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Plainslinks shakes its head and sighs

In happier times.
In happier times.

The end draws near? There’s not actually all that much (if any) new information in the Fortune magazine expose on Bobby Lowder that’s making the rounds through the Auburn Internets, but it’s such an exhaustive, well-researched, and at time outright corrosive piece that it qualifies as an absolute must-read all the same. Just make sure to give yourself a few minutes to get through it all.

What your humble Auburn Blogger takes away from it is this: Lowder’s not about to disappear, but there’s absolutely no debating anymore that his best days are well and truly behind him … and, thankfully, behind us all. Admittedly, I can’t read something like this passage:

“What they’re looking for is whether or not Colonial was way undercapitalized before they submitted the TARP application, and as a consequence was the balance sheet fraudulent,” says Tony Plath, a banking professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an industry consultant. “That’s one issue: Did they write down their loan book fast enough? And then No. 2, Did they take proper collateral with the loan positions they had outstanding to brokers? And I’m guessing they didn’t.”

If investigators conclude that there was willful deception, they could bring criminal charges. “And then they will strip Bobby Lowder of his cars and his houses and his football tickets at Auburn,” says Plath. “And it won’t matter anymore that he’s got political connections in Alabama or that his daddy was a big shot.”

… and not think that the article, like its subject, is overreaching a bit. But the overall mountain of anecdotes and evidence makes it clear: Lowder just isn’t going to be capable of wielding the influence he once did.

I thought the day I felt completely confident in making a statement like that would be one I’d feel like celebrating on … but Lowder’s story just makes me kind of sad. I am firmly in the camp that believes that despite his great decidcation to the same institution, community, and athletics programs that I love, he’s done more harm towards them than good. What I feel towards him isn’t sympathy–being a former gazillionaire isn’t as nice asbeing a gazillionarie, but it’s still way better than a being, say, a former low-level Colonial employee that’s since been laid off. What I would say I feel is a weird mixture of pity for a small, contemptible man who’s having something he treasured dearly taken away from him; relief that there won’t be too many more times I have to mention him on this blog; and regret: not personal regret, but regret that a man who loved Auburn so much and could have done so much good (hell, did do so much good) still managed to somehow counterbalance all of that. I just have to shake my head, really.

BlAUgosphere. The usual round of reactions to the weekend’s action is available:

— Will laments the “causal disdain” that Auburn has shown so often towards the Razorbacks and seemed to show yet again on Saturday.

— At Track ‘Em, Acid, Jay, and WEA have all weighed in. I’m not sure I agree with Jay that Auburn is “the better team–just not this weekend,” but he’s absolutely right when he says that Auburn still has their biggest win of the year still somewhere out there on their schedule.

— Rob Pate tries to find a silver lining.

Bas-ket-ball? Actually a few items worth noting this week regarding the Auburn hoops teams. First, Jeff Lebo held a presser today and said of his ’09-’10 team, “If you walk them through the airport, we look like an SEC team this season.” That’s good to hear, coach, so long as they play like one. More important is that Lebo sounds particularly confident in the play of point guard Dewayne Reed, and why not, when Reed’s out there winning two-mile road races.

Congratulations are also in order for DeWanna Bonner and LeCoe Willingham, former Lady Tigers who just won a WNBA title with the Phoenix Mercury. Bonner scored 13 points in the championship-clinching game and, if you missed it (I wouldn’t blame you if you had) was not long ago named the WNBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.

“Nightmare”? Well, possibly. Auburn’s going for a “Navy Nightmare” at the Ole Miss game. It might be more effective if Ole Miss hadn’t just held a “blue-out” at their own stadium, meaning that the “Navy Nightmare” might make them feel more welcome rather than less.

The other side. Nice rundown from aSoB on what went on with Kentucky’s offense after Hartline left and what we might see from them with Hartline out.

Etc. Auburn’s first loss cues up our first appearance in This Week in Schadenfreude, with various rational fans threatening to punch Roof in the unmentionables for the audacity to not have his injury-ravaged, single-string defense lock down the most explosive offense in the SEC (on the road) … totally agree with Braves and Birds that Florida can’t guarantee themselves a national title game spot if they slip up somewhere … Say this for the coachbot: his teams most certainly do take after him … Boots of beer, now available in Opelika … if any of you are still harboring any anti-West Virginia sentiment, Syracuse fans have something fun to offer you … JRS loves the ’90s, for obvious reasons.

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