It was a dark day this past Sunday, when Auburn decided they were no longer All In behind coach Gene Chizik. The coach that rode a once-in-a-generation mercenary quarterback to a national championship* was once revered by the Auburn family with a cult-like fervor.
No more will we be treated to the sights and sounds of Coach Chizik; the half-windbreaker half-dental smock sideline attire; the vigorous gum chewing despite no visible teeth; and the creepy religious undertones.
It would be easy to point to the large number of player arrests and NCAA investigations as the reason for Chizik’s dismissal, but the Auburn faithful were just fine with all that as long as the team was winning. Victory above all else is apparently the crux of the Auburn Creed. In the Church of the Plains, Gene Chizik committed the cardinal sin, he went winless in the SEC. One would think that the flock would be hesitant to shun one of their own since Auburn fans like to call themselves a family; however two consecutive blowout losses to Alabama was enough to cause the excommunication.
Even though the family no longer wants the fallen angel Chizik as their football coach, the Auburn Creed and devotion to taking care of their own should ensure that Gene is paid every dollar of his buyout. Actually the high priest Jay Jacobs is searching for any impropriety during Chizik’s tenure to claim that the coach was let go for cause, saving Auburn from having to tithe over $7 million to the former coach. Fortunately for Jacobs he should not have to look too hard to find evidence of untoward behavior, most likely at the hands of the acolytes Trooper and Luper.
It is a sad day indeed that we send the coaching career of Gene Chizik to the great sideline in the sky. His spirit lives on, however, as he will forever be linked with such past coaches as Pat Dye and Terry Bowden in the most sacred of Auburn traditions; cheating, taking shortcuts, and getting trounced by the Crimson Tide. Chizik is gone but his memory lives on. Chin up Auburn family, at least you still have the trees.