January 11, 2011 by David Gillaspie
A last second kick is a big blow-out?
The SEC is supposed to be the best conference in the country. They showed that this year with their wins in the bowls. Are they that good, or is the rest of the country that bad?
For a team as good as Auburn, and the national champ is defined as better than everyone else, did they do it right?
Here’s the problem: they showed up with two teams.
Are they the Tigers, or the War Eagles? It looked like the War Eagles with the Birds of Prey exhibit before kick-off. The last time I saw an eagle take a lap was at the Portland Metro Zoo. Everyone in that crowd was advised to stay seated, or risk getting an eye pecked out.
What other warning did I miss in Arizona?
Maybe it’s safer to release an eye-pecking eagle than an Auburn Tiger, especially after what happened to Siegfried. Or was it Roy? Either way, a tiger ripping out a fan’s throat is much worse than an eagle pecking an eye out.
To be sure, check with the next victim.
By fielding two teams, or one team with two names, Auburn had the psychological advantage. The Ducks used to be called the Fighting Ducks, but neither name amps you up to visit the zoo, or Las Vegas. What sort of wound to expect from a Fighting Duck? An ear ache from the noise.
One of the Ducks got a wound from an Auburn Tiger, or War Eagle, and it wasn’t an eye or a throat bleeder. Instead, the Duck player took an after-the-whistle knee to his head, a standing knee slammer done right in front of an official.
It wasn’t even a ‘knee to the head in the course of the game but that’s football’ sort of blow.
Memo to Auburn: you can make deals under the table for your players and get away with it, but you’d better buy the ref if you expect a player to knee opponents and walk away. You’ll have to open the checkbook early and often if you want your players to kick others in the head hard enough to open wounds and raise bumps under their helmets.
Football is not MMA. Fifteen yard penalties do not equal stitches to sew up a player’s melon.
No one expects a surprise assault to end in expulsion. It’s the BCS. If Ohio State’s five guys don’t get run before their bowl game for trading their gear for tattoos; if Auburn’s guy doesn’t get suspended just because of a silly open NCAA investigation into his recruitment; why would a head-kicker see a problem?
In shocking news, the head kicker was not Nick Fairly, #90, accused of playing rougher than rules allow. Big Nick did plenty without resorting to dirty play, just ask LaMichael James‘ facemask.
If Duck defenders studied more Fairly film, they would have held the Auburn Tiger/War Eagles runners on the ground longer after each tackle to make sure they were down. That would have prevented the roll-through Mike Dyer did twice on the same Duck where he was up, then down, then up again.
The SEC rules the world of big-time college football on a field goal, and they should be proud. To quote Alex Karras mimicking Garo Yepremian, “I keek a touchdown.”
That’s a blow-out? Close enough.