It’s not a coincidence–someone has to be fan. That’s former TV production coordinator Andrea Archer Compton’s theory on the phenomena, at least. Or maybe multiple someones, given how many different shows it’s happened on, and on how many different networks. CBS. NBC. ABC. Now you can add Netflix to the list.
Because that split-second shot of the football game on the screen just over Sam Elliott’s shoulder in the bar scene of the Part 3: Ep. 2 episode of the Netflix comedy The Ranch most definitely shows former Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox about to take a snap. And it’s not the first small screen bar scene to feature a Tuberville-era Auburn game.
In 2014, the Tigers’ 2004 win over Arkansas played in the background while Craig T. Nelson and Dax Shepherd knocked back beers in an episode of Parenthood. And that was actually the second Auburn game Nelson’s character had caught in as many seasons of the NBC dramedy; in 2013, he and Lauren Graham had a heart-to-heart talk during a replay of Auburn’s 2006 Thursday night win over South Carolina.
“I can’t speak for primetime (TV),” says Compton, who is responsible for introducing Auburn souvenirs to the set of General Hospital in 2009, “but what I suspect is that there’s somebody who is an Auburn fan somewhere in the production staff probably, or in the post-production department where you’re putting that material in the screen.”
Supporting that theory is the fact that several examples of Boda Getta in the background are from Auburn’s six-year Iron Bowl win streak. The Tigers’ 22-15 “Fear The Thumb” win over the Tide in 2006 actually popped in three separate shows — a 2011 episode of ABC’s Body of Proof, a 2013 episode of CBS’ The Mentalist, and a 2014 episode of NBC’s The Mindy Project.
A 2012 episode of the short-lived NBC comedy Animal Practice ended with a monkey laughing while watching Auburn sack former Bama quarterback John Parker Wilson in the 2007 Iron Bowl.
“They probably didn’t roll it live on the set, they probably green-screened it in later,” Compton says. “Someone was probably a fan, and you just make a few phone calls and as long as everyone is agreed and all the signatures are there for the release, why not? But yeah, Auburn stuff just continues to pop up.”
Of course, to be fair, the post-production pigskin partisans at The Ranch may actually have been pulling for another team. Though Cox got most of the screen time, the game glowing behind Sam Elliott was actually South Florida’s upset win over the Tigers in 2007 — the first cameo for an Auburn loss.