Friday, October 19, 2007

Lies and the Lying Corn Dogs Who Tell Them

There's an amusing little post making the rounds in message board land today, originating on the Tiger's Lair LSU board and written by a dude going by the name "lsub," who's apparently been boasting about 'firing up the masses' going into this week's Tiger Bowl grudge match.

(As an aside, this pre-game "firing up" business appears to be an oddity of LSU fandom. Why anybody would need to try and "fire up" any SEC fanbase for a huge conference game that's also an SECCG elimination match between two teams who've been at each others' throats for well over a decade is way beyond me, but you see this very often when LSU has a big game coming up. There's always some largely-imagined slight that gets tossed around in the Corn Dog echo chamber before the game, presumably to encourage the LSU fans to get even more drunk, obnoxious and abusive at the stadium. There's a weird obsession with being "disrespected" down in Red Stick. Pretty silly when viewed from the outside, but there you are.)

At any rate, here's the post:
"Now, this picture was sent to me by an Auburn graduate. The comment was made to me that this was taken by a sports photographer for a newspaper in Alabama. The player for Auburn in this picture is Zach Gilbert #38. Zach is a cornerback who made the non-called pass interference on Doucet. Zach is a Senior this year and has changed his number to 22.

Old Zach was on the sideline during the last play and when the game was over, ran across the field to do this. He was not standing there at the end of the play.

I was told Muschamp knew about the cigar situation at LSU and to fire up his players, he informed them that LSU planned to do the same at Auburn to return the favor. According to the Auburn people, Gilbert ran across the field when the game was over took off his helment and told Davis, "Close but not Cigar." He laughed at him and as he walked off said, "Smoke em if you got em." Now the picture was snapped when he was laughing at him. This I know is true. The quotes, came from an Auburn fan , true or not true, don't really matter.

Don't ever run across the field after a game, take your helmet off, stand over a player, and laugh at him. The picture says it all. Players will see this today and I assure you no matter how hurt or tired you are, you better come out swinging. This fired Miles up and the coaching staff. They don't win with class, that's evident. They don't have class. And just for Gilbert doing this, they need to be put on their ass.

Different strokes for Different folks but to me, this picture is a hell of a lot worse than smoking a cigar on my field. Don't stand over me and taunt me after a game. POS. LSUB is out."
Here's the picture our pal "lsub" is talking about:It's a nice story "lsub" tells here, and it is surely doing its job in "firing up" a fan base that needs very little encouragement to act like goons towards opponents. Just one problem: it isn't true.

Here's a clip from CBS's broadcast of the 2006 Auburn-LSU game. It's a replay of the final play shot from behind the end zone, and you can see #38 Zach Gilbert playing nickleback in the middle of the field (he's just to the left of the right-side goalpost), and running towards the football after JaMarcus Russell releases it. The camera cuts away before Gilbert arrives at the now-over play, but you can see by the path he's taking before he goes out of frame that he was heading towards Craig Davis while the ball was in the air, and obviously arrived shortly after Davis was tackled and the clock expired. The picture here is a little fuzzy thanks to YouTube's compression, but you can see Gilbert's number at the bottom of the screen before the camera pans (it's crystal clear in the original HD video):

Now, was it the greatest thing in the world for Gilbert to give Davis some chin music after that play? Probably not. I'd like to think I wouldn't have done it, but then again, those guys had been on the field swapping abuse both physical and verbal for over three hours, and the game had just ended seconds before the photo above was shot. It's not hard to understand players on either team (or any team, for that matter) getting in a little what-for in the heat of that moment.

I'm not under any illusions that pointing out the facts of the matter will make any difference to the Corn Dog Nation. They've made up their minds to be mad, and good for them. But just so you know, guys, you're getting mad over a made-up story.

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