Gene Chizik's shirt left much to be desired for some die-hard Auburn fans. (David O'Brien/AJC)
Transfixed with alternating waves of awe and horror, it was all we could do to shout one word into the ether:
Mirthful responses flooded in, and a merry time was had by all:
We live less than an hour from Auburn, right across the Georgia border, and as such have picked up many Tiger types as friends and neighbors. The photo made its way into many an inbox yesterday. Laughs were shared.
And then, last night, this landed in our inbox, from an Auburn booster of our acquaintance. For entertainment purposes only, and with his permission, we're going to reprint the entire thing here, because it's the single greatest piece of reader vitriol we've ever received. Strap in, and empty your mouth of all liquids.
Date: May 3, 2012 6:32:10 PM EDT
To: Holly Anderson
As a longtime supporter of Auburn athletics, I've seen a lot of things. I've seen Colonial Bank employees approve no interest loans for football players that were paid back through a wire from some out of state bank, and I shrugged it off and thought, well, nobody is lily white. I saw Eric Ramsey's wife flip off the crowd at graduation commencement. Figured she'd make a show of it. I was there when Rodney Garner gather thousands of dollars in a bag to carry to Stephen Davis' mother in South Carolina, and knew we needed him by God, so I was fine with it. I watched as Pat Dye and Wayne Hall tried to muscle out Terry Bowden after 2 years, and amazingly enough, Terry survived...that day. I remember when I first looked at the paperwork saying that Auburn was seizing Terry's house after we fired him, and realized that this Lowder cat might be a tad too powerful, but hell, he did it in Auburn's best interest. I remember Brother Bill Oliver threatening to blow the roof off Auburn after he was promised a job he never got, only to remain mysteriously quiet on Lake Martin for 14 years. Thank God we had Jimmy Rane and Bobby Lowder to keep him quiet I thought. It seems like only yesterday that Tommy Tuberville was fired behind closed doors twice in a span of 3 years (after 2001 and 2003), only to prove that he would outlast almost all of us. Then we turned around and paid him 5.1 million because his contract said something about us not talking to other coaches while he was employed...Jimmy Rane calling Houston Nutt in the middle of the season never sat well with me. I remember Pat Dye hiring Gene Chizik, and me thinking, he's like Will Muschamp, but with a 5-19 record as a head coach. Hmmm. I've seen us skate past death by actually keeping everybody on the same page and sticking to the same story over a player and not getting caught...and we STILL couldn't convince Marcus Lattimore to leave South Carolina! I remember pantsless Pat Dye on Lake Martin, Brent Fullwood never learning how to read (but he sure was fast!), sociology degrees handed out like they were candy, Cam Newton rise above the haters, and a funeral like memorialization of trees. And I've looked the other way on all of it. Why? Because I believe in Auburn, and love it. But I can look the other way no longer. When I see my head coach wearing something that should be laying on the floor of Snooki's bedroom, I say enough is ENOUGH! Gene Chizik, you have won Auburn a national championship, signed a QB who was the best I'll ever see, forever angered Alabama fans because of 28-27, and have generally been well received because you aren't Terry Bowden or Tommy Tuberville. And all that was good and fine until yesterday, sir, when you disgraced not just Auburn football, but everything Auburn stands for in that high thread count garbage bag you call a shirt. You should be ashamed of yourself. I can only hope that the next time the eagle goes off course in pregame flight, instead of it crashing into the skybox, that it will instead come down and gouge my eyes out, lest I have to see anything like that again in my life.
CODA: Not too long after receiving the above email, this one showed up, from our own mother:
Date: May 3, 2012 7:38:33 PM EDT
To: Holly Anderson
Subject: Rag bag
Just pulled it out of the goodwill bag that's been sitting in laundry room. Was putting bag in my car for drop-off tomorrow.