November 29, 2010
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton had never played in the Iron Bowl before last Friday. But it didn't take a veteran hand to know frenzied Alabama fans would go out of their way to remind the Heisman frontrunner of the lingering pay-for-play allegations against Newton and his father, Cecil, the pastor of a small church and bishop over four others in Georgia. 'Bama students delivered, raining dollar bills featuring Newton's mugshot from a 2008 arrest at his feet before the game.
That much, you expect. But this rivalry is so intense, they even taunt you over the P.A.:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)—The University of Alabama has fired an employee who played songs aimed at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton before the Iron Bowl.
University spokeswoman Debbie Lane said Monday that the part-time staffer was fired for the unauthorized songs. "Take the Money and Run" and "Son of a Preacher Man" were played while Newton and the Tigers warmed up. The NCAA has been investigating allegations that Newton’s father, a pastor, solicited $180,000 from Mississippi State during recruiting.
Lane said in a statement that all music and videos played in the stadium before and during games have to be approved by a senior athletic administrator. She said the staffer—who was not named—didn’t get those songs cleared.
This explains Newton's disastrous first half as Alabama ran up a seemingly insurmountable 24-0 lead: He was distracted trying to figure out how a Catholic school girl from London managed to sound like she was pulled out of a basket in the Mississippi River by a Beale Street bartender.[Related: NFL star blows up at reporter after loss]
Newton, of course, had the last laugh, leading the Tigers on a 28-3 run from the middle of the second quarter on to complete the most improbable comeback of the year, moving Auburn within one win of its first trip to the BCS Championship Game. If Newton gets to Glendale with his eligibility still under question, might I suggest Flirtin' With Disaster, or perhaps Don't Fear the Reaper?