Auburn coach Gus Malzahn appears to throw subtle shade at Alabama over early kickoff times
Malzahn seemed to throw in a dig at his in-state rival to open his Tuesday press conference
On Monday, Alabama released a statement expressing its "disappointment" at being placed in the noon ET kickoff window for its Sept. 21 game vs. Southern Miss. Less than 24 hours later, true to form of the great Iron Bowl rivalry, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn had a heaping amount of shade prepared in the opening statement of his press conference to directly (indirectly) address it.
"Our guys are excited to be back home for our second home game. Playing a very solid Kent State team," Malzahn said, his face deadpan before delivering the kicker. "6 p.m. kick. Personally I wish it was at noon so we'd have more time to prepare for our next opponent."
Did you see that? No side grin, no wink, no giggle. Expressionless. That, friends, is how you deliver shade.
Look, Alabama is as entitled to complain about being put in a noon kickoff slot as Rutgers or Illinois or Eastern Illinois, but the argument in its formal statement Monday was ... no argument. Essentially, it was a request for special treatment because it is Alabama.
"We are disappointed that our game against Southern Miss has been selected as a daytime kickoff at home," the statement from Alabama's AD and president read, citing no reason other than preference. "We realize we've played more nonconference day games at home in September than any other SEC team since 2014. There have been a number of conversations with our conference office, and they also recognize the challenges these kick times present for our student-athletes and fans."
That Alabama's nonconference schedule is the equivalent of pound cake doesn't help its argument to be slotted anywhere but early; however, it's nonetheless amusing that the Alabama's gripe is Auburn's entertainment.
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