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Calling Cam: AU Turns To Heisman-Winner To Thank Ticket-Buyers

cam newton phoneEarlier this week, a number of Auburn season-ticket holders received phone calls thanking them for their support of the 2013 Tiger football team.  Those calls came from Cam Newton.

Sort of.

The former Heisman-winner at Auburn recorded a message that was used in a “robocall” campaign.  Newton’s message to the Auburn faithful:

 

“War Eagle!  This is Cam Newton.  I was blown away by the strong showing of the Auburn Family at A-Day to celebrate a new day of Auburn football.  Coach (Gus) Malzahn has developed a fast-paced, exciting, hard-nosed team that plays football the Auburn way.  I just wanted to personally thank you for your support of the team.  I know we will be rolling Toomer’s Corner again this fall.  Bring your friends to help us sell out every game and let’s create an atmosphere that propelled us to a national championship.  I look forward to seeing you at Jordan-Hare Stadium on August 31st for our season-opener against Washington State.  War Eagle!”

 

In case you’re wondering how Auburn fans plan on rolling Toomer’s Corner now that the two majestic oaks felled by Harvey Updyke have been removed, click here.  The school is planning to use strands of wire to catch the tossed toilet paper until new trees grow large enough to handle the weight on their own.

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Chizik’s Wife Wants Auburn Fans To Battle Satan Via Social Media?

Maybe it’s something in the water.

Last year, the wife of then-Auburn assistant coach Gus Malzahn made news thanks to a bizarre online interview with a pastor.  Now the wife of Auburn head coach Gene Chizik is having to clarify what in the world she meant when she tried to start up a pro-Tiger — and apparently anti-Satan — social media movement this week.

Jonna Chizik took to Facebook to let Auburn fans knows that “Social media can be a very powerful tool.”  Duh.  “Therefore, my humble suggestion is to create a VERY POWERFUL ALL-IN movement of our own,” not unlike the Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring online movements.  But here’s where it gets a little odd.

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Chizik Bumped To $3.5 Million

Talk about a raise. 

Gene Chizik will be getting a million dollar bump that brings his new annual salary to $3.5 million following last year’s BCS championship.  He was near $2.2 million last season.

“I deeply appreciate (Auburn’s administration’s) commitment to me and to the future of Auburn football,” Chizik said via press release.  “The success that we’ve accomplished in the past two season has been possible because of the collective efforts of the football coaches and staff, players, our administration and the entire Auburn Family.  We will continue to work tirelessly to build the foundation of the Auburn football program so that we can compete for championships regularly.”

First things first, winning a national crown is big stuff.  And after a terrible two-year run at Iowa State, Chizik is now a blistering 22-5 at Auburn (8-5 his first season, 14-0 last year).  He and his staff have shown that they can recruit extremely well.  He has proven to be a good “fit” with the Auburn community.

Toss in the fact that Chizik is now in the same ballpark salary-wise as rival Nick Saban and you’ve got an added bonus.

But somewhere deep inside some Auburn fans’ minds there has to be some question as to whether or not AU just gave Chizik a Weisian deal.  Notre Dame slapped a mega-deal together for Charlie Weis early in his tenure and they’ve been paying him not to coach ever since.

It’s not easy to win national titles.  Even the best coaches have but one or two.  So in some respects, winning a BCS crown requires a certain amount of catching lightning in a bottle.  See: Cam Newton, who happened to be the greatest one-man wrecking crew we at MrSEC.com have ever seen.

So is it possible Chizik will now be making $3.5 million when his best year is already behind him?  Sure.  But if you’re Auburn, how do you not cough up such a large sum for a man who brought you your first national title in half a century?

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