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The Heisman/B-Ball Gameday Post … or something

Step to this and get rocked.

[9:10 p.m. EST] Hey! This web cam is working just fine. This one too. The crowd grows and grows under the lights of downtown Auburn. Loveliest Village on the Plains. Home to three Heisman winners. It’s Toomer’s Corner on a Saturday night after a victory … not much finer than that! Good night folks. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!

[9 p.m. EST] Congrats to our Cam. You had to have noticed that all the pressure of the past few weeks/months and the power of the moment affected him as he struggled with his speech. He seemed shaken at first but was able to pull it together. It was hard to watch without feeling punched in the gut too. It was big that Bo was up there on stage supporting him.

The university has it splashed on the front page. War Eagle!

[8:50 p.m. EST] Moment of truth … will Auburn University see it’s third Heisman winner tonight? I’m nervous for some reason. Expecting Chris Fowler to fake it toward Cam and heft it toward someone else.

[8:35 p.m. EST] Finally … BO! Silver anniversary of Bo Jackson’s Heisman; he’s interviewed by Desmond Howard.

[8:30 p.m. EST] HALF WAY THERE. MY EYES ARE BURNING. Still … a million times better than the ESPYs.

[8:28 p.m. EST] When you have three candidates from the West Coast and one from the South and you vote with a weighted ballot can the votes be split helping Cam? Is there a political scientist in the house?

[8:24 p.m. EST] Twenty-four minutes down. We’re almost halfway through this yawn-fest. Awful. Amy Q. wants a continuous loop of Cam taking down LSU’s entire defense. I agree.

[8:15 p.m. EST] Will Muschamp to Florida?!?! ESPN just put up the breaking news on the ticker. It’s coming from “reports” and not “sources.” It must be true.

[7:39 p.m. EST] — The Wall Street Journal just posted an AP piece on the Tiger Walk. Apparently, Yankees have never seen ‘southern pom-poms’:

When Newton arrived — and long before — the fans furiously waved their orange and blue “shakers” — the Southeastern Conference term for pom-poms. They’re a ubiquitous sight at southern football games, but not exactly the sort of thing you can buy in New York — not even in the heart of Times Square.

The New York Auburn Club already thought of that.

“We brought 500 shakers and they were all given out,” Papaioannou said. “I had them stored in my dorm room — 500 shakers in 400 square feet.”


[6:45 p.m. EST] — Bitter continues to deliver with some pre-ceremony coronation comments from Cam — JDH

[6:39 p.m. EST] — More great video of the Heisman Tiger Walk from AuburnUndercover‘s Bryan Matthews — JDH

[6:35 p.m. EST] Yes! Big thanks to War Eagle Extra‘s Andy Bitter for coming through for all us Auburn fans!!! Video! Sweet, sweet video.

[6:31 p.m. EST] We’ve got heads up about this article at Sporting News Today … Editor Ken Bradley interviews Auburn’s first Heisman winner, Pat Sullivan. Sullivan thinks back to 1971’s Auburn vs. Georgia game and says the win there for Auburn was probably his “key in winning the Heisman Trophy.” Great read.

[5:57 p.m. EST] Here’s something. searching … searching … searching. Another photo from last night that I love.

[5:52 p.m. EST] Charles Goldberg’s tweet says about 1,000 folks have showed up for the NYC Tiger Walk tonight.

The Web Cam is a spectacular failure (as far as the Tiger Walk is involved).

[5:20 p.m. EST] Andy Bitter’s “War Eagle Extra” has an Eltoro sighting in NYC! And a photo of the pre-Heisman press conference. The Times Square Web Cam is failing us so far … but nothing is gonna happen until 5:45 anyway. Cross your fingers.

Also from WEE … Cam Newton did not make the Football Writers Association of America’s All-American team … but Nick Fairley and Lee Ziemba did. A bad sign?


TWER just got this e-mail from the organizers of the Tiger Walk in New York. We’re posting it here on the off chance that anyone might be reading our blog today and also planning to attend the walk.

Hi Auburn New Yorkers! I apologize for all the emails, but we’ve just gotten new information from the athletic department. Their schedule has changed a few times, but we now need everyone to arrive NO LATER THAN 5PM at the Best Buy Theater – 1515 Broadway @ 44th Street. (No longer meeting in front of Champs – come straight to theater!).

**Heisman personnel have emphasized the importance of AUBURN alumni arriving an hour prior to expected player arrival – this is very important, and we promise there’s a good reason for it!**

Here is the updated timeline for Saturday, 12/11

* 5:00pm – ARRIVE AT THE BEST BUY THEATER – 1515 Broadway – Please arrive no later than 5pm.
* 5:45-6ish – Cam, Coach and President Gogue are expected to arrive for the 2010 Heisman ceremony.

[2:40 p.m. EST] Web Cam update. Folks, this is as close as we can get. It is actually about a two blocks north from the action (but it sometimes zooms a half block closer). When you see the “Lion King” sign in the upper right hand corner of the web cam, the action is at the end of the block and around the corner. But surely, surely, shirley? you will see (and hear!) the Auburn Family marching from all corners of Times Square to salute our Cam for the NYC Tiger Walk! If anyone sends in photos from NYC we’ll be sure to post them. War Eagle!

[2:35 p.m. EST] GAME OVER Auburn loses 54-63. Gabriel had the hot hand coming off the bench to lead Auburn’s scoring, hitting 3 for 5 behind the arc, and gathering 18 points total. Of course, no surprise here really, our Tigers were dominated on the boards with Rutgers almost doubling our rebound total, 41-26. THAT and the total control of the paint is the difference in this game. Auburn just could not score points near the bucket. For the most part, the only points? Drawing fouls driving toward the goal.

Final analysis? Rutgers is a bad team. And our Tigers are a little worse than that right now.

[2:25 p.m. EST] There was a flicker … a moment where Auburn could have cut it to 5 points with more than 2 minutes left. If they just could have played with the intensity at that 4 minute mark the entire game! But Allen Payne missed the 3 at that critical point. Auburn collected the ball after Rutgers went up again by 10 and Gabriel hit a 3 home cutting it the lead to 7. But now, the game is sadly out of hand with a little more than a minute left and Rutgers pulling ahead by 11.

[2:18 p.m. EST] Somehow … some way Auburn cuts it to 10 after two clutch three-pointers by Gabriel followed by Ross! And gets the ball back after playing stiff defense … 3:14 left in the game. Let’s see what these Tigers are made of! Auburn just cannot seem to work the ball down near the basket! Rutgers is shutting it down. It’s all behind the arc folks.

[2:10 p.m. EST] Rutgers is playing sloppy. If Auburn wants to make a run … no time like the present! Auburn is down by 16 with the clock at 6 minutes and clicking away toward oblivion.

[2 p.m. EST] Auburn has scored 8 points in the past 12 minutes. In New York, Gus Malzahn is shaking his head with disappointment.

[2 p.m. EST] Auburn is betting on the 3 … and falling behind. Rutgers is taking control of the paint and pulling away.

[1:51 p.m. EST] Two 3-pointers in a row! By Ross Malone then Gabriel. Way to go! Auburn cuts the lead to 7 with 13 minutes left. Auburn is 2-4 behind the arc in the second half so far.

[1:44 p.m. EST] Auburn is down by 13 after their timeout. They have failed to score in the second half. NOT the start we wanted, eh?

[1:35 p.m. EST] Second half (and a hard-court comeback?) begins!

[1:35 p.m. EST] So with Tennessee and Pitt (both ranked) serving as the main course of this tourney’s double-header … when do those fans start filing in?

[1:25 p.m. EST] So what do we consider a success here today (in the even Auburn does not pull this off)? A close hard-fought second half, right? Our Tigers are in the hunt for a win here. The Scarlet Knights are, yes, in the Big East but not exactly a powerhouse in the conference this year. They are 5-2 with losses to Princeton and Saint Joseph’s and NO wins over ranked or impressive opponents.

[1:40 p.m. EST] Timeout Auburn. Rutgers pulls away to an 11-point lead. NOT the start we wanted. No points scored by our Tigers so far.

[1:23 p.m. EST] My introduction to the 2010-11 Auburn Tiger basketball team is happening now. What do I know about them so far? Diddly-squat.

[1:20 p.m. EST] HALFTIME Auburn trails Rutgers by 5, 29-24, in a low-scoring (sloppy?) game in Pittsburgh.

[1:15 p.m. EST] Ross has been the shining star in the first half for Auburn — 5 rebounds and 8 points so far. And loads of hustle.

[1:15 p.m. EST] *Rubs eyes* Is that right?!?! We haven’t won the SEC tourney since 1985? Errr …

[1:10 p.m. EST] The importance of being Earnest … Earnest Ross’ hustle gets Auburn the ball back and cuts Rutgers lead to 8 points.

[1:05 p.m. EST] Pittsburgh related … not Auburn related. But this man is a NATIONAL TREASURE. (And my inspiration for my rants today. I’ve been pushing him on anyone with a computer and a sense of humor.)

[1 p.m. EST] Announcers just name-dropped Newton … Isaac Newton.

[12:55 p.m. EST] The crummiest thing about not going to the game today is that I don’t get to hang out in Pittsburgh. I think I’ve visited that city just about once a year for five years (but not during the winter). It’s beautiful there (in the warm weather). All the bridges, hills, rivers, the skyline all crammed together. It’s really something.

[12:55 p.m. EST] And just like that Auburn’s lead vanishes.

[12:45 p.m. EST] Wow. Jerry Hinnen I ain’t. Totally missed tip-off taking a bath. Let’s just say the seating is AMPLE in Pittsburgh this afternoon. If you are there at the game just give us a shout. I’m sure we’ll hear you. Thanks to all for chiming in below.

[11:25 a.m. EST] “It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!” Will we hear it ringing through the streets of Times Square tonight? Oh course! Through the magic of the Internet! This web camera WITH SOUND! is set up on very, very near the meeting place for the NYC Tiger Walk tonight on W. 44th St. and 7th Ave. Check it out. You can hear the taxicabs honking. You can see Santas walking around. It’s Christmas time in the city. The web cam is panning and scanning about where 7th and Broadway meet — a half block away from the action. I’ll keep looking for a web cam that can get us at the doorstep. Cross your fingers!

[10:55 a.m. EST] Tonight will be the first time I’ve ever watched a Heisman awards ceremony. ESPNU showed about 4-5 of them this morning. I watched bits of a few of them. *Yawn* Boooooorrrr-iiiiiiiing! Thank your lucky stars that Cammy Cam & Friends will be there tonight to make things interesting for us.

[10:40 a.m. EST] Please check out Kenny Smith’s SECCG Twitter roundup with video and AMAZING, beautiful Toomer’s photos.

Um. Failed argument, USC. I guess the hometown paper has to throw the Trojans a bone.

[9:50 a.m. EST] Now that I’ve got THAT off my chest … (sorry) … let’s move on to the sadness that I feel today. Essentially, one season is not enough. We’ll get to see Cam associated with Auburn today … and just one more day in about a month. I’ll bet he makes the Auburn Family proud both days … and in the future wherever he ends up.

Photo by Todd Van Emst.

Big Sexy talked with me about it a couple of months ago and pretty much said: How weird would it be that Cam Newton blows into town, does amazing things for one year and then blows right out like a tumbling tumbleweed?

Big Sexy is a big big fan of Spaghetti Westerns. And the comparison to Cam and The Man With No Name (and my failed Tiger With No Name … I owe everyone an apology and explanation on that … coming soon) is an apt one.

Cam Newton. You saved us all. We all celebrated/struggled together through an amazing season. One year? Not enough. I don’t want it to end. But I guess it must.

Today and this week, Cam Newton has been talking a blue streak to the media. A microphone is shoved into his face and his mouth opens. (He’s talking plenty now, Evans. Take note, you nitwit.)

To wit:

Note the seriousness his gaze gives those asking questions. I like the preemptive look of “If you ask that question … so help me God …” He’s learned that. The hard way.

Think of ALL that Cam has been through this year. I bet you $100 that he could handle Philly Eagle fans as their QB, no sweat. Easily. The microscope of the New York press? A breeze. He could do that AND WIN. And win and win. General managers of the NFL … this toy comes with batteries and hits the ground running right out of the box. Cam Newton is battle tested and ready for the big time. In just one year. Amazing. — J.M.

[9:20 a.m. EST] Muckraker? Pah! The word’s too good for him. Thayer Evans is a bottom feeder if I’ve ever saw one. Pasty, white and flabby and OBSESSED is no way to go through life son. The photo below is probably the result of hours of painstaking Photoshopping by some poor graphic designer at FoxSports.

Graphic designer: “I’ve never … the … the … grease filter has no effect sir! It’s at full power!”

FoxSport’s head web designer: Slowly, solemnly lowers head. Pats poor designer on the back. “First day here? Scrub it clean, son. It’ll get better with time. After a while the bad taste leaves your mouth.”

Thayer Evans. Thayer. Evans. What a jackass. I am embarrassed to share the same profession with this guy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so INTENT on taking down someone in sports OR politics.

That’s saying something because politics in D.C./anywhere is way waaaaay dirtier.

Maybe the reporting done on Barry Bonds? (I’m not comparing Bonds and Newton … just the relentless reporting done on both.) Maybe the work that the San Francisco Chronicle did investigating BALCO and Bonds. But was the investigation team at that paper really out to GET Bonds? That paper risked alienating its readership reporting on the San Francisco Giants’ superstar! Was it as personal as Thayer Evans’ glee in his tweets? No. Nope. Not at all. You could make the argument (a weak one) that Evans was trying to expose pay-for-play and special treatment for athletes in college football … focusing on a small part of a larger problem … just like SF Chron looked at Bonds and steroids and hoped to shine a light on the rampant problem of the drug’s use in Major League Baseball.

But then, look at the beginning point for Evans! The grades “scandal” at the University of Florida for Cam. One unnamed source spouting garbage that Evans lapped up and vomited on the page. That had NOTHING to do with Cecil Newton/Kenny Rogers and everything to do with slinging mud on Auburn’s No. 2.

Bleah. I hate to even compare Evans to the work done by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Can you think of anyone that has taken so much GLEE in seeing and athlete stumble? FoxSports, essentially, has given this guy the “Smear Auburn/Cam Newton” beat. He’s called Auburn’s professors. Many, many of them looking for something, anything, on Cam. He’s written an entire story on Marcus Lattimore’s mom’s impression of Auburn during the recruiting process, in which she called RB Coach Curtis Luper a “used car salesman.” (Nice. Nice, Ma Lattimore. I’m very glad we whipped your baby’s team twice this year.) That was the “nut graph” of the story. Marcus Lattimore’s mom thought that Auburn was promising too much for her son. Saying that he would probably start if he came to Auburn. What did Marcus Lattimore do this year? He started. Oh pretty much carried the University of South Carolina team. Won the SEC freshman of the year award. Luper and Auburn saw the talent. Everyone did. Steve Spurrier, I’m sure, promised the same to the Lattimore family.

Thayer Evan. What a dingus. A doof. A character assassin. An enemy of Auburn.

I will not link to any of his stories. You can find them yourself.

Why am I wasting my time on this dude today of all days? Because Cam Newton winning the Heisman rubs all the smears back in the face of Thayer Evans and his first opinion piece imploring other voters to NOT vote for Cam. I hope he’s in New York City today to see this and to see his grab at attention ultimately fail. — J.M.

[8:40 a.m. EST] Welcome to my hell. Eastern time! Fast time! When I visit you folks over/down there in Central I cannot hang with you. Your 1 a.m. party is my 2 a.m. sleepy times.

All the Auburn action today is going in PA and Gotham, so the time will reflect it. And I’m sick and grumpy. The text here will reflect that too. Baah! Fiddlesticks! “You know what makes me SICK … you know what makes me cram a Heisman down a sports network’s throat? … WAKE UP Uhmerika!!!”

Let me start things off by saying that I feel like I’ve really dropped the ball this year. I’ve got Auburn activities on my doorstep (sorta … 2-4 hours away) and here I sit on the couch recovering from a very bad cold. Our 3-4 Auburn Tiger basketball team limps into Pittsburgh against Rutgers at 12:30 EST (on ESPN2) in the SEC/Big East Invitational and could really use all the support they can get. Cam Newton & Friends will be in New York City (hopefully) picking up the Heisman hardware at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN. The Auburn Family will be there. In force.

This will be my first time watching our basketball team this year. I’m looking forward to it (yeah, yeah … you are probably rolling your eyes and saying “Have fun with THAT.”)

Why did I say “hopefully” above in regards to the Heisman trophy? Because sports writers, athletes and coaches are voting for the Heisman. Writers like this and this have a vote? C’mon.

(Psst! But you know what’s awesome? Go here. Scroll down and look at the “Visit the Official Heisman Store” button. Hee hee hee! It’s in the bag! Go Cammy Cam!)

And another thing! Which version of Sports Illustrated do I get in the mail this week? Just guess. The stupid Oregon version!!!! Maryland is a lot closer to Alabama than to Oregon! What gives?!?!

More complaining … more bellyaching coming folks. Cuddle up to a sick man on the couch. I’m letting the steam out of the pot people! I’m pointing a quivering-with-anger fingerbone around. I’m hopped up on caffeine and a healthy does of ‘Tussin and I’m naming names! — J.M.

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