Auburn football fans need something to smile about.
Even with the win at Ole Miss last Saturday, Auburn finds itself on the verge of squeaking into a bowl game with a worst-case-scenario of finishing 6-6 for the season.
We've lived through a lackluster season that's included a less-than-impressive 5-point win over Washington and a blowout win over over-matched Alabama State. We agonized over a near win (22-21) when the "other tigers" from LSU came to Jordan-Hare Stadium, and enjoyed our best conference win of the year over the "woo pig sooies" of Arkansas at home, a so-so win against Southern Mississippi and conference losses to Mississippi State and Tennessee before the 15-point win over Ole Miss.
And we've still got a tough row to hoe when Texas A&M comes to town ... not to mention road games against Georgia and the red elephant in the room — Alabama. We're counting on a win over Liberty University to get us into a bowl game.
But now back to AU fans needing something to smile about.
I've been keeping my note pad handy when I've watched college and NFL games this fall, capturing some of the goofy comments made by play-by-play announcers and color commentators.
For instance, in the Auburn vs. Tennessee game, one of the announcers said, and I quote, "You love what you like about Stidham when it comes to his patience." Come to think of it, I guess it's easy to love what we like.
Later he talked about what he thought Auburn was doing right during the game. "Some of the things they've been working on have actually been working." Now that has to be reassuring to the coaching staff, I'm sure.
During the broadcast of the Auburn vs. Mississippi State game, one of the announcers was talking about how poorly Auburn was playing. He summed it up this way: "It's been a calamity of errors." Not a comedy of errors or simply a calamity ... but a calamity of errors. In case you are wondering, calamity is defined as "an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster."
Announcers have a tendency to talk about kickers and how the mental or emotional aspect of the game plays out with place-kickers. Recently, in the Texas vs. Oklahoma game, a third-down play had moved the ball closer to the goal line and the team lined up to try for a field goal. The announcer said that third down run placed the ball "closer to the kicker's comfortability." I wonder if moving the ball farther away increased the kicker's "discomfortability."
We all know that football is a contact sport. You play; you get hit. But our old friend, color commentator Gary Daniel during CBS's coverage of the Georgia vs. South Carolina game talked about two players running together on the field. He said, and this is a direct quote, "He fully collisioned him." That fully lives up to the definition of collision: "An instance of one moving object or person striking violently against another."
When one college team made it more of a game than had been expected, one of the announcers I was listening to said, "It's not exactly the walkaway they thought it would be." I suppose a runaway is a rout. A walkaway, not so much.
Sometimes made-up words get thrown into the mix. In the course of two weekends I heard an announcer say the NFL quarterback was "a big time thrower of the football" (passer, maybe) and a college quarterback was said to be "not a real good runner of the football." Just lop off the words "of the football" and it sounds a lot better.
And speaking of running the ball hard, one color commentator said the player "runs the ball violently." Along the same lines an announcer was describing a player carrying the ball by saying "he runs angry."
When everything is going wrong for your team you should listen closely to the announcers. One of the color guys doing a game I watched said, "the worst thing that could happen is what happened." I gotcha loud and clear.
The announcers also like to talk about the officials. But if you listen to what this particular announcer said you'd wonder if the officials are doing more than just calling the game as they see it. "That's the right play by the officials." Go figure.
Sometimes when you're searching for just the right word and you only have a second or two to come up with one you say things like, "He displayed his power and suddenness." What in the world is suddenness? Quickness, maybe.
And, I must admit, the announcers who come up with this stuff aren't limited to calling football. I like to watch golf on the weekends. I got a good laugh when a PGA player described the course as being "scoreable." Yes, I suppose when you're playing you get a score. Might not be good, but it's a score.
This is my all-time favorite golf commentator's quote when describing a player who drove his ball under a pine tree. "At least he's got most of his feet on the pine straw." Just how many feet does this golfer have anyway?
And I'll leave you with high praise from an Olympic skiing analyst who described a downhill run as being "monumentally sensational." Now THAT'S good.
I'll keep my pad close by and share some more of these quotes later in the season.