Sunday, December 05, 2010

5 DEC 10: Rumblin', Not Stumblin'

If you were in the downtown Columbus area Saturday afternoon, you may have wondered what that loud noise in the sky was. I think I know the answer - and it was NOT a dramatic sound effect from Winterfest at the RiverCenter.

Air Force planes apparently staged a "flyover" above McClung Memorial Stadium, at the start of the Pioneer Bowl. I'm concluding this because the Air Force appears to be a sponsor of the college football game - and because Fort Benning usually doesn't show off anything fancier than a helicopter.

The Pioneer Bowl of NCAA Division II football was played in Columbus for the first time. St. Augustine of North Carolina felled Fort Valley State 20-9 - and from what I saw on WTVM, there were plenty of empty seats. I can't imagine the St. Augustine marching band is that boring....

Not even the presence of Fort Valley State from the Fountain City Classic could bring a huge crowd to McClung Memorial Stadium. You can tell the interest is small when my next-door neighbor can't sell parking spaces five blocks from the stadium - and no one seemed to violate the new Historic District parking rules.

(Oh, by the way - if this game is called the Pioneer Bowl, why wasn't Westville one of the sponsors?)

But let's be honest - most people in the Columbus area were focused on a different football game Saturday. If you didn't watch any of the Southeastern Conference championship game, you're either a native of Oregon or a shop-a-holic.

Auburn slaughtered South Carolina 56-17 to win the Southeastern Conference title at the Georgia Dome. The Tigers and Oregon probably will be named to the Bowl Championship Series title game tonight -- which will begin five weeks of lobbying at Aflac, to change its duck mascot for at least a couple of days.

How strange was it at the end of the game to see Auburn players carry quarterback Cam Newton on their shoulders - not Coach Gene Chizik? I can only think of one other quarterback who might receive that sort of treatment. And Brett Favre's chances of winning the Super Bowl this season look very slim.

Cam Newton threw for four touchdowns, ran two more -- and became so giddy on the sideline that he invited CBS reporter Tracy Wolfson to drink his special concoction, "Cammy Cam Juice." Why do I have the feeling Newton's father will be selling it at his Newnan church today?

(Wolfson admitted Cammy Cam Juice tasted different from regular Gatorade - but she couldn't quite figure out what it was. Let's all hope the SEC didn't take random samples for steroids after the game.)

Several Auburn players gathered on the sidelines after the final whistle to sing "Lean on Me." Then I assume they gathered around Cam Newton in the locker room to sing, "A Star Fell on Alabama."

When the Tigers entered the Georgia Dome locker room to celebrate, they wore caps made in Phenix City. WRBL reported "The Game" prepared 1,500 hats for Auburn's champions. It also prepared caps for South Carolina, in case the Gamecocks won -- but apparently some other business prepared the visors for Coach Steve Spurrier to throw.

Auburn's big win may be remembered best for the last play of the first half. Cam Newton threw the football into the end zone, and Darvin Adams caught the pass off a South Carolina tip for a touchdown. Adams may be invited to an Auburn men's basketball practice this week, to explain how it's done.

Where were YOU when the big tip happened? I was at the west end of the Dillingham Street Bridge, jogging with radio headphones on. I hope that man walking on the other side of the street wasn't too scared when I shouted, "Goooool, Auburn!"

(The Auburn Radio Network asked for trouble Saturday night. After all, a "Championship Chicken Halftime Report" might give South Carolina Gamecock fans too much confidence.)

Auburn Coach Gene Chizik told reporters after the game he knew the Tigers would take the title. He could see the passion in their eyes when they left the hotel -- as opposed to the Alabama game, when the team may have been tired in the first half from too much Thanksgiving turkey.

While WRBL showed the Southeastern Conference championship game, the station's website had almost nothing Saturday night on the game's outcome - only a short video of players celebrating on the sideline. Considering how this station still shuts down its news department on Saturdays, that video could have been the work of a hacker.

. The Tiger triumph touched off tumult at Toomer's Corner in Auburn. One tree was covered with so much toilet paper that any remaining leaves on it will fall today from suffocation.

WXTX found an Auburn English professor amidst the crowd at Toomer's Corner. She declared the conference title "worthy of a poem, a sonnet...." OK, I think I have one:

A football star with the name Cam

In a city whose mayor is Bill Ham

Had quite a big day

Playing in The Big A

And made the Ol' Ball Coach say.... (c'mon, I don't use that sort of language here....)

-> Thursday was a BIG day for us in online poker! Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

SONG OF THE DAY/NAME CORRECTED: I can't recall a blog reader submitting one of these before. But the Columbus runoff election combined with the resignation of a Phenix City police officer led to this e-mail....


You've inspired me. If officer [Hauser] moves to CSG, maybe there's a song in the making...

Oh, I've got gals in high places,

since Teresa & others won their races.

Where the men have to say,

this ain't our day...

It might fly???


PS. Don't tell Garth B.

Yeah, that might work. While we're at it, does someone have a recording of Teresa Tomlinson singing karaoke? Especially Shania Twain's "I Feel Like a Woman?"

One other e-mail this weekend admittedly has me stumped, so I'll have to dig for answers about it. In the meantime, let's see if anything else is happening....

+ The Ledger-Enquirer reported retiring National Infantry Foundation President Jerry White is being sued for sexual harassment and sexual abuse. White denies any wrongdoing, and insists the lawsuit did NOT lead to his retirement announcement. It may be up to a jury to determine if he brought a twisted new meaning to "hand-to-hand combat."

(The lawsuit in Muscogee County Court only names the accuser as "Jane Doe." But the woman's description in the newspaper combine with other sources to reveal the plaintiff's name -- and to be honest, I received hints weeks ago about a possible lawsuit. But it's simply not my style to buy military garb, then walk undercover into a USO office for free cookies.)

+ WTVM reported "Mishka" the missing dog was found - not really due to that pet detective from Nebraska, but people who watched the evening news and called with sightings. Maybe it's time to supplement the weekly "Crimestoppers" reports with something like "Pet-Pursuers."

+ Calhoun conquered Carver in the Georgia high school AA football semifinals 27-14. Carver running back Isaiah Crowell's next big moment will come on National Signing Day in February. Will he commit to Georgia, after wearing Bulldog gear last weekend? Or will someone convince that a player named Isaiah belongs at Texas Christian University?

+ Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium hosted the "Super Six" Alabama high school final games. Thomasville won the AAAA title, and used its center as a holder for extra points. If the kicker takes one false step, at least this holder will be able to absorb the blow.

+ Instant Message to the Russell County Commission: Did you notice the yard signs outside your Government Center on Broad Street - the ones saying "NO landfill?" Do you plan to put them in the current landfill, or wait for a special ceremony when the new one opens?

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NAME CORRECTED 12/6/10, 9:00 am

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