But first–hat’s off to Nick and Jimmy!
It appeared an explosion of high-speed nuclear fission couldn’t live up to the pregame hype of his year’s Iron Bowl but somehow Auburn and Alabama managed to do it, putting on a show that, if it were a Broadway play, would have demanded about ten curtain calls. In spite of this, it was Nick Saban and his agent who managed to pull off the biggest coup of the month by playing the Alabama administration like string music and getting a much better contract.
And the card they were holding, really wasn’t a card at all: the threat of Nick bolting for Texas. Nick wasn’t about to go to Texas for the simple reason that, well…read a book titled “Bleeding Orange” by Kirk Bohls and you’ll understand why. Texas may have more money than anyone school in the world. Texas has its own network and a recruiting base Skull and Bones couldn’t match. But as Kirk explains in the book, Texas is actually an embarrassment of riches which essentially makes it more like Afghanistan than Xanadu: a large group of powerful war lords constantly infighting for control of the main territory, encumbering the ability of any coach to accomplish much.
Nick has always prided himself on being some sort of Hemingway character–a man’s man who gives no quarter–but in Austin he’d essentially be a string puppet always choosing pronouns and adjectives extraordinarily carefully to appease the billionaires fighting for control. Think Nick wanted any part of that?
But the neatest part of the month may have been when former president George W. Bush dropped a note to Alabama kicker Cade Foster to console and encourage him. With that in mind, can you image what history would have looked like had other presidents taken the time to console Tide players and coaches in times of despair? Here’s a guess as to what the headlines might have been:
JFK Consoles Joe Willie Namath (about philandering rumors)
HYANNIS PORT, MASSACHUSETTS–According to Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, while on sabbatical at his summer retreat, sent a letter of encouragement to Alabama junior quarterback Joe Willie Namath advising him to focus on the upcoming opener at Georgia and not worry about all the rumors going around the state regarding his excessive philandering.
“I told Joe Willie you just can’t listen to rumors,” said Kennedy. “Look at me: one minute I hear I’ve been with Judith Campbell Exner. Why would I want to be with someone romantically involved with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana? The next minute I hear I’m cheating on Jackie (first lady Jacqueline Lee Bouvier) with Marilyn Monroe. Why would I want to be with someone who hangs out with Joe DiMaggio all the time? Then I hear I’ve made time with Inga Arvad. An Irish journalist maybe, but a Danish journalist who was photographed with Adolph Hitler? No thanks! So I told Joe Willie not to worry about the malicious things he hears, just to play ball for the Bear.”
“To be a leader you have to make people want to follow you, and no one wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going,” said Namath, adding that someday he hopes Farrah Fawcett, Barbara Streisand, Suzie Storm and Raquel Welch all follow him.
Reagan Consoles Logan Young (about Albert Means scandal)
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA–The Washington Post has reported that former president Ronald Reagan has reached out to renowned Alabama booster Logan Young to console him over his botched effort to recruit Memphis high school football standout Albert Means.
“Sometimes you take actions that seem questionable to the critics after-the-fact,” said Young. “I know when Dutch was secretly selling those weapons to the Iranians, his intention was to win the release of American hostages. People seem to forget that. Well, when I offered Albert’s coach in the vicinity of two-hundred grand, I was doing it for my love of Alabama.”
“I told Logan something Caspar Weinberger told me,” said Reagan. “That we could answer to the charge of selling weapons, but we didn’t want to answer to the fact that we had a chance to release hostages and passed it up. So even if Albert did end up being a bust, Logan’s heart was in the right place and I commended him for it!”
Clinton Consoles Mike Dubose (about extramarital affair)
HOPE, ARKANSAS–Reuters international news service is reporting tonight the United States president Bill Clinton, while doing an interview with Nobel laureate Toni Morrison took a moment to write a short note to Alabama football coach Mike Dubose and offer condolences for the preposterous position Dubose finds himself in, the object of a sexual harassment lawsuit by his former secretary.
“I told Mike, as I told Toni, my sex life has been scrutinized in the press more than my career accomplishments, and that’s just not right,” said Clinton. “In the same vein, Mike should be remand remembered for things like playing for Bear Bryant and coaching a defense that led the nation in just about every category, not laying the lumber to some ditzy blond around the office.”
Clinton alerted Dubose persecution may be coming. “I always recall the guys who patted me on the back and called me a great American when they heard I was involved with Paula Jones, and Monica Lewinsky, and Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey. But when formal allegations were made, they all turned on me and acted as if a were a sleazy adulterer. That’s what I had to deal with and I imagine that’s what Mike is going to have to put up with.”
Clinton also sent Dubose a study done by the Brookings Institute which clearly showed if they ran every adulterer out of Washington, D.C., the town would shrink to the size of Opp, Alabama.
FDR Consoles Frank Thomas (about Rose Bowl loss)
WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA–”Alabama has got to be the Arsenal of Democracy for college football,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Alabama coach Frank Thomas following the Tide’s recent loss to California in the Rose Bowl.
“It was one of the most heart-warming letters I have ever seen,” said newsman Edward R. Murrow, who reported the story first for CBS News. “Franklin was in the final stages of reviewing the New Deal, and he took the time to telegram Coach Thomas just to let him know what Alabama football means to this country.”
“I very much appreciate President Roosevelt taking the time,” said Thomas. “He has to worry about Mussolini attacking Ethiopia, Hitler attacking Poland and Hirohito attacking China. So for him to take the time out to concern himself about Alabama football indeed does show what a great president he is.”
Calling the Rose Bowl loss, “a day that will live in infamy,” FDR urged Thomas to get ready again next fall, and that, “the Alabama people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”
Eisenhower Consoles Bart Starr (about having to play for Ears Whitworth)
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA–The Associated Press out of Washington D.C. is reporting that President Dwight Eisenhower spent the morning issuing nuclear threats against China to end the Korean War and in the afternoon traveled to the Deep South to console Alabama quarterback Bart Starr for having to play for Ears Whitworth, whose 4-24-2 career record and 14 game losing streak pretty much speaks for itself.
“I told Bart I have eight millionaires and a plumber in my cabinet, so sometimes you are just going to have to make the most of a bad situation and move along,” said Ike.
Eisenhower urged Starr not to quit, no matter how appealing it might seem. “I’ve had people encourage me to drop Social Security, I’ve had people encourage me to throw Joe McCarthy in jail, I’ve had people tell me I have to drop the New Deal programs, I’ve had people ask me what the hell the “Domino Theory” is?” said Ike. “But you can’t let bad circumstances stand in the way of your goals. I encouraged Bart to finish out his career at Alabama, see if he could get Vinny Lombardi to draft him for the Green Bay Packers, and go up to Wisconsin and become and icon!”
LBJ Consoles Greg Gantt (about “Punt Bama, Punt!”)
JOHNSON CITY, TEXAS–Time Magazine is reporting in its weekly edition that president Lyndon Baines Johnson took the time after watching Auburn defeat Alabama 17-16 to console Crimson Tide punter Greg Gantt, who had two punts blocked which gave the Tigers the edge in the confrontation.
Placing a call from the LBJ Ranch, the magazine reported that Johnson told Gantt, “Greg sometimes being a punter is like being the President which is sometimes like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but stand there and take it.”
Johnson told Gantt he doesn’t feel the blocked punts will hurt his chances of someday kicking in the NFL.
“I emphasized to Greg that there will be another day,” said Johnson. “It’s like when John Kennedy defeated me in the Democratic primary. Even though icons like Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey and Tip O’Neill pledged support to me, those scoundrels chickened out at the last minute and tossed their support to Kennedy. Well, a short while later my fellow Texan Sam Rayburn reminded all those dorks there was no way Kennedy could win the general election without the support of Southern Democrats, so they were forced to put me on the ticket as vice president.”
Nixon Consoles Bear Bryant (about scheduling USC)
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA–Look Magazine has reported in its March issue that President Richard Nixon, as well as Vice-President Spiro Agnew and top aide G. Gordon Liddy, recently dropped by the Alabama field house to console coach Paul “Bear” Bryant on his decision to schedule USC.
“I told the Bear it was a horrible mistake to schedule the Trojans,” said Nixon. “All those soul brothers on USC are gonna rock the house and win in a runaway.”
“Alabama has no one that can match up with Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham,” added Agnew. “I told the Bear that Cunningham will have have the kind of afternoon which will do more for integration than all the years Martin Luther King spent working on the Civil Rights Movement.”
“But we tried to console the Bear and his staff by assuring him some good will come out of this,” said Liddy. “Those rednecks running Alabama will be forced to realize they can either play with the soul brothers or play against them. And if they end up playing against them all the time, the results won’t be good. Alabama is going to have to start recruiting African-Americans.”
“And one final thing,” said Nixon. “You won’t have Ha Ha Clinton Dix to kick around anymore.”
Truman Consoles Ray Perkins (about Notre Dame being voted No. 1)
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA–The Independence Examiner reported today that former president Harry S. Truman, in spite of living on meager earnings of just $122.68 a month from his army pension, made a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to console the Crimson Tide’s All-American receiver Ray Perkins about not being ranked number one in the nation, even though Alabama ended the year undefeated.
“The president talked about how frustrated he was the final years he was in office when he just couldn’t win the Korean War,” said Perkins. “He kept saying, ‘If that jackass Douglass MacArthur did go around my back to try to get support for an invasion of China, I think I could have won in Korea.’ And he stressed that sometimes there are things in life you just can’t control. Like the voters of the college rankings.”
“I told Ray in my opinion the majority of voters cast their ballots for Notre Dame out of fear of retaliation from God,” said Truman. “They’re just a bunch of dumb son of a bitches but it is not against the law to be a dumb son of a bitch. If it were, half to three-quarters of the sports writers in America would be in jail!”
Ford Consoles Bill Curry (about working where you are not wanted)
CAMP DAVID, MARYLAND–Bob Woodward of the Washington Post is reporting that former president Gerald Ford, currently making a king’s ransom while serving on the corporate boards of Nova Pharmaceutical,, Commercial Credit, The Pullman Company, Tesoro Petroleum and Citigroup, met with Alabama coach Bill Curry to console him about working at a place where no one wants you.
“I understand very well what Coach Curry is dealing with,” said Ford. “When Spiro Agnew had to resign as Vice President, I was chosen to step in and very few wanted me. When Richard Nixon had to resign as President, I had to step in and very few wanted me. I was always looked upon as an unproven commodity that always had to prove himself. And that is what Coach Curry is doing at Alabama. I told Bill, just because he didn’t ever play for the Bear, or have a photograph snapped with him in some avuncular manner, that does not lessen his value as a human being. And he should just tell those people who are hellbent at keeping the Alabama job ‘in the family’ to go stick it where the chat rooms don’t shine!”
Woodward reported that Ford’s meeting with Curry had to be cut short because he was on his way to Ann Arbor, Michigan to open the Gerald Ford Library at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, followed by opening the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.
Carter Consoles Gene Stallings (about not punching Bob Bockrath’s lights out)
PLAINS, GEORGIA–The Atlanta Constitution is reporting in its morning edition that former president Jimmy Carter has postponed a planned peace mission to North Korea to take a moment to console Alabama football coach Gene Stallings, who got in a heated argument with his athletic director, Bob Bockrath, outside the locker room after a recent loss to Mississippi State.
“Everyone I talked to told me they thought Bebes was gonna punch his lights out,” said Carter. “But I told Bebes I thought he did the honorable thing by refraining from physical confrontation.”
“Jimmy told me we all have buffoons in this world we have to put up with,” said Stallings. “He had to deal with his goofy brother Billy, and I guess Bob Bockrath is my cross to bear.”
“Bebes was in the same position I was when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan,” said Carter. “The macho thing would have been to drop a nuclear bomb on Moscow, but not the most humanitarian. And Bebes showed great compassion by not punching Bockrath’s lights out.”
The Atlanta Constitution editorialized that Stallings acted more like Carter did during the Iran Hostage Crisis. “There are great similarities,” the paper wrote. “Carter stood around for 444 days and did absolutely nothing with Iran. In the same way, Bebes didn’t do much of anything when he should have hit Bockrath with a punch which would have knocked him to Kingdom Come!”
George Herbert Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton Console Gene Jelks (about getting Bama on probation)
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Gawker.com has learned that President Obama and former presidents George H. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton gathered in the Oval Office this afternoon to console and encourage former Alabama football player Gene Jelks on his decision to provide the NCAA information that would ultimately lead to the Crimson Tide being put on probation and force the resignation of coach Gene Stallings.
“I told Jelks we all have made mistakes in our lives,” said George H. Bush. “Now saying, ‘Read my lips, no new taxes’ and then raising taxes wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Although I don’t think its as moronic as what Gene did.”
“I told Jelks if I walked out every time there was a ‘Bimbo Eruption’ report in the media, I’d have been off more than I was working,” said Clinton. “Although I don’t think any of my ‘Bimbo Eruptions’ were as stupid as what Gene did.”
“I told Jelks invading the Middle East is a decision I’d like to have back,” said George W. Bush. “Although I feel invading the Middle East pales in comparison to what Gene did.”"
“I told Jelks I sure wish I’d done more research on the software for the website providing Obamacare,” said Obama. “Although I have to admit the multimillion dollar screw up we made there is no where near as bad as tattling on your alma mater!”
Obama Consoles Jimmy Sexton (about ripping off Alabama)
WASHINGTON, D.C.–White House press secretary Jay Carney told a press briefing this morning that President Barack Obama took a moment out of his busy schedule recently to console Jimmy Sexton, the sports agent who represents Alabama coach Nick Saban.
“The president said Jimmy just feels terrible today,” said Carney. “Evidently Jimmy and Nick Saban have devised this ‘good cop-bad cop’ routine where Jimmy hunts down coaching openings, gauges interest and secures commitments, while Nick tells the press he doesn’t know a thing about it. And they recently pulled a dozy that enabled Nick to get about a two million dollar a year raise with a longer contract.”
Carney said Sexton faked interest in the University of Texas opening, forcing Alabama to renegotiate a better deal. And the fact of the matter was, Saban no more was interested in a job at the University of Texas than he was in a job at Abilene Christian. And now Sexton feels terrible having ripped off the Alabama athletic department so grandiosely. “The President pointed out to Jimmy that if you look at all the participants in the Saving and Loan scandals, those guys ripped off the taxpayers to the tune of $341 billion. And did any of them feel bad about it? Heck no, they just took their fair share and moved right along!”
Carney said Sexton indicated if Alabama officials looked closely at the Texas job, they would have realized it was a situation Saban would never get involved in. “Jimmy said you have a bunch of Aggies on the board of regents calling all the shots, and Nick would never tolerate that.”
The defense of the territory is now up to Gus!
Coach Malzahn’s performance this year will go down as the stuff of legend. From the start, he knew he was going to have to dig deep to find hidden resources but the nonchallant way he did it, you’d have thought he was dealing with a gold mine, not a football team. What is equally remarkable, is the atmosphere he did it in. Remember now, Auburn had not only not won a conference game last year, but everyone from Roopstigo.com to ESPN the Magazine to HBO were reporting so many improprieties you would have thought you were reading a Charles Dickens novel, with sleazy bad guys popping out of the woodwork every step of the way. And Gus changed that toxic atmosphere overnight. So, is Auburn now getting its just rewards for dealing with, shall we say, being slandered by some of the most incompetent reporting the world has ever seen? Could be, but Auburn needs to rise above all that. And use this trip to Pasadena to bring some of its former nemesis back to the fold. Here are a few ways Auburn could do that:
Terry Bowden to parachute in game ball
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA–Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has told Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News that former Tiger coach Terry Bowden will parachute the game ball into the Rose Bowl which will be used for the BCS Championship.
“I think we need to let bygones be bygones,” said Jacobs. “I’ve always thought that Terry is a pretty nice little fellow, and just because he spent about four or five years trying to destroy the Auburn football program is something we can’t hold a grudge about forever.”
Following Bowden’s resignation during the 1998 season, Bowden told the Opelika-Auburn News of an elaborate pay-for-play system designed by boosters which paid Tiger players as much as $15,000 bonuses to sign. Bowden said 45-50 boosters would donate as much as $5,000, which was put in a giant slush fund to pay Tiger players illegally.
“What Terry did could no doubt have gotten us the death penalty,” said Jacobs. “But my way of looking at it is if we make Terry feel like he’s part of our national championship run, maybe he’ll quit telling the press what a bunch of cheaters we are.”
Bowden, currently the head coach at Akron, did not immediately answer phone calls but his secretary said he was spending all of his spare time at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base learning how to parachute because, “he wants to represent Auburn in a manner Auburn people would want it represented.”
Selena Roberts to call first series of plays
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA–Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has told Jim Dunaway of Jox 94.5 FM Radio that former Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts will call the first series of plays in the Tigers’ game with Florida State for the BCS Championship.
“Selena is an Auburn grad and she deserves to be treated with the respect we accord all Auburn grads,” said Jacobs. “And I’m not going to spend my whole life hating someone just because she wrote an article describing me as an incompetent fool running an out-of- control football department.”
Last Fall Roberts wrote a scathing article on her website Roopstigo.com detailing how Auburn paid players illegally, changed their grades, and stood by and did nothing while they smoked synthetic marijuana and robbed liquor stores.
“That’s all in the past,” said Jacobs. “And Gus (Malzahn) and I both felt the best way to mend fences would be to let Selena call some plays in the BCS Championship game.”
Stanley McClover to lead AU band in Tournament of Roses Parade
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA–Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has told Jeff Shearer of WSFA-TV that former Auburn defensive end Stanley McClover will led the Auburn band as he makes its way down Colorado Boulevard in this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade.
“What Stan did has helped Auburn tremendously,” said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. “When we recruit the top players in the country, we want them thinking, ‘You come to Auburn, and $500 handshakes are a way of life!’”
“Plus, our band really needs someone who can do some strutting when it proceeds past the main grandstands, and who better than Stan?”
Eric Ramsey to lead AU band into Rose Bowl
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA–Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has told Mike Raita of ABC 33/40 that former Tiger defensive back Eric Ramsey will lead the Auburn band onto the field when it performs at the Rose Bowl for the BCS National Championship Game.
“Eric has been ostracized for too long by the Auburn faithful, and it’s about time we buried the hatchet,” said Jacobs.
“I’ll admit is was pretty dirty pool for me to secretly record Auburn coaches giving me money, than sell the tapes to 60 Minutes so they could play it nationally and embarrass Auburn on every level possible,” said Ramsey. “But that was 20 years ago, I’m different now.”
Ramsey added, “The idea of wearing feather plumes, gloves pith helmets and shakos has a real gangster aura to it, and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Cecil Newton to offer AU fans prayers before game
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA–Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has told Rick Karle of FOX 6 that Cecil Newton, father of former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, will lead Auburn fans in prayer before this year’s BCS Championship game between the Tigers and Florida State.
“We owe it to Cecil to be part of our championship run,” said athletic director Jay Jacobs. “If you recall, Cecil wasn’t even allowed to be present the last time we played for the national championship, and this is a way we can make it up to him.”
“This is a real chance for me to prove myself,” said Cecil. “After the last Auburn championship, many people thought my main function in life was peddling the services of my son to the highest bidder. What they didn’t realize, is the thing I love most in tihs world is giving homilies and delivering sermons and making sure my world-views on everything from moral to social issues are heard far and wide. And I’m grateful to Jay for giving me this opportunity.”
And when Auburn gets back to the Plains from Pasadena, here ‘s a few more shout outs they need to give to those who helped with this magnificent season:
Auburn gives Bobby Banks an AU letter jacket
AUBURN, ALABAMA–The Mobile Register is reporting that Auburn president Jay Gogue has ordered his school’s athletic department to present an honorary Auburn letter jacket to Alabama special teams coach Bobby Banks.
“Bobby earned this jacket and he needs to wear it with pride,” said Gogue.
According to Gogue, the “Kick Six,” the play where Auburn returned a failed field goal attempt 109 for the win in this year’s Iron Bowl, could have never happened had the Alabama field goal unit not been so completely out of position and unprepared for a return. And that, said Gogue, is where Auburn forever needs to be grateful to Banks, the special teams coach of the Tide.
“The whole thing was pretty asinine from the start,” said Gogue. “First off, to try a 60-yard field goal with a guy who had seen no action that night was pretty ridiculous to start with. Then, to put seven hefty lineman out there, guys who had no chance of catching Chris Davis, was even more ridiculous. Not to mention, nine of the eleven players out there probably never took one rep all year on tackling someone. You add it all up, and we have to give a letterman’s jacket to Jimmy!”
Auburn mayor declares Cade Foster Day
AUBURN, ALABAMA–Auburn Mayor Bill Ham has told the Montgomery Advertiser than March 19 will be officially declared “Cade Foster Day” in Auburn, and that the city will present Cade with an official declaration to honor his play in this year’s Iron Bowl.
“Auburn had a heck of a team this year, but we sure needed some help to win that Alabama game, and Cade gave us the help we needed,” said Ham.
Ham said that Foster will get a tour of the city and be presented numerous gifts from Auburn merchants to honor his performance.
Foster will be shown everything from Auburn sorority houses to gift shops followed by an autograph session at Toomer’s Corner.
“We expect thousands of people to be on hand and thank Cade for his kindness,” said Ham.
Auburn mayor gives Georgia secondary coach the keys to the city
AUBURN, ALABAMA–Auburn Mayor Bill Ham has told the Huntsville Times that the city council of Auburn has voted to give Georgia secondary coach Scott Lakatos the “keys to the city” for his unit’s performance against Alabama.
“We feel we would be remiss if we did not honor the Georgia secondary in some particular fashion,” said Ham. “I don’t know that any of us ever saw a unit screw up as bad as the Georgia secondary did! Good gosh, all they had to to is watch the ball land and the game would have been over. And since Auburn was the one of benefited so greatly, it is our pleasure to give Coach Lakatos the keys to the city.”
In addition, former Auburn athletic director David Housel volunteered to pay for Lakatos’ breakfast any morning he was in town and wanted to drop by Chappy’s Resturant.
“I have just two words to say to Coach Lakatos,” said Housel. “WAR EAGLE!”
Auburn throws ticker tape parade for Kirby Smart
“The elected officials of this city wanted to show Kirby our gratitude for his defensive team’s performance in last year’s Iron Bowl,” said Mayor Bill Ham. “Kirby is supposed to be some sort of defensive Yoda, but when it came down to the brass tax, Gus (Malzahn) shredded him like a master chef!”
Ham said the ticker tape parade will start on the easternmost part of University, wind down through the campus, and end at Toomer’s Corner where Smart will be presented a special honor by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.
“It should really be an exciting day,” said Ham. “We expect hundreds of thousands of Auburn fans and alums to attend!”
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