The A-Line It is what it is, unless it is not
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2005
24
Jul

A-Line Lingo

We continue to become accustomed to our new digs here at The A-Line. I also notice that once a fee is not required to read columns there seem to be quite a few new people interested in reading them. That, coupled with a bunch of new readers provided by my new buddy Bob Lee Swagger and the guys at SwaggerSays means there are folks engaged [hopefully] in the rapt absorption of these words. It didn’t take long at all for an e-mail to pop into my Inbox asking the meaning of one of the phrases I often use. A primer on the A-Line lingo would seem to be in order.

I will often cite the Weauxf Gods, generally while commenting on the antics of some message board loon. I once wrote a [free] column on TSL in response to an extraordinarily large amount of weauxfing coming from Marshall loons back in 2002. Tech won that game 47-21, rolling up a 33-0 lead before Frank Beamer emptied his bench. It was quite a display of the power of the Weauxf Gods.

More information about the Weauxf Gods can be found at Oliver’s Woofing Theorem. While Oliver uses the more keyboard-friendly ‘Woof,’ I feel that the alternative ‘Weauxf’ has more panache. For those too lazy to follow the links, the Theorem, in a nutshell, states that in any given athletic competition (team, individual, amateur, professional), the team/player who is the most over-hyped/over-praised by his/her/its fans/supporters is likely to LOSE the competition. Weauxfing itself, for those unversed in some of the old flame wars on the Usenet group rec.sport.football.college, is defined as any outlandish, outrageous, inflammatory, ridiculous, unsupported, sophomoric, or otherwise brain-dead commentary or predictions regarding a specific team, player, or athletic event. It ain’t too hard to find examples on most any message board.

As the number of message board loons has increased exponentially, so has weauxfing. Each and every message board out there has become overrun with clowns posting such as the likes of, ‘Are you kidding me? My Canes will beat Virginia Tech by three touchdowns. Tech has no chance in the Orange Bowl. Mark it down,’ ‘Carolina’s a joke. State will wax them by at least thirty’ or ‘My Sooners are going to show those nancy boys from Southern Cal how football is REALLY played. I guarantee it.’ The Weauxf Gods are always watching.

Being all-powerful, the Weauxf Gods see and hear everything. Caulton Tudor of the Raleigh News, Observer and Tar Heel Daily once weauxfed a column following Mack Brown’s departure from Carolina for Texas. Tudor claimed that Mack wasn’t that good of a coach, anyway. According to Caulton, Carl Torbush was the real brains of the operation and would take the Heeliban to the next level. At the time, the ‘next level’ for Carolina meant something more than a 6-6 season. NASCARL was going to make Carolina fans forget all about that basketball guy. The Weauxf Gods are still laughing about that one.

You will almost never hear coaches weauxf. The last time Vanderbilt beat Tennessee Jimmy Carter sat in the White House, but listen to Phil Fulmer the week of the Vandy game and you most definitely will not hear him say, “Vandy sucks. A high school would give us a better game.” Bob Stoops will never exclaim, “Baylor again? Boy, this is going to be ugly. At least our walk-ons will get some playing time.” Coaches will go to great lengths to avoid either providing bulletin board material for the opposition or provoking the Weauxf Gods.

Coaches will often employ what is known as reverse weaufxing, praising some stiff to ludicrous levels in the hopes of diverting the Weauxf Gods. They don’t buy it. When Frank Beamer says, “That JMU crowd scares the heck out of me. They have some players” the Weauxf Gods will see right through it. KJ being flung against a Lane Stadium wall and spraining a wrist was the retribution.

With the days dwindling before the start of another football season, it won’t be long before RUTS shows up in my stuff. This is short for Running Up The Score, coaches and teams really piling it on some hapless opponent. When you see a headline reading ‘Late Score Propels Texas to 70-0 Win Over Rice’ you can figure RUTS was involved.

It is not hard to find RUTS. When Bobby Bowden explains that he didn’t feel he had a working margin over Wake until the eleventh touchdown was on the board you can get a clue. Another example would be Chuckie claiming that he really needed to hit fifty-six points against East Carolina because the Pirates just might have scored five touchdowns in the last three minutes. Few examples of RUTS are as brazen as that displayed by Louisville a couple of years ago in a RUTS over Kentucky. Leading by forty, the Cards took a time-out with less than ten seconds remaining while deep in Wildcat territory in order to pass for a touchdown and hang just one more score on them. Arch rivalries can often stimulate RUTS.

RUTS can occasionally backfire. In 1989 Duke coach Steve Spurrier really laid it on Carolina in Kenan Stadium. The Blue Devils won 41-0 in a game that saw Visor Boy leave his starters in throughout and pass for yet another score late in the game. The RUTS continued after the game as Spurrier led the Duke players to mid-field to stomp on the Carolina logo. The team then had their picture taken under the scoreboard. Duke did everything but barbecue Ramses and have him for their postgame meal. Visor Boy left the next year for Florida and Carolina won the next thirteen games. DickieB had to hire Big John Bunting before Duke could again ring the Victory Bell.

Visor Boy was long gone as the Weauxf Gods stepped in and exacted a terrible vengeance for the RUTS. Barry ‘Does It Look Like I Know What I’m Doing?’ Wilson, ‘Fired’ Fred Goldsmith and Carl ‘Mr. 0-11’ Franks passed through the Duke football offices, none ever beating Carolina and few even coming close [Even the bumbling Torbush never lost to Duke] until Athletic Director ‘Lackey’ Joe Alleva stumbled upon Ted Roof. Don’t RUTS an archrival unless you have another job lined up, perhaps a mistake made by Louisville’s Bobby Petrino.

New readers might pause when they read ‘OOC’ and wonder as to its meaning. It is short for ‘Out Of Conference,’ those games played against opponents, well, from outside one’s conference. A team’s OOC can often become a bone of contention.

Coaches almost to a man figure their conference schedules are tough enough and, unless you are in CUSA or the Li’l E there will be some tricky league games dotting everybody’s schedule. Message board loons will scream bloody murder if their lovlies’ OOC does not contain AP’s Preseason Top Four and will squawk that scheduling them is no more difficult than their useless bum of an Athletic Director calling their counterpart at Ohio State or Notre Dame and informing them of the date of the game. The dumbing-down of schedules being undertaken by most powers would seem to indicate the loons are not being taken seriously.

Non-loon fans who are actually purchasing season tickets at forty bucks per game along with forking over the couple of grand in ‘contributions’ necessary for the right to purchase those tickets can get a little irked when they see an OOC that includes a I-AA, East Carolina and the MAC East. Coaches usually have the last word, however, so we will be hearing Frank telling Bill Roth on a radio pre-game, “Boy, that bunch from Ohio is REALLY GOOD. For the life of me I don’t understand why they aren’t ranked in the Top Ten.” Considering how OOC scheduling is going for most of the major powers, there will be quite a few conversations like that.

There are some other words that might pop up from time to time. ‘Goldsmithing’ a coach means firing him. This pays homage to good old Fred. A conference possessing such a woeful member that they toss them out is called ‘Templing’ the offending school. ‘Baylorization’ of an athletics program means a school has joined a conference in which it has scant hope of competing in football. ‘Fredo’ refers to those saps in Boston used by the Dwarf Dyke of Miami to make initial expansion contact with Little Johnny Swofford then discarded, at least for a while, just as soon as it became expedient. The ‘Dwarf Dyke of Miami’ should be self-explanatory. ‘Franking’ denotes a coach who plays footsie with another school in order to extort more cash from his present employer. This requires the active assistance of two athletic directors, one as hard-headed as jimmy and one as gullible as DickieB.

Those are a few of the terms that will be used here at The A-Line. As others are invented they will be explained. Here at The A-Line we aim to please.

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