in each of these monumental clashes.

Me neither!

I mean what about about the whole 3-2 thing from last year? What about two new coaches facing off in their first SEC battle?

These are both reasons to not watch Auburn-Miss St., if you're a casual fan. Also working against it: the combined record of these two teams in 2008 was 9-15.

What about Auburn going from 104th to 4th in total offense after two games? What about Auburn having two 100-yard rushers in back-to-back games for the first time ever?

Now these ARE things that we should be talking about: Auburn's 2008 offense couldn't have scored 49 points against air. And the fact that Gus Malzahn is figuring out ways to use average (and that's being generous) personnel to get this kind of production is a real head-turner. You'd think Auburn fans like Kurt would be celebrating right now.
Instead ... well, you know already.

I'm no TV producer, but even I know that these would have been great stories to portray in the highlights.

[slaps palm to forehead]

Is Auburn/Miss. State important to the national scene, or important to anyone outside of Alabama and Mississippi? Not really, but the same could be said for most of the games (and their respective states) that are given time on the show.

The wheels are starting to come off right about now, but we haven't gotten sufficiently ridiculous yet ...

Now I know over a hundred teams could make this argument (whine) every single week, but this is Auburn. This is the SEC. In fact, Auburn/Miss. St. was the only SEC game that wasn't mentioned, and most SEC teams at least got the score flashed on the screen.

I implore you to scroll back through the summer archives and read about the mammoth TV deal ESPN and the conference signed this past summer. Not only is the amount of money unprecedented, but the deal means that ? with FSN and CBS also picking up one game per week ??EVERY SEC GAME IS GOING TO BE ON TELEVISION EVERY SATURDAY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
(Read that last sentence again and breathe deeply.)

Does one bad year really mean that the world doesn't care anymore? It sure doesn't stop ESPN from showing teams who had a decade of bad years in recent history (See: Notre Dame).

Ah, the Notre Dame card. Everyone loves playing the Notre Dame card, even if there's no evidence that any ND bias exists anywhere except in the minds of Lou Holtz and Beano Cook.
But, since we're already waist-deep in this, what the hell: Notre Dame plays on television every Saturday principally because the university (not affiliated with a conference) signed its very own television deal with NBC. Similar to the one the SEC just signed with ESPN that guarantees that virtually EVERY SEC GAME WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ON TELEVISION FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
(I mean, how much do you really want out of life?)

I don't know much,


but I know that this post, no matter how stellar it is, won't change the minds of those in Bristol.

You're absolutely right: the people in Bristol, TN only care about NASCAR.
Wait, you mean ESPN? The people who just signed a $1 billion deal with the SEC that guarantees virtually EVERY SEC FOOTBALL GAME WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ON TELEVISION FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE? Those guys?

All we can do is hope that Auburn goes out this week against West Virginia and proves that they belong amongst the ranks of the Spartans from San Jose State.

San Jose State's 2008 record: 6-6.
(Should we keep going? Eh, whatever ... this feels good.)

Maybe three consecutive games over 550 yards, a win over a Big East school (because a win over an SEC school obviously isn't enough),

I'm not sure why Kurt goes out of his way to slight this week's opponent: West Virginia is undefeated, won 9 games last year (one victory was even against perpetually disrespected Auburn) and won 10 games in '07, '06 and '05. A win over West Virginia would be very impressive, even if they are coached by a borderline invalid.

and another dual 100-yard rushing game will put Auburn back on the highlight reel, but let's not hold our breath. I'm sure USC is taking part in another epic battle this week.

So there you have it, folks. In closing: ESPN would rather show highlights of USC, the best program of this decade, than Auburn.
The biased jerks.
(By the way, this week's Auburn game kicks off at 6:45 p.m. ... on ESPN. Though they'll probably send bad announcers or something since they're so biased.)

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