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.
“We have fans all over the U.S., and I think it is time that they RISE UP and snatch back what satan, himself, has stolen. We serve a God who recovers ALL that ‘has been stolen’ from us, and there are times that He requires that efforts of His people to accomplish this truth…
I encourage you to think outside the box and create something that will show the rest of this world WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. Please feel free to share all of this as you feel led. WAR EAGLE.”
If you’re like 99.9% of the people who read those comments, you probably thought Chizik’s wife was suggesting that Satan — hey, it’s a proper name, we’ll capitalize it — had somehow “stolen” wins from the Tigers. Silly readers. That’s not what she meant at all.
In what she hoped would be a follow-up/clarifying/fire-putter-outer of a post, Chizik’s wife said:
“To clarify my original post about utilizing social media to come together as a fan base in support of what Auburn stands for… when I refered (sic) to what satan has stolen from us as a whole I NEVER meant or even vaguely was refering (sic) to wins and/or losses on a football field. To be clear, I honestly believe that God doesn’t care who wins a football game but I do know that we serve a GOD big enough to do as He pleases.
So for those who have misunderstood my humble attempt to get the best fan base in America to rally around a group of 17-22 year old young boys and for those that have misrepresented my words or my intent to unite the Auburn Family please forgive me for offending you with the integrity of my heart.”
In keeping with the whole satan/Satan thing, what the Hell does any of that mean? First she asks Auburn fans to begin a social media movement to “RISE UP and snatch back what satan, himself, has stolen,” then she said she wasn’t talking about wins and losses.
In fact, she doesn’t believe God — or apparently satan/Satan, either — cares who wins a football game. Though God is “big enough to do as He pleases,” she adds. So I guess the Lord Almighty can pull for Auburn if he so desires.
The lesson here is simple: Do not mix a coach’s wife with religious talk and mass media. Bad things can happen. Like the coach’s wife sounding like she’s had one too many chardonnays before sitting down at the ol’ keyboard. (Be glad this wasn’t the wife of a Tennessee coach or then we’d have to ask how the wine had been consumed.)
We’re all for religious freedom around here. Jonna Chizik can believe and say whatever she chooses. But she shouldn’t use a “you misrepresented my meaning” defense. Her heart might have integrity, but her words were clunkily thrown together at best. And this writer knows a thing or two about poor writing, thank you very much.
The spouses of coaches — and most public figures, for that matter — are like children. They’re best seen and not heard. Before anyone suggests that’s a sexist comment, you’ll note that the Republican National Committee didn’t spend a whole lot of time putting Todd Palin out on the stump in 2008.
When spouses make news, it’s often in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons. The last thing Gene Chizik needs to be answering questions about this week is whether or not his wife believes Satan — I’m sorry, satan — has stolen some victories or spirit or mojo or anything else from her husband’s football team.