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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A brief introduction

This should probably be filed under unbelievable shameless promotion, but I feel the need to introduce myself. As I mentioned before, I’m Andy Bitter, the new Auburn beat writer for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. You can read more about me in this piece the paper ran today. (One clarification: you could say I played for the Eden Prairie baseball team if by “play” you mean “sat on the bench except for when a courtesy runner was needed for the catcher.”)

Anyway, enough about me. That’s not why you come to this blog. I plan to give frequent updates on what’s going on with Auburn athletics, especially football. When information comes out of practice, I’ll post it here first, then elaborate more thoroughly in my stories for the newspaper the next day. (Bear with me for the next couple days until I get the Internet set up in my apartment. I’m hunkered down in a command base at Panera Bread right now just to get online.)

These kinds of blogs aren’t fun without interaction, so I encourage responses. Agree with me. Rip me. Cheer the program. Slam the program. It doesn’t matter to me. Just keep it in good taste so we don’t have to take any comments down.

Within the next week I’d like to start getting some videos up. I’m not sure if this particular blog has that capability, but the site http://www.sec-football.com/ certainly does. Check periodically for new videos.

I would also like to say that this is a living, breathing blog, which requires your input. If you would like to see something on here that is not, put in a comment. I want this blog to serve your interests, not mine.

As a parting shot, there’s this: I’ve got a friend who works for another Virginia newspaper whose editor is an Alabama native and Auburn fan. He e-mailed some helpful bits of information for covering the Auburn beat.

Here are a few of the things he mentioned:

-- “He’ll get a big-time introduction to SEC football with the LSU game. Unless it’s a blowout one way or the other (doubtful), it will be so loud from start to finish that he won’t be able to hear himself think. I covered one Auburn-Alabama game there in 1989 (first year the game was in Auburn) at which the crowd was so wild the press box was swaying and shaking the entire game.”

-- “He’ll need to figure out the AU-Bama rivalry quickly, and I’m sure his editors and readers will make sure he does. It’s nothing like Virginia-Virginia Tech. Everybody in the state chooses sides and they go at each other tooth-and-nail, 365 days a year. Fans of the losing team don’t go to church the next day, while some of the winners will actually wear their fan gear to worship services. Every game, every player, every recruit – every little thing – AU does is compared to Alabama, and vice versa. And every story or brief he writes will be measured against the Bama story the paper had that day for placement, length and any inkling of pro- or anti-AU bias.”

-- “The stadium is pronounced JER-dun Hare, after the late coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan. He won Auburn’s only national championship in 1957 and was considered the epitome of a Southern gentleman. He shouldn’t write anything derogatory about him unless he wants his e-mail and voice mail clogged with death threats.”

-- “Heisman Trophy winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson have pretty close to the same status. And Pat Dye is still revered among the 40 and over crowd like me. He broke a 10-game losing streak to Alabama, moved the Iron Bowl to Auburn and built the program into a national power before getting it put on probation. (Many AU fans consider the violations a set-up by influential Alabama alums). He can pretty much trash ex-coaches Doug Barfield and Terry Bowden at will.”

-- “The nickname is Tigers and the cheer is “War Eagle” or “War Damn Eagle.” But the team should NEVER, EVER be referred to as the War Eagles. Doing so will immediately identify him to the fan base as a clueless moron who should be fired immediately.”

Any other bits of advice out there, preferably ones that would prevent me from looking like a clueless moron or someone who should be fired immediately?


Anthony Dodd said...

Well I am glad you introduced yourself to us. Now its time for some real AUBURN football. Weagle Weagle!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Bama, Bitter! any D'Angelos restaurants there? -Beane

Janet said...

Your writing makes me giggle. I hope your Internet gets hooked up soon!

autigers said...

Welcome to the SEC. It's an amazing place. One word of advice- don't use the words "hunker down" to AU fans. That's what the Dawgs do.