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Football

It’s Time for Gene Chizik to Open Up

There isn’t much I don’t like about Gene Chizik. I like how he coaches. I like how he recruits. I like who he hires. I like how he runs the program and deals with internal issues and disciplinary problems. I like how he represents the school. I like how he seems to only worry about winning football games, building the program, and preparing kids to be men in this world. He doesn’t care what people say or think. But that, in today’s day and age, is the only thing I wish Chizik would change – at least a little bit.

In general, Gene Chizik is a quiet, mild-mannered man. Sure, he’ll wave his arms and yell towards the student section after a big win, and he’ll get in a player’s face when they’ve done something stupid, but for the most part, he’s even-keeled.

When it comes to talking to the media, he’s the same way. He doesn’t get too excited, doesn’t say anything too outlandish, and keeps it pretty simple. His press conferences are filled with coach speak. He refuses to answer or steers away from any question that may even hint at a touchy or controversial subject. This has understandably caused the media to label Chizik as a boring interview.

Now normally I’d be completely fine with that. The media has never given Gene Chizik anything and have ignored any and all of his accomplishments, so why should he go out of his way to give them a soundbite that may make their job easier? Plus, as I mentioned before, his job is not to be entertaining behind a podium. He’s a football coach, and he’s ultimately there to lead Auburn to football victories – but times have changed.

With the amount of media coverage and the amount of money that surrounds college football (especially SEC football) these days, a head football coach is way more than that. He is the CEO of the program. He is the head marketer. He is the press secretary. He is everything. Sure, there are other people who have these jobs in reality, but when it comes down to it, like wins and losses falling on the head coach’s shoulders, the same can be said for each part of the program today.

That is why Gene Chizik must open up, give a little more, show a little personality, and do his best to win over the public outside of the Auburn fanbase.

He has the recruiting part down. He’s had some bad apples, but has taken care of them. He’s got coaching down. He’s 30-10, with an SEC and National Championship in three years. He’s done enough to be labeled successful and among the top coaches, and he’s done enough to be respected, but as a whole, I would say he is not.

Right or wrong (mostly wrong or irrelevant), the media has plenty of ammo towards Chizik. There’s the whole 5-19 thing. Some of them are still convinced that Cam Newton was paid to go to Auburn, and that he beat entire teams by himself. It doesn’t help that Chizik stands in front of them looking like he’d rather be in a pine box than answering their questions. And when he does answer those questions, no matter what it is, he somehow brings it back to the most generic coach speak imaginable.

This year’s SEC Media Days was a perfect example. Chizik’s opening statement and press conference to the print media ended 10 minutes short due to the fact that nobody wanted to ask anything else. Why? Because they knew they wouldn’t get even a slightly interesting response. It would just be something else from the Handbook of Old School Football Clichés. It doesn’t matter that there was nothing negative about what he said, but do you think the media is going to go out of their way to write something positive with nothing positive to work off of?

Another example was from when one of my questions to Chizik was selected by ESPN SportsNation to be answered in their chat yesterday. I even requested no coach speak and got nothing but.

Not everybody in the world is born with great public speaking skills, nor does everyone have the most bubbly personality in the world, but he can do better. I know he can.

I’m not trying to say that he should just play to the media and chum it up with those that still call him a failure and think he was a one-year, Cam Newton-led wonder. I’m not trying to say that they hold his future entirely in their hands, but in a way they do.

As they say, the pen is mightier than the sword. Through only a few articles in the past years, it wasn’t tough to turn the entire country against Chizik and the Auburn program – and I say “turn against’ in the sense of thinking their success was a fluke or bought. The public can be and has been swayed very easily. Over time, if enough negativity is spewed, you will see even the people who have backed Chizik slowly turn against him. An 8-5 record this season would almost certainly put him on the hot seat in the media’s eyes. Once that is written about enough, a chunk of the Auburn fanbase will start to believe it. Jay Jacobs will hear about it, and there go the dominoes.

I know that’s a stretch and to say that the media controls hirings and firings may sound crazy, but they do have an effect on those sorts of things these days. You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar, and I just think that Chizik could give a little more honey. He doesn’t have to. He shouldn’t have to. If he wins football games, he should be good. But that’s not enough right now, given how things have transpired over the last two years.

It’s not just about the media, though. In 2010, I remember a strong contingency of fans that were not happy with the fact that he always kept it quiet while the entire Cam Newton saga played out. In some cases, it’s best to keep your mouth shut, and for a time I understood why Chizik did so, but that whole mess was one of the most unprecedented witch hunts of all time. It did end up actually having some legs (well, one very small leg), which caused the short suspension of Cam Newton, but all we got from Chizik was a short statement at the beginning of the Georgia week press conference that basically just referenced the “garbage” being spewed about Cam’s student record at Florida.

Some Auburn fans wanted more defense of the program, if not just for reasons of pride, but also for assurance that Auburn wasn’t in the wrong. The silence hurt. There’s no doubt about it. I’m not saying it was all Gene Chizik’s call to keep it to a minimum, but joined with the fact that nothing is ever said, and that whole CEO thing, it falls on him.I don’t want to just completely come down on Chizik. Like I said before, I pretty much love 99 percent of what he does at Auburn. I just think a little more personality will go a long way. He obviously has a great personality to recruits, given his strong track record there. I just wish the public could see it more, and the only way for the public to see is through the media. I think he’s likeable. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s very personable. The rest of the fanbase deserves to see that, and the rest of the country needs to see it.

I know the number one comment on this blogle will be “I don’t care what anybody thinks about him. He’s doing a great job, and he’s a great Auburn man, so who cares?” Honestly, I completely agree, but Chizik’s situation is very unique.

All of the drama from past seasons coupled with the media’s new love affair with Nick Saban (which I will address next) has Chizik at a point where he can either continue to get bashed for every season that doesn’t end up with ten wins, or start to gain a little benefit of the doubt by coming off as more of a nice guy.

Speaking of Saban, something has happened to him in the last year or so. He has seemed slightly happier behind the podium, and he’s much nicer to the media. This has led to a new movement by some, namely Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, to label Saban the new king of coaches of sorts. I won’t get into how his argument is completely contradictory to his point, but it shows that the national media are completely, without a doubt, in love with Nick Saban.

Sure, the National Championships and overall success of the program has a lot to do with that, but even during the first National Championship season, they still weren’t all on board. They, especially local media, bashed him for his media-bashing antics. Now, they’re all on board. He wins, and now he’s nice to them. That’s all they need. He can now do no wrong (which is the problem with Dodd’s article).

I know. It’s blasphemous to say that Gene Chizik needs to be more like Nick Saban, but in this case it’s true. What would it hurt to come off as a nice, open, personable guy? Sure, keep football the number one thing. It should be. But when facing the public through the media, you’re going to win over a lot more people if you look like someone that any normal Joe could sit down with and talk about whatever.

I don’t want Chizik to go the Spurrier route because eventually people just start laughing at you rather than with you. I don’t want him to become a huge promoter like Vanderbilt’s James Franklin because then you just become annoying. But somewhere between those would do just fine.

The bottom line is that Chizik is old school, and I love it. But the game has changed. Coaches no longer just patrol the sidelines. They are the face of the football team, the athletic department, and the school. Auburn has had so much hate thrown towards it lately that it’s time to kill the world with kindness. Smile, Gene.

Oh, and I still love you…

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24 comments

Tony Brooks 07/24/2012 at 1:18 pm

Don’t think for one minute that Saban is on the good side of the media. There are a significant number of print journalists in the state (and beyond) that are just waiting and licking their chops to eviscerate him at the first opportunity. Let him loose to say, Arkansas, LSU, and maybe one more this year and he’ll find out what “hot seat” really means. And understand this: its not business – its personal. He’s treated the print media like crap ever since he arrived, and they are just waiting for a chance to let him have it.

As the retiring politician said when asked what the most important thing he had learned in his long politcal career was, replied: “Never get into an argument with some one that buys ink by the gallon”.

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John 07/24/2012 at 1:35 pm

Are you telling me that you think Saban will be on a “hotseat” if he loses 3 games this year – after winning 2 of the last 3 national championships, and being the only coach in college football that has 3 national championships under his belt, and the only one in history to win one at two different schools? Really? Seriously?

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The WarBlogler 07/24/2012 at 2:37 pm

I believe he was referring to a different type of hot seat. Although I disagree with him when he says that Nick Saban isn’t on the good side of the media.

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Q 07/24/2012 at 1:32 pm

Honestly, I want Chizik to be more personable. I always enjoyed Tuberville’s candor in the public eye, and often enjoyed the swagger of the mid-aughts. But does Chizik _need_ to act more like we _want_ him to?

I’m not so sure. And I’ll tell you why. The one segment of the “public” whose perception matters most- recruits- find Chizik’s demeanor to be just fine. The guy has brought more talent to the Plains in 4 years than we’ve possibly ever seen, and this current class has a chance to blow the previous 4 out of the water. That is the #1 component of building a successful program, and he is killing it.

As you said, his personality has also attracted top-flight assistant coaches- an immeasurable component in the recruiting success, obviously. And, unlike his predecessor, he has a great working relationship with school administration. So great, in fact, that I think the administration that had the stones to hire the 5-19 loser in the first place is going to be the same administration that has the stones to not fire a national championship-winning coach based on some media-induced frenzy.

If Chizik leaves town, it will be because he failed on the field, or took an NFL offer, or somebody discovered actual skeletons in his closet. It won’t be because the media doesn’t like him.

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vancejf 07/24/2012 at 3:33 pm

Well said.

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vancejf 07/24/2012 at 3:35 pm

It doesn’t truly bother me, but I think Chizik could give some better answers when asked questions. It’s almost uninteresting to hear him answer questions about Auburn, because he all but truly answers them.

Either way, consider this a nitpick by the Blogle.

“I don’t care what anybody thinks about him. He’s doing a great job, and he’s a great Auburn man, so who cares?”

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Kevin 07/24/2012 at 4:31 pm

No question about it, Coach, just keep doing what you do, without question.

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Smacky 07/24/2012 at 4:32 pm

Chizik’s integrity has been questioned and dismissed the entire time he’s been head coach at AU. They destroyed, in everyone’s minds but Auburn fans, the National Championship, Cam Newton, any accomplishments, and the program itself. They continue to always include them in anything negative.

I’m with Gene, screw the media and take care of business on the field.

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Aubiester1 07/24/2012 at 6:22 pm

The public for the most part has accepted the fact that Auburn did no wrong. Just a few butthurt people here or there. As time goes on it will be nearly forgotten. That 2010 National Championship isn’t going anywhere.

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sullivan013 07/24/2012 at 8:45 pm

No, no, no NO! A coach who is NOT a glad handing media hound or a peevish dwarf in both physical and emotional stature is absolutely fine by me. He is honest with his coaches and players, sets a great example in all he does for Auburn and knows the most meaniful fans are the students themselves. I feel he would crawl naked over broken glass before he allowed any sort of impropriety on his watch. The school and the football team have a gem in this guy and you’re miffed he spins the vanilla too much?

You need to get your priorities straight. I would gladly listen to ten minutes of Chizik’s coach-speak for every one of Spurrier’s quotable one-liners, so long as we have the chin and someone else gets to deal with the visor (or the midget).

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The WarBlogler 07/24/2012 at 9:34 pm

I refer you to paragraph 18.

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DBAU81 07/24/2012 at 9:46 pm

Blogle, I see your point, but you are off base here. I would be willing to bet that even if the media finds Saban to be a more interesting character, most of them probably like Gene personally a lot more. I think one of Chizik’s greatest strengths is that he is comfortable in his own skin, combined with his confidence that he’s got the right plan to succeed over the long haul at Auburn. Sure, he can be a dull interview, but what counts the most is what happens on the field. The media loved Tuberville, but that didn’t help him any when his offense couldn’t make a first down against Vanderbilt. Gene is what he is, and it would be a great mistake for him to try to be anything other than himself just for the sake of a few extra sound bites on Sportscenter. People are smart and can see through it in a minute if you try to be something you’re not. I know that you are only saying that he should let a little more of his true personality come through during his interaction with the media, but he’s been doing this for a while now and has obviously decided that the cautious approach is what works best for him. He has represented Auburn with class and dignity in his public appearances and never fails to treat interviewers politely and with respect. That’s all we can or should ask for from our coaches when it comes to media relations.

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Brett 07/25/2012 at 8:54 am

WarBlogle, I can sort of understand your point, but you seem to be making a weak argument for it. I mean the whole point hinges on paragraph 18 as you point out.
You say you agree, *but* “Chizik’s situation is very unique ….” You then seem to be saying that he needs to change, in your opinion, because he is being bashed by the media and it would be better overall for Auburn and him to be seen as a nice guy “by the media”. This is where I disagree with you. I see your point of the benefits of changing this perception of the media, but I don’t agree that it is needed. Meaning, yes he could be looked at more favorably by the media and thus Auburn in general, but why should he change who he is and what he has proven is successful just to change the perception of the media? Sure, perception is often reality in some people’s eyes, but truly it is not. And those that are intellectually honest know this.

Also, while it is true he uses “coach speak” allot, I look at that as being business-like and I think he looks at is as a part of his duties/job and he seems to take that very serious. As you have noted, he is a nice guy and has shown it in many other ways. So, if he doesn’t when giving interviews or to a set of folks whom he is not personally responsible for(his team, staff, etc), then I can live with that personally and wouldn’t really want him to change. However, as someone replied, Tuberville was more candid in his responses and that was fine for him, but perhaps it is not for Chizik. And I personally am fine with that, and think it is OK for Auburn.

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The WarBlogler 07/25/2012 at 9:15 am

The whole point does not hinge on paragraph 18. The whole point is the entire post. I just referred sullivan013 to that paragraph since he was saying exactly what I knew people would say, which is exactly what you are saying as well.

Tuberville has nothing to do with it, other than proving my point further. He was open to the media, they liked him, and some still question his “firing.” They give him the benefit of the doubt, which can never hurt.

I’m not asking Gene to change the way he is because I don’t think the way he responds to the media is the way he is. I think it’s partly due to the way he was treated in 2010, and I think it’s partly due to what he learned on his way up, but as I said, times have changed. Especially with Nick Saban across the state.

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Wess 07/25/2012 at 1:25 pm

I think Gene understands…as long as Saban’s at Bama & they are at the top of their game – AU will get no free passes as far as the media (state media most of all) is concerned. They turned on Tubs as soon as Saban started winning (especially the recruiting battles). He understands the media is not our friend – probably never will be. Yeah – I loved Tubs wiley ol’ Gunfighter attitude…and that smirk when he knew we had a big win in the bag; but when the (blue) chips fell – he really wasn’t ready for what the State of Alabama turns into when the Tide is “rolling.” I personally think we need and have a coach that measures his words and actions. He’s got the good relationship with Jacobs and has Coach Dye’s ear when he needs some old school wisdom. I’ve often said Chizik reminds me of “The Man” – ol’ Shug. He’s no nonsense, by the book – but has that fatherly repore with his kids. Coach Dye never really had that great of a relationship with the media…save for P-Marsh and Phil Snow – but those guys are all in house now. All of Dye’s great sound bites were in locker rooms or the practice field.

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Greg 07/25/2012 at 3:08 pm

I believe winning will make the biggest difference. Yeah we have the natty but like you said, most give all the credit to Cam. If Chiz proves he is more than just 8-5 and builds a consistent power competing for the SEC year in and year out than his “boring” personality could take on the reputation of Bill Belichek. No need to try and win them over, IMO.

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Kris M. 07/25/2012 at 4:31 pm

I can remember during 2010 season, right after LSU beat Alabama in Baton Rouge that year, radio call ins were ablaze over the Alabama (or more generalized: “SABAN’Z”) game plan and coaching decisions. I remember Alabama fans calling Alabama ‘boring’ and ‘vanilla’, and while that’s typical knee-jerk reactions from most of the sidewalk alumni, I kinda believed this one and it got me thinking. All we had heard to that point (after BCS 09) was that Alabama was a “machine”, no one’s bigger than The Program, all about the dumb stuff about ‘ The Process’, and how you don’t see the Alabama coaches high-fiving and butt-patting (AJ McCarron notwithstanding) because they were “all-business”. “Recruits wanna go play somewhere that is ALL-BUSINESS” …you know, the crap we as Auburn alums and fans have come to expect during the Saban Era of Worship. Meanwhile, what was going on in Auburn?

You had assistants jumping around and swinging towels in the air and chest bumping leaders of nations, events like the Big Cat Weekend and the limos pulling up at schools and making kids lose their damn minds in the excitement, a flashy offense that was putting 30-40 points a game, and charismatic leaders on both sides of the ball going 100 yard out of their way to pump a crowd up after a big play. Even Chizik would get on the excitement, running around on the field everything that the “Machinists” frowned upon and called “gimmicky”.

And while we as a fanbase knew it was much more than just a gimmick, you would still be hard pressed as outsider to look on without proper perspective: At Auburn, they at least look like they’re having FUN, and shows – they’re winning. And yeah, winning every game kinda helps make it fun, but the team and the students and fans looked like they were having just as much when ranked 23rd as they were when they were 1st. By comparison, of course Alabama looked boring, drab, and lifeless. It was true! Aside from his monthly triade at his pressers, Nick Saban was boring. Meanwhile, Chizik did an excellent job of generating the buzz as if Auburn looked like it was in the middle of a season long party. One that not even The Gambler himself could bring down. And when media did try, there was Gene, giving Holly Rowe (or Tracy Wolfson or whoever) that smug, sly grin as he repeatedly told her “Cameron Newton is the quarterback for Auburn University” over and over and over just to spite her dumbass questions.

I loved that stuff, but I think you’re right in regard to that. Auburn, as a team, got away from the fun side of things last year. And not to make excuses, but what with getting ragged on by the media claiming they wouldn’t be bowl eligible, the QB indecisiveness, and the Robbery 4 and the beginnings of the Michael Dyer saga, and even the recent shootings and all, it really no wonder (…getting blown out in the rivalry games doesn’t really help of course…) I’m sure last season wore on Chizik a little bit but I like to think that the team found ‘it’ again during the bowl game, and I like to think that the seed was planted with the new coordinators to grow from that. But I agree that Chizik needs to come out of his white Disco Stu-AU jacketed shell a little and once again sell himself as the man to play for and that Auburn is the place to be so those seeds can begin to germinate.

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Pollone 07/25/2012 at 11:47 pm

I think you’re right, but I also think you got there on faulty reasoning. I understand Auburn fans start out in the “no one likes us, everyone’s against us” spot and move from there, which honestly is about 10 percent reality and 90 percent inferiority complex. But by your reasoning, “the media” should love Auburn because Chizik is always kind and measured and should hate Saban because he flips out on them. Yet you argue just the opposite is true. How can that be?

The fact is, when I covered him, I found Chizik to be a kind and even-keeled guy. But, as you said, you knew you were rarely going to get anything honest out of him. Not that he was lying, but you knew he was going to say the same thing no matter what happened. I personally thought he was someone I would enjoy playing for and even being friends with. But when Barrett Trotter plays like total crap and loses the game almost singlehandedly with his poor play, don’t tell me he played well while your wife sits in the audience and nods like a bobblehead. I don’t want him to throw the kid under the bus, but there are ways for coaches to be thoughtful and honest without being mean. I’d love to play golf or have a beer with Chizik. He’s just not that compelling an interview. I loved covering Auburn and going there. I just didn’t expect much in terms of sound. I loved guys like Jerraud Powers and Zac Etheridge because they were honest.

Now that brings us to Saban. First, the national media is certainly not in love with him. Many view him in a negative light for being demeaning to reporters in the vein of his buddy Belichick and for the way he departed Miami. Dan LeBatard still acts like a jilted wife. Bob Ryan, Judy Battista, Greg Bedard and many others slam him at every turn. No reporter likes to be yelled at during a news conference, but a guy like me would rather interview Saban because either way, you know he’s going to be straight with you and ultimately the role of the journalist is to seek the truth. That’s also the reason why a guy like Dennis Dodd has anointed him the new Oracle of college football. Saban is one of the few guys who wil take on these “big picture” questions and give you an honest answer. Do you think Chizik would go anywhere near the Penn State issue? I mean, I know he talked about it on ESPN, but he basically punted. I’m willing to risk getting screamed at for the chance of getting something interesting out of a coach, and truthfully, when Saban screams at a reporter, it’s usually because he’s asked a dumb question. Avoiding getting screamed at made me sit and think, “is this a stupid question?” and in the vein of Dwight Schrute, if that question was stupid, I tried not to ask it.

Anyway, I agree with your overall point. Chizik would raise his profile and the program’s profile if he would open up a bit. Some of my favorite times covering him were during the Newton scandal because when he offered emphatic defenses of Cam, I knew he was being honest. That’s not a bad thing.

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This makes me mad 07/30/2012 at 12:13 am

Wow, blogle. This could not be a more innaccurate analysis. Where to start?

“That is why Gene Chizik must open up, give a little more, show a little personality, and do his best to win over the public outside of the Auburn fanbase.”

So if you are a recruit in North Dakota, the whole “I’ve coached a Heisman winner, I have a national championship, in a few short years I’ve put multiple players into the NFL” argument isn’t a great hook? Nonsense.

“An 8-5 record this season would almost certainly put him on the hot seat in the media’s eyes. Once that is written about enough, a chunk of the Auburn fanbase will start to believe it. Jay Jacobs will hear about it, and there go the dominoes.”

We won the first NC for the school in a very, very long time. He has another 5 years. Everyone realises that we are a very young team. If, 3 or 4 years out, all of these top 5 recruiting classes we are getting don’t pan out, he will be on the hot seat, but not now.

“In 2010, I remember a strong contingency of fans that were not happy with the fact that he always kept it quiet while the entire Cam Newton saga played out.”
“The silence hurt”

He was defending our turf in a way that telling that telling the cornerback Neiko Thorpe to actually turn the hell around and try to find the ball instead of just looking at the reciever never could do. There was nothing that he could have possibly said to the media to make the situation better, so he did the smart thing, and shut the hell up. A year later, how does that decision look? Does Auburn still have a national championship? Does Cam still have a Heisman? Auburn has experts that deal in compliance. He let the experts handle it. How is that a bad thing?

You may not be a veterinarian, but would you remove this tumor from my dog? Yeah, that seems like a preferrable strategy. Also, I am hiring the proprietor of my local corner store to draft my will.

“I know. It’s blasphemous to say that Gene Chizik needs to be more like Nick Saban, but in this case it’s true. What would it hurt to come off as a nice, open, personable guy?”

Aside from the fact that this paragraph is largely at odds with your previous one, it is nonsense. Saban is not known for being personable or open with the media. He is known for winning games. He is known for stepping over a convulsing player because “a leader should not know fear” He is known for creative roster management. He is known for a lot of things, but being a great media presence is not one of them. There are only two coaches in the SEC known for being good with the media: Spurrier, and Miles.

Saban is elevated in the media because he wins football games. Not public relations awards. If Auburn wins a national championship this year, to make two in threee years, Chizik would recieve similar treatment.

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The WarBlogler 07/30/2012 at 9:39 am

“So if you are a recruit in North Dakota…”

I’m not talking about recruiting. I said he’s done fine there, which proves he has a good personality in that environment. I’m talking about public perception. Listen to the radio, follow Twitter, go on Facebook. Nobody outside of the Auburn fanbase respects him. He could change that without having to win 5 NCs.

“We won the first NC for the school in a very, very long time. He has another 5 years.”

I’m not talking about what should happen or what most Auburn fans believe. I’m talking about the hot seat the media (that thinks he’s done nothing without Cam Newton) will create, and will spread like wildfire. It might not be a one year hot seat, but they will start the discussion.

“There was nothing that he could have possibly said to the media to make the situation better, so he did the smart thing, and shut the hell up.”

He wasn’t just talking to the media. He was talking to the Auburn fanbase. Silence gave Auburn fans no assurance that we had nothing to be worried about.

“Saban is not known for being personable or open with the media.”

As I said, something has happened in the last year. He used to not be personable. However, he is now for the most part. He talks to them more, has opened up, chums it up, jokes, smiles, etc. And now you can see the media as a whole all becoming Saban fans.

Sounds like you read the title, made your mind up about what I meant, and ignored everything I argued in the post.

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The WarBlogler 07/30/2012 at 10:48 am

Oh, and looky here. Chadd Scott completely proves my point about what the media is feeling about a newer, nicer Saban. http://dev.chuckoliver.net/2012/07/a-changed-nick-saban/

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Q 07/30/2012 at 11:40 am

Again, you’re confusing what _you want_ with what _Auburn needs_.

All this article proves is what nobody ever disagreed with you about, which is that the media is warming up to Saban. Great. It has absolutely nothing to do with Saban’s success, and even less to do with Auburn’s.

Really, your continued references to Saban only compromise your argument. All of this media love comes _after_ Saban galvanized the bama fanbase and won 2 national championships (not to mention another undefeated regular season and SECCG appearance thrown in the mix). You’ve got cause and effect mixed up here. This budding romance between Saban and the media is a _result_ of his success, not the reason for it.

And even if that weren’t the case, you’ve yet to explain exactly how a smitten media could contribute to Chizik’s success. Yes, you keep mentioning that they’ll create a lot of chatter if he keeps going 8-5, but do you really think Auburn will need the media’s help in showing the door to a perennial also-ran? So what exactly can the media do that will translate into wins on the field?

Also, you keep downplaying Chizik’s recruiting success. First of all, it’s absurd to place the media’s opinion of a coach over the quality of athlete he is stockpiling the program with. But since Saban is your measuring stick, I’ll point to how he arrived at the top of the college football world and his current nice guy renaissance: he kicked ass on the recruiting trail and was a complete dick to the media for a few years.

One last point: it’s true that Chizik didn’t leave fans feeling warm and fuzzy during the Newton investigation, but did you by chance notice that amid all that, he coached a team to a national championship, and coached a player who was under more intense public scrutiny than any amateur athlete has ever faced to one of the greatest individual performances in college football history?

You’re awesome and we’re all here because we appreciate your voice as an ambassador for Auburn, but you’re using bad logic to arrive at faulty conclusions here.

War Damn Eagle

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The WarBlogler 07/30/2012 at 7:59 pm

I am not talking about anything I want other than I think it is what Auburn needs.

I admitted in the post that Saban’s success was a big reason that the media respects Saban, but his new attitude is why they now like him. See Dodd’s article, and Chadd’s article in a previous coomment.

I never said that smitten media would contribute to Chizik’s success. I simply said that a media that already does not respect him mixed with someone that gives them nothing will more easily cause negative chatter if Chizik doesn’t light it up in the next few years.

I have never downplayed Chizik’s recruiting success. In fact, I used that success to point out that Chizik does obviously have some personality since he’s been able to bring high profile recruits in.

To a point, most Auburn fans could not enjoy that season and following celebration because there was no assurance given of no wrongdoing by the one man that could have calmed the masses.

And thanks for saying I’m awesome, and no article is perfect, but I do believe I closed the holes that you brought up.

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The WarBlogler 08/15/2012 at 10:46 am

Just a little more proof for my argument for the media’s love for Saban. on.si.com/O6H6hU

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