Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What would Lewis Grizzard have written about Chizik?

With the fiasco that has been Auburn hiring Gene Chizik, you have to wonder what Lewis Grizzard would have thought about the whole situation. In 1980, Grizzard wrote a piece about Doug Barfield who had recently left as Auburn's coach. Auburn was attempting to hire Vince Dooley away from Athens and in all the media mess, Barfield became the forgotten man. It seems like the Auburn boosters were sticking their noses into the football business even back then:

I remember back several weeks ago when the rumors started flying that Barfield would be fired. A man named Charles Smith, a member of the Auburn Board of Trustees, made all sorts of noise about finding a coach who could be tougher on the players than Barfield.

Charles Smith runs a laundry in Montgomery. Can you imagine having some guy who runs a laundry deciding how well you were performing in your chosen profession?

More on Doug Barfield from my friend in Auburn:
“He’s warm. He has more class than he’s ever been given credit for. He’s kind. And under all this pressure and criticism, he was a man of steel.”

While auburn officials offered Dooley the farm this week, Doug Barfield quietly resigned. He said, “I don’t want to be anyplace I’m not wanted.” He also said, “But I don’t feel like I have to hide my face.”

I wouldn’t be a football coach if you gave me the pick of cheerleaders.

Monday, when all the hoopla about Dooley was at its height, Doug Barfield was in Montgomery.

He had been summoned for federal court jury duty. Each prospective juror was asked to stand before the court and give his name, place of residence, and occupation.
Doug Barfield stood and said:
“Doug Barfield.
“Auburn, Alabama.
War Eagle. ***

How many people remember Doug Barfield? Probably about as many people who will one day remember Gene Chizik.

***You can read the rest of this story and others from the 1980 season in "Don't Sit Under the Grits Tree With Anyone Else But Me" by Lewis Grizzard available HERE.


AUMaverick said...

Now that is a great post! Tommy has more class and honor (love em or not, you have to respect that!) than most coaches in college football today. He won't bad mouth Auburn, and he'll end up on his feet. I don't blame him for "resigning"...if I were in his same situation, unwanted by my bosses, and offered $5mil to walk off, I'd do the same.

Anonymous said...

I remember Doug Barfield. He was a low key old school coach who was more concerned about building men than an undefeated season.