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July 11, 2013

7 at 7: Recap of whirlwind Wednesday at War Eagle Extra (plus more links)

Some people may be wondering why my first two “7 at 7″ articles have been so link-heavy.

It’s a fair question.

I know my predecessor, Aaron Brenner, began the “7 at 7″ format originally as a links-based series, before eventually morphing it into more of an extra “football notes” package once the season got underway. My plan for the future of “7 at 7″ is to make it a mixture of both. On days when there might not be enough Auburn news to fill all seven items, there will be more links. On days teeming with Tiger-related happenings, there will be few, if any, links. And of course, there could days where hybrid notes/links versions of “7 at 7″ occur.

As you might expect, this is subject to change. When SEC Media Days conclude next week, I plan on posting a rundown of “what to expect on the War Eagle Extra blog” soon thereafter, letting you readers know which content to look for each day of the week during the season.

Until then, hang tight.

1. The War Eagle Extra blog was busy Wednesday. Not counting the “7 at 7″ entry, there were five other articles posted to the blog. Did you miss any of them? We had a pair of previews of Auburn’s first two opponents in 2013 (Washington State and Arkansas State, respectively) as well as more watch list recognition for Tiger players. Throw in Auburn announcing a time and place for its annual Fan Day and the Tigers landing their first commitment of the 2015 class, and you have a day chock-full of content.AUBURN FOOTBALL Cody Parkey

The War Eagle Extra’s Twitter feed broke the 9,000 followers barrier — and yes, I’ll refrain from making more than a passing reference to the “It’s Over 9,000!!!!” Dragonball Z meme here — on Wednesday, too. However, the War Eagle Extra’s Facebook page is still a far cry from 9,000, at just over 1,300 “Likes” entering Thursday. So why not go ahead and give it a like today? You’ll feel good about it later.

(For those intrigued by the “It’s Over 9,000″ mention but have no idea what I’m talking about, do a Google search for it. I would link to it, but some of the content is considered “not safe for work.” My apologies in advance.)

2. AL.com’s Brandon Marcello continues his trek across Arkansas, as he traces coach Gus Malzahn’s path to Auburn from the beginning. The second article in the series ran on Wednesday, and like the first, is an example of great writing and reporting.

3. Senior defensive end Dee Ford was honored earlier this week when he was named to the Bednarik Award’s preseason watch list. Phillip Marshall of AuburnTigers.com shares an inspiring story about the Odenville, Ala., native and how his football career nearly came to a premature end before he got his life on the right track.

4. We already knew which three players Auburn would be sending to SEC Media Days next week when Malzahn broke the news on his Twitter account on Tuesday. (That trio will consist of Ford, cornerback Chris Davis and fullback Jay Prosch.) We now know which players the rest of the conference will be bringing with them to Hoover, Ala., after the SEC league office released the full list on Wednesday.

Thankfully for us media types, the list doesn’t disappoint. You have two of the best players in the country in reigning Heisman winner and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. From my time on the Georgia beat, I can vouch that tight end Arthur Lynch will answer literally any question thrown at him, usually with detailed insight and the innate ability to place the query in proper perspective. (He’s a history major, after all.) Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith is a funny guy, the type who is liable to say anything.

And with both quarterbacks from last year’s SEC Championship Game — Alabama’s AJ McCarron and Georgia’s Aaron Murray — set to answer questions on Thursday, we have the potential for this situation to be revisited, as sports anchor/director Chelsa Messinger of NBC 38 in Columbus astutely noted. I’m almost certain someone will ask the pair about the tweets, despite how little it has to do with actual on-the-field events.

(My bet is on Clay Travis being the media member to ask it, though I’m aware that’s picking the odds-on favorite in a miniscule pool of candidates.)

5. David Jones, a columnist for The Harrisburg Patriot-News in Pennsylvania, boiled the SEC’s recent dominance down to a rudimentary factor: The South embraces college football more than any other region. By far.

In my estimation, it was an even-handed take. It was not a snobbish, “Of course they should be good. Look at how much time and money schools and fans in the South invest in the sport.” Rather, it was a respectful, balanced view of the matter, giving as much credit to SEC fans for the league’s remarkable run of success as players and coaches.

(Of course, should you feel differently after reading it, please let me know in the comments section.)

6. Two of the more controversial sporting figures you’ll ever find once again made news on Wednesday. Marshall Henderson, the, um, candid Ole Miss guard, was suspended for what was called a “violation of team rules.” CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish later tweeted that Henderson’s suspension came about due to a failed drug test. It certainly didn’t help the Rebels’ PR department that linebacker Denzel Nkdemiche — the older brother of prized incoming freshman and the football team’s would-be program savior, Robert Nkemdiche — appeared in a pair of Instagram videos with Henderson after the suspension was announced. (Both videos were later deleted.)

No stranger to courting negative headlines during his own playing career, surly former MLB closer John Rocker told Cleveland radio station CBS 92.3 The Fan he believed baseball was a “better game” when steroids still ran rampant.

Some folks just never learn, I suppose.

7. Thanks to Jon Bois of SB Nation, I’ve finally seen one of the craziest YouTube clips ever, involving a game between two Texas high schools, Plano East and John Tyler, in 1994. If you want to read his take on why it’s the “greatest video on YouTube,” you can click the link.

If you just want to watch the video, it is provided below.

Then you can decide for yourself how high (or low) it ranks among your personal favorite YouTube clips.


  1. Those announcers are hilarious. Except for the last play (fortunately), it reminds me of the Camback, if you saw that game. And welcome to Auburn. I stopped following Brenner because he very obviously disliked the SEC. Clearly you don’t feel the same way. I lived in Athens for 11 years and worked for UGA for 1 1/2, and I know how Georgia fans really feel about Auburn. I hope you can squelch that during work hours. If Pat Dye can do it, so can you. I sure hope you’re bringing some better luck with you than Brenner did!

    Comment by Nancy Cooper — July 11, 2013 @ 11:53 am

  2. Thank you for the warm welcome, Nancy. And we’ll just have to see about the whole “luck” thing; I’ve never been accused of being a “good luck charm” before. –RB

    Comment by Ryan Black — July 11, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  3. I was a writer for the Public Information Office at UGA from ’93-’95 under Tom Jackson. We were in the old field house, which isn’t even there any more. I covered the School of Arts and Sciences. It was a weird office–everyone in there hated each other and had filed lawsuits against each other. My three girls were all born at St. Mary’s. Ice cream at Hodgson’s went from a quarter to fifty cents. The day we moved there was the day 316 opened. I could have lived in Watkinsville the rest of my life.

    Comment by Nancy Cooper — July 11, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  4. I’m quite familiar with the area. Graduated from Elbert County (Comprehensive) High School and covered numerous high school sporting events around Oconee and within a 50-mile radius of Athens, give or take.
    Thanks for reading. –RB

    Comment by Ryan Black — July 11, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

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