It has taken far too long and we’ve missed posting about events like A-Day, recruiting and the doldrums of summer until practice begins (officially).
We haven’t missed posting about World Cup Soccer.
Thank you for your support and we hope you love the new look of Joe!
In a long overdue upgrade, Joe Auburn will be moving soon. Of course we’ll keep everyone posted, and more importantly, we want your feedback once we complete the site redesign.
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Here at the desk of Joe Auburn, we don’t get much fan mail. We’re happy to get comments on our posts, new fans of our facebook fan page and retweets via Twitter. We’ve also been known to get a few jabs from time to time and those are just fine too.
And every so often we get emails asking us to check out a new spot in the Auburn area or a request to find someone or just to vent about a poor experience. So, call this experiment the first of what we hope could turn into a recurring post on a monthly or quarterly basis or as the mood strikes.
And first, “The Studs”
Ben Tate – Loyal readers know Joe has been a fan of Ben Tate since he was a high schooler in Maryland. Heck, you don’t get shirts made for your family that say, “Two thousand Tate: the year of Ben” if you aren’t borderline obsessive with watching Ben run the rock on Saturdays in the fall. But, we’re talking about former Auburn RB Ben Tate now. As strange as that sounds, get used to it. Ben will be running the rock on SUNDAYS in the fall after his performance at the combine in Indianapolis last week. He’s got a fan page and Twitter following himself and he gets big ups and mad props for his level of interaction with fans plus some cool contests.
Mrs. Brown – The Tiger Town Chick-fil-a would be too easy a choice, so we’re instead giving a shout out to Mrs. Brown. She’s the woman who graces the aforementioned dining area by going table to table asking if you need a drink refill or if she can clear your used wrappers and such. She’s got a great sense of humor and you’d have to have a heart the size of a ‘Bammers brain to not smile after she pauses at your table.
The Strutting Duck at the Olde Auburn Ale House – Joe isn’t a long time Duck fan. Joe feels somewhat ashamed he only found the Duck after they moved into the former Ale House. Joe has been trying to make amends since he discovered the Duck late last fall. Overall, they have good, not great food at excellent prices and a beer selection that would make Sam Adams go back to the proverbial drawing board. Most of the wait staff is very knowledgeable about their beer selections, friendly and a rarity in Auburn – they actually eat the food they recommend.
Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum – Okay, this is a freebie. If you spend just over 41 years a fixture on the Auburn University landscape AND post a win in your debut and exit, you have to make some sort of good list. It doesn’t hurt that Wally Tinker shows up and makes his basket in front of almost 10,000 screaming fans from nearly the same spot he did 41 years ago in a win over LSU. Rest easy, Beard-Eaves, rest easy.
And lastly, “The Duds”
The Opelika Police Department – A nine-month pregnant woman has her car hit in the Kroger parking lot in an accident not her fault. Her proof of insurance card isn’t up to date. The Opelika police officers who arrived at the scene make her stand in the 41 degree, windy weather and threaten her with a ticket for not having a recent paper copy. She calls her insurance company, who then offers to speak to the officers to confirm her insurance is current. Heck, they go so far as to offer the ability to fax them a copy. What happens? The officers, in their infinite wisdom, decide to tell her, “No. Our policy says we have to see a paper copy or we have to write you a ticket.” She calls her husband who is incredulous at the situation. The officer at this point tells the pregnant woman, “If he isn’t here in 15 minutes we’re writing you up.” She’s in tears at this point. The husband arrives and after hearing both officers throw policy in his face responds, “We have policies where I work too, but I know how and when to apply common sense.” The officers fall silent, the husband and wife go grocery shopping.
In Italy Bar In Italy Restaurant Speakeasy Bar & Grill – They should have left this one alone when it first opened as the trendy place where the beautiful people go to drink. But like most good things, they eventually come to an end. Sadly, the end for In Italy the Bar was when In Italy the Restaurant opened upstairs. You could poll 10 people in Auburn and get 15 who would tell you the food was awful. Then they shut down. Then they reopened as Speakeasy Bar & Grill. The poll numbers on the restaurant aren’t much better, even though they changed their menu to guess what? Burgers and chicken – just what Auburn needs more of downtown. The real travesty is knowing the owner stuck the company who built the original website (since removed for obvious reasons) with a tab that ran in the thousands of dollars, lost in court and still hasn’t paid up. Apparently, Speakeasy means “I don’t have to pay my bills,” In Italy.
Well, after multiple trips to the relocated Strutting Duck – currently in the former home of the Olde Auburn Ale House – Joe and Josephine have formed enough of an opinion to share with our followers.
Go check it out for yourselves.
Yes, it is that simple.
IMHO, the menu reads much better than any of the actual selections. I’d classify the food as good, not great. However, the bright spots include arguably the friendliest and most helpful service you’re going to find in downtown Auburn as well as an impressive beer selection (on tap and bottled).
Josephine has now tried several of the salads and isn’t quite ready to recommend any of them. Joe would say if you’re going to a drinking establishment looking for a “salad” you’re going to be as effective as a Muscovite looking for a 5-star beach resort in your backyard. However, after my own sampling of the sandwich menu, I’d say the food has only marginally improved over the last days of the Ale House.
Then again, there are gems to be found and the half pound $2 burger night provides the first. Monday’s you can snag a burger for $2 and add french fries or tots for a little more.
The Duck appears to be positioning itself as the low cost nightly food option coupled with live music or trivia saddled up nicely to a fine selection of draft beers. They have built a chalkboard full of the high-gravity selections which so far, all of the wait and bar staff have more than a passing knowledge of.
Joe and Josephine proudly say check out the nightly specials for dinner, but plan on coming back for the entertainment and beer.
Zac Etheridge has been working hard on his rehab schedule. At least one of his coaches believes Zac will be back for the 2010 Fall opener.
You’ll remember Etheridge tore ligaments in his neck and cracked his C5 vertebrae in a scary collision Oct. 31 against Ole Miss where he lay motionless until being wheeled off the field. The Auburn family came together to support the Etheridge family during his recovery.
Read more in the OA News article.
They are immortal words to me, sung by one Axl Rose of Guns n’ Roses: “Where do we go, where do we go now?”
Conventional wisdom says Auburn is a program on the rise and the sky is the limit. The class of 2010 is a sign of even better things to come in recruiting. The results of 2009, at 8-5 overall, are a foundation for 10+ win season in 2010 and beyond. The coaching staff Gene Chizik assembled is a potent force, linked arm in arm against the dark forces north and west of the Plains.
I wouldn’t call the counter to this argument wisdom of any sort. In Boston, they referred to is as the Curse of the Bambino. In Auburn I’ve heard it sometimes called, “snakebit.” In the business world, they call it “cautious optimism.”
It’s tough looking back and predicting the future and Mr. Woodberry isn’t going there with his post about the 2005 Auburn signing class as much as he’s just rehashing and asking the VH1 question, “Where are they now?”
However, there are likely some kids in the 2010 class who won’t qualify academically. There are some who simply won’t pan out. There are others who will make names for themselves, on-field or off and all we can do is hope for the former.
If, and it is a big IF you assume the hype around Auburn during 2004 has a common denominator to what developed in Team Chizik’s first year, then consider these numbers from ’05:
23% of the signees never played at Auburn
36% played sparingly and / or left early
23% played a role at Auburn, largely as a backup
18% played a starring role at Auburn or are now in the NFL
Or, viewed as either a Player or Not, 59% never contributed while only 41% earned their Tiger stripes
Sure, there are lots of statistics and articles about Coach Tuberville’s attrition, particularly later in his Auburn career, but the class of 2005, while not a Top 10 in most publications was supposed to signify a new foundation for Auburn.
However, all signs point to Chizik & Co., recruiting players who can make the grade and will stand by one another from the moment they step on campus as a student athlete. Call it orange and blue colored glasses, but this class only has two signees which I personally feel may not make it: S. Coleman and J. Richardson. Coleman because I don’t believe he wasn’t a last minute shopper and isn’t fully on-board and Richardson because he has a lot of outside detractors which could ultimately negatively influence him.
Take those two, or any other two away, and you’ve still got one helluva class trotting the track. Where we go and what we do along the way are what makes the wait for first A-Day and then summer workouts all the more excruciating. War Eagle!
Izauea Lanier becomes the first commitment for Auburn’s 2011 recruiting class.
He’s been on the roster of the East Mississippi Community College who won an impressive 11 games on their 12 game schedule. Izauea wore number 8 on his jersey and listed at 6’1″, 185 lbs., as a DB.
Some of you may remember he originally signed with Auburn in 2009 with a questionable academic background. His academics seem to be in order and he’ll redshirt at Auburn this fall and have 3 years of eligibility remaining.
Consensus Top 5 recruiting class….
….#4 on Rivals and ESPN and #5 on Scout
27 players signed yesterday on NSD along with the 5 in January that counted back to 2009….
….Three 5-star players and thirteen 4-star players
A recruiting class that averages 3.5 stars overall….
….under Coach Tuberville, no class averaged better than 3.0 overall
The number one player out of three states: Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas….
….11 players out of the state of Alabama
Coach Gene Chizik’s quotable moment yesterday afternoon:
We laid down a blueprint of what we were looking for … for Auburn. It’s not always about getting the best player. He has to be the right player. I’m as much or more proud of that than the talent we brought into this class.