Monthly Archive for March, 2008

GO WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY!!!

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

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Seth Gordon’s documentary King of Kong follows the exploits of the two best Donkey Kong players in America. Billy Mitchell has held the world record for the popular video game for over twenty years. The film covers his rise to prominence, and the circle of associates he keeps at the Twin Galaxies arcade, a place where he is revered for his prowess at a number of games. Eventually Steve Wiebe, with time on his ends now that he finds himself without a job, decides to seriously hunker down and challenge Mitchell’s record. Gordon gets close to both men, and shows how the passionate subculture surrounding these two have very powerful feelings toward both men. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

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More on Don Siegelman

Don Siegelman is set free on appeal and is headed to Washington to give his side of the story directly to the House Judiciary Committee. YouTube Preview Image 

Clemson teach’s the kid’s how to make that money…. $$ Bills yall!

Kenneth Page Appears to Have a Large Bag of Bills for an Amateur Athlete

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It’s pretty safe to say that each and every academic institution in America doesn’t have the cleanest reputation when it comes to participating in Division I athletics. We like to turn a blind eye most of the time, but when we get the following email (with the above picture attached), it’s pretty hard to ignore.

This pic was on Clemson recruit Kenneth Page’s Myspace page and it came down about as quickly as it went up. As some of you know he was a huge 4 star OL football recruit
this past year and it came down to Clemson and UNC where [UNC] lost out on signing day.

He must have been working hard this winter.

Now, one would assume that Kenneth — whose Myspace page you can see here — would be smart enough not to have a picture taken of himself in the backseat of a car, wearing a Clemson orange polo shirt and holding a huge bag of straight-from-the-bank $20 bills. On the other hand, we thought Kelvin Sampson could quit texting his players by now.

So we did our due diligence and checked up on his Scout.com page as well, and frankly, it’s pretty hard to argue that it’s not in fact Kenneth in the photo with the bills. It’s entirely possible that Page just has a really rich grandmother who likes to hand out wrapped bills in plastic bags, but either way, you gotta figure Kenneth and Lil’ Bobby got some explaining to do.

Catching up with Auburn’s Tony Franklin….

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With Auburn’s spring game set for Saturday, it seems like a good time to catch up with Tony Franklin, Auburn’s new offensive coordinator. Franklin, considered to be one of the gurus of the spread offense, joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff last December and began installing his system. The early results were good. He got enough of it in for Auburn to beat Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

Q. What is the biggest adjustment that players must make to your style of offense?

A. The biggest thing is the faster tempo. We want to go no huddle all the time and ours is supposed to be a fast no huddle. We want to be ready to snap the ball as soon as the official marks it ready for play. We don’t always do that, but we want the defense to believe that we might. Right now, when our guys think we’re going fast, we’re really only going at half the pace we want it to be. It takes at least a good solid month of doing it to get the pace as fast as we want it.

Q. You were able to start installing parts of your offense last December before the bowl game. How much did that help you this Spring?

A. It was huge. What it meant was that when spring practice came around, this offense was not totally unknown. This offense is like a good car you’re heard about but you don’t know if you really like it until you take a test drive. They enjoyed the practice and the fact that so many people were able to touch the ball on this offense. Then we were able to go out and run it against one of the best defenses around (in Clemson) in the bowl game. It gave us a great head start for spring practice.

Q. Who would be the perfect quarterback to run this offense?

A. If you could combine Patrick White (of West Virginia) and (former Kentucky star) Tim Couch you would have the perfect quarterback for this offense. In a perfect world, he has to be somebody like (49ers great) Steve Young. You want a guy who can run the ball 60 yards for a touchdown but who can also make all the throws. The problem is, the Good Lord only makes about one of those guys every 10 years. So you take the quarterbacks you have and concentrate on what they do best. If he’s a running quarterback, he needs to be able to throw it a little bit. If he’s a passer, he has to be able to run a little bit. If you can’t at least do a little of both, the offense is not as effective.

Q. You have settled on two quarterbacks-Kodi Burns and (JUCO transfer) Chris Todd-and have said you will not name a starter until fall practice. What are the strengths of these two guys?

A. Chris has a few things that he does really well. He’s got great arm strength but he hasn’t been able to show it this spring because of arm fatigue. That will get better this summer. He’s a coach’s son and he knows this offense. He’s run some type of it for five years. Kodi is just a great competitor. He’s a winner who has a great feel for the game as a runner. He’s not afraid of anything. He’s not a good thrower right now but I think he will be.”

Q. Can you see using both quarterbacks once the season starts?

A. I don’t think there is any doubt that two guys will play unless one just jumps out way ahead of the other this summer. I’ve told them both that. The good thing is that they like each other and they understand that this is not going to be about stats. It’s going to be about winning. Some games we may run 90 percent of the time. Some games we may throw 90 percent of the time. Usually, our offense works out to be about 50-50. But I’ve told our guys that if you’re worried about stats you need to go play in another league. It’s too hard to win the SEC to think about numbers.

Ethan Albright Strikes Back

An image of excellence.

To: John Madden
CC: Electronic Arts Sports
From: Ethan Albright
Re: Being the worst rated player on Madden ‘07

Hi, John, my name is Ethan Albright. I play line for the Washington Redskins. You probably already knew that, so I’ll continue. I am writing in regards to the overall player rating of 53 that I have received in Madden NFL Football 2007. I feel that this is fucking bullshit and you should kiss my mother-fucking ass. Ahmed Carroll was rated a 78 and the Packers just cut his ass on a Tuesday morning after his performance in a Monday night game. That is pretty terrible. The worst part is that his overall rating was sniffing 80.

You know what, John? Two can play this game. I rate you a fucking 12. I rate you a fucking 12 in Ethan Albright Football 2000-ever… except for in the category of ball-licking. That is where I will spot you a 98 rating. You will receive this score because I will never give your blubbery ass a 99 in any category. Take that, pencil-dick. Go do Al Micheals or something. Boom. Score one for Red Beard.

It’s also pretty wonderful that my awareness rating was 59. You make it sound like I wake up in the morning, helplessly shit and piss myself, then lose three of my teeth before I discover that I am trying to eat a rock for breakfast. Fuck, John, I understand you saying that I am slow and lacking athleticism, but a rating like this pretty much labels me as retarded. Rod “He Hate Me” Smart has a 52 in this category. Electronic Arts is saying that seven rating points separate me and the breathing embodiment of the perfect oxymoron. Rod Smart struggled to arrange words in sentence form. Cave men had better hold of the English language. The only actions that separate point values of ignorance at this embarrassing level are things like using your own toothbrush to wipe your ass. I basically edged out Rod by my lack of shit teeth. If I take a night school class, could you bump me up to a 60?

I guess I just can’t fathom the fact that I am the absolute worst player rated out of the entire NFL. Fuck, man, there are some shitty guys out there. Amongst everyone, I was rated the absolute worst.

I have received the impression that you feel that I am lacking in the agility category. I should consider a walk through my living room where I don’t crash through a wall or kick over furniture a resounding success. My agility rating on your game is 33. It makes it sound like I just topple over if I start walking too fast. Ted Washington is rated a 40 in agility. He is listed at 365 pounds. If Ted Washington tied a white lady up and made her wear a metal bikini, he’d look just like Jabba the Hut.

Red Alert!

John, you are such a fucking dick. I also noticed that my kick return rating was a 0. I was rated a fucking zero? So you feel that I shouldn’t even receive a 10, or even a 5? You are pretty much saying that I couldn’t even fall forward on a ball kicked in my direction. I would just stand there and let the ball bounce off of my fucking face. Fuck that, John, I returned an onside kick 6 yards in 2002. You should have just slapped a – 4 on me and had the EA staff ambush me with paintball guns.

Finally, I would like to comment on an unlikely topic, my pass coverage ratings. I see that I am a better at man-to-man coverage (31) than zone (21). Fuck me sideways with a lunchbox. Where did these scores even come from? How much time is spent coming up with the pass coverage ratings of offensive lineman? Can I have that job? Let’s see here, I think that Orlando Pace would be slightly better at jumping intermediate routes than Larry Allen. While I’m at it, I can assign the passing ratings for offensive lineman as well. I can use mine as a guide.

I was rated with a throwing power of 17 and accuracy of 16. Orlando Pace has a 22 power and 17 accuracy rating. Did someone at EA really put time into figuring out that Orlando Pace edges out Ethan Albright in both throwing power and accuracy? I will challenge him any day. My horrible passer ratings are of greatest misfortune to my son, Red Beard Jr. The poor boy is not only hideously ugly and covered by freakishly large freckles. He also has to suffer through playing catch with me and my senile-elderly-woman-type passer ratings. A session of tossing the pigskin usually consists of me missing my son by thirty yards in sporadic directions. I led him in front of a fire truck once and my wife kicked my ass. This is because of my 76 toughness rating. Yes, a 76 is far better than the other ratings, but I’m a fucking lineman, damn it. NFL Linemen are considered to be synonymous with toughness. According to your game, I am a retarded, uncoordinated, pussy-ass fuckwad that can’t fall on a kickoff, throw, or spell. I am, however, slightly better at manning up on a receiver than dropping into zone coverage. You lose your mind more and more each year, old man.

When I’m not snapping balls, I snap necks.

USC’s Garcia suspended until August

This really hurts the gamecock nation. Rumors are flying down here saying 1 more slip and the 5 star QB who has yet to play a down for the cocks will be given the HBC boot.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has been suspended from the team after being ticketed for underage drinking in his third run-in with police in about a year.

Athletics spokesman Steve Fink says Garcia will not be allowed to practice or meet with the team until August 15.

His attorney said Garcia paid a $257 fine Monday after he and two other players were charged with underage drinking over the weekend.

The 20-year-old Garcia was arrested in 2007 and charged with drunkenness and failure to stop for a police officer. The highly touted redshirt freshman was arrested a month later on charges of malicious injury to personal property after a professor said Garcia had used a key to scratch the man’s car.

Garcia has previously successfully completed a pretrial intervention program to clear his record of misdemeanor charges.

After practice Monday night, coach Steve Spurrier said he would let the university hand out the latest discipline for Garcia.

“His fate is out of my hands,” Spurrier said. “… He’s had a lot of chances here, and we’ll see what happens.”

South Carolina’s first game is Aug. 28 against North Carolina State.

Carolina just can’t get their act together

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia paid a fine for underage drinking on Monday after being arrested over the weekend, his third run-in with police in about a year.

After practice Monday night, coach Steve Spurrier said he would let the university discipline Garcia.

“We just have to wait and see,” Spurrier said. “His fate is out of my hands. … He’s had a lot of chances here, and we’ll see what happens.”

Garcia, a 20-year-old redshirt freshman, was one of three football players arrested Saturday for underage drinking near a campus dormitory, according to campus police tickets.

“He doesn’t make any excuses and did not want to put the fans and the university through this and have more negative attention brought towards him or the school,” Garcia’s attorney Neal Lourie said Monday.

Garcia’s brother was charged with giving beer to a minor.

Garcia enrolled early at South Carolina last year to get a jump start on spring practice but was suspended from the team after two arrests. In February 2007, he was charged with drunkenness and failure to stop for a police officer. About a month later, he was charged with malicious injury to personal property after a professor reported that Garcia had used a key to scratch the man’s car.

Garcia has previously successfully completed a pretrial intervention program to clear his record of misdemeanor charges.

An athletic department spokesman did not immediately know Garcia’s status with the team and said coach Steve Spurrier will be available Monday night after practice.

Garcia was to miss Monday night’s practice for academic reasons, spokesman Steve Fink said.

Also charged with underage drinking Saturday were offensive lineman Heath Batchelor, 20, and walk-on quarterback Zac Brindise, 19. They were scheduled to appear in court next month.

What we all knew would happen: its Burns Vs Todd

Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said Tuesday that the competition for the starting quarterback position was down to two.

Junior college transfer Chris Todd and sophomore Kodi Burns are set to battle, and the end doesn’t seem to be in sight.

AuburnSports.com
Todd has been limited somewhat with a sore throwing shoulder, but will compete with Burns for the starting spot.

The battle between Todd and Burns, Franklin said, could stretch well into two-a-day practices in the summer. He doesn’t expect to narrow it down anymore before then.

“Right now, those guys are alternating with each other. There is no No. 1,” said Franklin. “The last few practices here, we’re giving Chris and Kodi most of the reps. If somebody emerges clear-cut a lot better than the other one, you may have one guy. But I don’t think that’s going to happen, and I’ve told them, I don’t think it is.

“I think they’ll go into the summer and they’ll be competing against each other.”

Todd has missed time this spring with a sore shoulder but participated in all of Tuesday’s practice.

“You could tell as the day went on, (Todd) got worse,” said Franklin. “I was asking the trainers, did he throw too much at the end? He threw the post ball and didn’t have anything on it at all.

“It’s just going to be a work that’s going to take some time. It’s probably going to take another few months to get it back to where it’s ready.”

Franklin said sophomore Neil Caudle will get reps behind Todd and Burns.

“He’s a great team guy. He’s a great Auburn guy that wants to be here,” said Franklin. “He’ll do a great job as a backup and if either one of them falters, he’ll be ready to come back and step in and take their place.”

According to Franklin, true freshman DeRon Furr still has a lot of work to do before he can compete for playing time.

“He’s physically been hurt, but mentally he’s not prepared himself good enough to compete,” said Franklin. “He’s a long way off from having any abilities to help us. We’ll see what happens to him over the summer. If he works hard and studies and learns, then maybe he could compete again.

“He’s a young kid. He’s going to be a good player – he’ll probably be a great player one day. But not tomorrow.”

AuburnSports.com
Pugh will likely be the No. 1 RT and No. 2 C in the fall.

Making some moves

For sophomore OL Ryan Pugh, the moved seemed inevitable.

The former No. 3 center in the country out of Hoover High School in 2007 spent his first fall at Auburn at left tackle and has worked at right tackle this spring. Not the ideal positions for a 6-foot-2, 285-pounder. But Pugh has made it work.

Tuesday morning at practice however, he was back in a more familiar role. Pugh worked with the second-team at center.

“I just want to make sure I get him enough reps at center, with all the communications and the snap counts and the cadence, everybody getting used to him being in there a little bit,” said OL coach Hugh Nall. “I thought he did well. He had some early snaps that were off a little bit, but he’s played that position before.”

The move to center doesn’t appear to be permanent for Pugh, at least not yet. With senior Jason Bosley embedded as the starter at center for another year, Pugh’s getting reps there Tuesday was more of a look into the future and shoring up the back-up role.

“Center is what I was recruited here for, but I’m still going to play right tackle. Nothing has changed there,” said Pugh. “I’m just trying to get some work at center so I’m ready to go in case something happens to Bosley. Hopefully, we can keep the five that we’ve been playing with for the last year now and keep this thing rolling.”

Mike Berry has been listed at No. 2 behind Bosley at center, but found himself working at No. 2 right tackle on Tuesday. Working three guys at center should give Nall plenty to work with come fall.

“Mike Berry has gotten a lot of reps at center. That’ll give us three good options at center by the time we get out of spring practice,” said Nall.

With Pugh working at second-team center Tuesday, junior Andrew McCain, No. 2 behind Pugh at right tackle, worked with the ones.

“He’s got to keep stepping it up,” Nall said of McCain. “He’s got to play full speed on a regular basis.”

Pugh is expected to start at right tackle in the fall, and could double as the No. 2 center. His versatility gives the Auburn coaches plenty of options along the offensive line.

“Next year he’s going to get some opportunities (at center),” said Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. “We just wanted to get him some work there with the first team and second team.”

AuburnSports.com
Tate was back in action Tuesday and is expected to participate in Saturday’s A-Day game.

Trickling back in

Auburn was hoping the long layoff for spring back would allow a number of injured players to return. But only three were back in full pads for Tuesday’s practice and a couple of those still weren’t up to full speed.

The most notable player returning from injury Tuesday was running back Ben Tate who has missed most of spring drills with a hamstring injury.

“It was just fun to get back out there, get a little contact, talk a little trash,” said Tate. “I love the game of football. It sucks when you’re out and you have to watch everyone else have fun.”

Tate ran through position drills and got some reps in 11-on-11 work at the end of practice. Tate said he plans to play in Saturday’s A-Day game but Franklin is taking a more cautious approach.

“I was glad to see him, but he’s nowhere close to being back as far as I’m concerned,” said Franklin. “Hopefully he’ll be able to get some reps by the time we get to Saturday, but he didn’t look like the guy I saw in the bowl game.”

Also back but not quite up to full speed were quarterback Furr (shoulder) and tight end Bailey Woods (hamstring).

Still being held out of practice were defensive end Antonio Coleman and running back Tristan Davis. Tuberville said Coleman may return Thursday after being checked by the doctors Tuesday in hopes of being 100 percent cleared for contact.

Tuberville also hopes to have Davis back before the end of spring drills.

“They just don’t want (Davis) to come out here until he’s 100-percent,” said Tuberville. “He’s still a little sore. He can’t push off as much as he’d like. Being a running back, you need to be full speed.”

Out for the remainder of spring are running back Mario Fannin (shoulder), offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey (back), wide receiver Tim Hawthorne (arm), defensive tackle Jake Ricks (hand), linebacker Bo Harris (shoulder) and defensive end Raven Gray (knee).

Wrapping up

One thing Rhoads harps on with his defense is tackling. He doesn’t like to see missed tackles. In the final scrimmage before spring break, Rhoads didn’t see many.

“No. 1 impression coming out of that last scrimmage is that we tackled much better,” said Rhoads. “We had 100 gradable snaps in that scrimmage and we missed six tackles total in 100 plays. That’s pretty good defensive football tackling-wise at any level, so that was pleasing to our eye.

“I think our effort was better overall. Not satisfactory yet, but our effort was better. We’ve got to continue to tackle better. We’ve got to become a smarter football team and we have to become more urgent in everything we do.”

Quick Hitters:

***Franklin wasn’t pleased with the play of his offense Tuesday after the long break.

“It was exactly what I expected and didn’t want,” said Franklin. “Spring break layoff – there’s no telling what they did. I don’t want to know.”

***Franklin did find some positives from the offense during 7-on-7 skele drills.

“The red-zone skele part was really good, probably the best we’ve ever done down there,” said Franklin.

***While tight end Tommy Trott has put together a strong spring, Franklin has also seen improvement from Gabe McKenzie.

“Gabe’s gotten so much better,” said Franklin. “He’s got a long way to go in consistency and catching the ball. Tommy can be really dynamic, but I’m really proud of Gabe.”

***Tate said the best part of Tuesday’s practice was inside drill.

“That’s when I started having fun,” said Tate. “All these route-runners and everything – that’s for the wide receivers. I don’t have too much fun with that.”

***The players received their Chick-fil-A Bowl rings following Tuesday’s practice.

***Auburn practiced two hours in full pads Tuesday morning and plans to do the same Thursday. The Tigers will have a walk-through on Friday and the A-Day game Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.

***AU will close out spring drills with a scrimmage on Wednesday, Apr. 2.

“We’ll scrimmage a week from Wednesday night in the stadium,” said Tuberville. “That will be our last scrimmage.”

Networking for the professional tigers out there…

I have been in contact with Ethan for a while… He is a good guy with a lot of good contacts. This group is getting bigger also so it can only help! So if you got a job get a better one with a tiger as your boss.. If you don’t have a job you prob shouldn’t be hanging out reading AuburnTron right now!

Hello fellow Auburn Alums.  Thank you for signing up to join the Auburn Alumni Group in LinkedIn.  Please take a moment to promote our group to your Auburn contacts.  We would like to continue to see this group grow.  To invite new members, send out an email invitation with the following link to join our group.

http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/63731/08AFDD3B9D4B

I also invite any of you to connect directly with me – you can send an invite to ethanb@rpopartners.com.  Please put a short Auburn reference in your invite. 

Best regards and War Eagle!

Ethan