From the Marbles - NASCAR

Auburn football coach Gene Chizik ought to be loving life these days. Reigning national champion, with a car honoring his team running in the field, he received the high honor of giving the "Gentlemen, start your engines" command at Sunday's Aaron's 499 in Talladega, Alabama. And here's how it went:

Yeah! War Eagle! War Ea- wait, what? That was it? Chizik sounded like he was prodded into this, like a guy buying tickets for a chick flick or ordering the salad instead of the ribs. Come on, man! More than a hundred thousand people in attendance, and that's all you can muster up?

Of course, Talladega is deep in 'Bama territory — the pre-race invocation included someone hollering "Roll Tide!", for heaven's sake — so maybe Chizik was just getting the job done and hightailing it out of town ahead of the torrent of boos raining down on him. Or maybe he's despondent over losing Cam Newton to the NFL. Whichever, someone give that guy a little coffee next time he's in front of a crowd, willya?

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