Arkansas, Auburn hit panic but­ton

The Covington News - - Sports -

Panic is a sud­den sen­sa­tion of fear so strong as to pre­vent rea­son and log­i­cal think­ing, re­plac­ing it with over­whelm­ing anx­i­ety and fran­tic ag­i­ta­tion. Sound fa­mil­iar, Arkansas and Auburn fans?

In just the third week of the sea­son, wide­spread panic has en­veloped these SEC Western Division schools amidst fears of football fu­til­ity. Star­ing down the bar­rel of po­ten­tially dis­as­trous sea­sons, there’s trou­ble in Hog­land and on the Plains. Panic has set in for good rea­son.

Last Satur­day, Arkansas blew a 28-7 lead and lost at home to the mighty War Hawks of LouisianaMon­roe (pro­nounced “MUN-roe” by the lo­cals; be­lieve me, I know). Arky plum­meted in the polls and is un­ranked af­ter en­joy­ing a lofty No. 8 AP poll spot this time last week.

To pour salt on an em­bar­rass­ing wound, the Pigs’ star quar­ter­back Tyler Wil­son suf­fered a head in­jury against ULM and is ques­tion­able this week. It gets worse. Who does Arkansas face this Satur­day? That’d be Alabama — not quite the tonic to rem­edy a panic at­tack. “Where are you, Bobby Petrino?” ask pan­icked Arkansas fans.

They are not alone. Lis­ten closely and you’ll hear fren­zied, des­per­ate cries em­a­nat­ing from Auburn, Ala. Auburn is 0-2 with dim prospects for im­prove­ment. Quar­ter­back Kiehl Fra­zier looks lost, Auburn’s de­fense looks in­ept, and head coach Gene Chizik, just two years re­moved from a BCS ti­tle, is quickly ex­pend­ing cap­i­tal earned from that na­tional cham­pi­onship. You know what hap­pens when cap­i­tal de­pletes rapidly: panic

en­sues. But hey, at least the Tigers get a rent-a-win this week as LouisianaMon­roe comes to town. Oh, wait... Time will tell how Arkansas and Auburn han­dle their panic at­tacks and a few clas­sic films pro­vide guid­ance here. Michael Dou­glas was calm and col­lected af­ter barely miss­ing break­fast ser­vice at Whammy Burger in 1993’s “Fall­ing Down.” “I don’t want to be your buddy, Rick. I just want some break­fast.” Steve Martin was fre­netic as shots rang out at the gas sta­tion in 1979’s “The Jerk.” “The cans! He hates the cans!” An all-out, un­con­trol­lable panic would place Arkansas and Auburn in the same league as that aisle-seat pas­sen­ger in 1980’s “Air­plane.” “I’ve gotta get out of here!” Re­mem­ber how bad she freaked out? Even the nun on the plane stood in line to set her straight.

Though the panic but­ton has been hit in Fayet­teville and Auburn, other SEC teams are brim­ming with con­fi­dence. Ge­or­gia’s de- fense is play­ing lights out de­spite four sus­pended play­ers and I’ll go so far as to pre­dict a win over Florida At­lantic on Satur­day. For the first time in years, the Ten­nessee-Florida game ac­tu­ally mat­ters. I’ll take “nerd alert” Derek Doo­ley and his Ten­nessee team over Will “I should still be a co­or­di­na­tor” Muschamp in Ney­land Sta­dium. Bama will ob­vi­ously roll over Arkansas and LSU will win its scrim­mage against Idaho. Fi­nally, Steve Spurrier will win his 200th ca­reer game with a Sak­er­lina vic­tory over UAB. Pretty im­pres­sive for the ol’ ball coach.

In the mean­time, far be it for me to poke fun at Arkansas’ and Auburn’s panic at­tacks. I’ve hit my own panic but­ton. I’m at an air­port Whammy Burger and they just stopped serv­ing break­fast. I just saw Ted Striker from “Air­plane” board my flight as the pi­lot. Surely, you can’t be se­ri­ous, you ask?

I am se­ri­ous. And don’t call me Shirley.


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