All-IN! — The Family

by TideGP (follow me on Twitter @TideGP)


Auburn University Football certainly has an aura around it.  It’s not the glow from winning the 2010 National Championship, or the SEC Championship, or even having the most recent Heisman Trophy winner.  Not even the controversy that’s surrounded  those events.  Maybe it’s more like a haze… It’s not that easy to pinpoint, but you get the sense that something’s… off

For months we’ve heard rumours and allegations against the Auburn Football program.  While there have been no official charges from the NCAA, the response from the Auburn faithful has been… dumbfounding. 

For months we’ve also heard the same quotes again and again from a variety of Auburn fans, as if a policy is being repeated.  I’m not talking just about the outspoken fans whose rhetoric Paul Finabaum has made famous.  Watch video of Gene Chizik’s response to the HBO Real Sports show; Chizik gives a slight smile when he mentions “Auburn”. The kind of satisfied, self assured grin that makes you think he/they know something YOU don’t.  This attitude carried over to the story the New York Times broke where Chizik apparently openly challenged the head of NCAA Enforcement about the status of closing the book on their investigation into Auburn during a meeting that included all of the football and basketball coaches from the SEC.  Chizik pressed, to the point of sounding like he was bullying Roe Lach for the response he wanted, and subsequently received a reply he clearly didn’t expect to hear—“You’ll know when we’re finished… And we’re not finished”.

So just what is it they know or what is it they THINK they know? Just what is it that empowers them to have this attitude? While there’s no way to definitively answer that, we CAN piece together the evidence.

Auburn’s recent mantras of “We’re All-In” and “Family” exude an attitude of it’s “Us Against the World”, and, as close knit as their “family” has become, that may be an accurate statement.

This feels like it has gone way beyond school pride, even for an SEC school.  Their attitude, their tactics of Deny, Deflect, Distract and repeating the party line incessantly are downright… Cult-Like.

A Cult?!?

Isn’t that just a bit over the top?

Well, let’s look at this. Here are some of the traits typically associated with cults that the Auburn Family is also exhibiting:

  • A fervent, almost fanatical adherence to a shared belief.
  • A belief that “we are good” and if you’re not one of us, “you are BAD”.
  • Complete Denial–Our leaders are GOOD, no matter what evidence you show to the contrary.
  • Our cause is noble, therefore the rules set by outsiders do not apply to us.
  • We are entitled, we are CHOSEN, GOD is with us.
  • If you challenge our cause, you are OUT of the Family.
  • Deflect–We will attack our detractors.
  • Let us show you how much GOOD we do.

Et cetera.

"We Are Family! We Are ALL-IN!"

They’re definitely drinking the Kool Aid down on the Plains these days.  College Football fans from other conferences are often befuddled at how seriously their SEC counterparts react.  While Alabama fans familiar to the rivalry are somewhat used to the Auburn rhetoric when bad news comes down on the Plains, the rest of the nation seems stunned by Auburn’s response to just about every issue–Deny, Deflect, Distract. That’s never been more true than in the early months of 2011 with the rash of allegations falling down on the Tigers—allegations that all seem to have real teeth. Teeth that are still biting.

But will you get an Auburn fan to even admit they’re worried?  Chances are you won’t.

Talk to an Auburn fan and you’ll hear something completely different. Radically different. Disturbingly different.  Sure, schools take on mottos and mantras all the time.  Last year’s “All-In” and “Family” could be chalked up to just that, mottos, were it not for the attitude that came along with it. Mid-way through the 2010 season when the Cam Newton story came to light the attitude exuded by the Auburn faithful was pure disbelief, sprinkled with scattered claims of sabotage by Bama, and Miss St. The consensus attitude among AU fans was and seemingly still is, utter, total faith in their program, no matter what evidence came to light.  In fact, one got the sense and still gets the sense, that opinions outside of the “family” don’t matter to the AU faithful at all. 

Sound familiar? Starting to feel a bit uneasy? Think about what other organizations besides cults call themselves “family”.

Organized Crime.

You get the point.  Listen to an Auburn fan talk about any of these allegations and they’ll shift the conversation to Alabama.  Listen to them long enough, you’ll hear their paranoia. Couple that with observing some of the “official” Auburn statements and it becomes apparent that Auburn doesn’t feel the rules of “outsiders” apply to them.  “We are AUBURN, We are FAMILY!

In the SEC, most fans admit to being biased, and one fanbase will always poke fun at another when there’s a hint of trouble. However, even the most casual observer can see there’s something rotten in the Auburn program.  Money handshakes exposed on national media by HBO Real Sports. Facebook pages of players pictured with STACKS of cash in their mouths.  Home invasions by players.  AU’s Athletic Dept. being played like a fiddle by Cecil Newton in the midst of the investigation of whether he solicited money for his son.  A coach that doesn’t seem to understand protocol in making inquiries to the ENFORCEMENT division of it’s governing body.

How does the Auburn family react? 

I find your lack of faith... DISTURBING!

Deny: HBO didn’t interview players who DIDN’T take money.  The four home invaders were kicked off the team.  Cam knew NOTHING of his father’s actions.  The NCAA isn’t investigating. 

Deflect/Distract:  A BAMA fan poisoned Toomers Oaks!  Brent Calloway was hijacked by a BAMA booster!  Announce a Cam Newton statue!

Yes, there’s a problem on the Plains, and it may be MUCH more deeply seeded than we realized.


~ by Gut Check Admin on July 18, 2011.

One Response to “All-IN! — The Family”

  1. The truest shit I ever heard!

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