Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

AL QB Greg McElroy, #12, flips bird, gives middle finger salute in Iron Bowl 75 – *UPDATED* WITH VIDEO!!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Iron Bowl is THE most intense rivalry of all sports rivalries… bar none.

There is absolutely NO QUESTION that is is even MORE intense than the Auburn v Georgia football rivalry, which has existed consistently far longer than the annual intrastate Auburn v Alabama football game known as the “Iron Bowl.”

Last Friday’s 75th annual match-up between the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide was definitely one for the record books, as have been many of the games. For example, Auburn’s comeback to a 28-27 victory from a 24 point deficit at halftime was unparalleled in Auburn collegiate football history – particularly against arch rival Alabama.

However, in every game of every sport – no matter whether collegiate, professional, or Olympic – sportsmanship is an integral part of the game. It means not only being a “gracious loser,” it means being conducting oneself upon the field of play in a manner that reflects not only upstanding and high character, but adherence to the spirit of the rules, as well.

That’s but one reason why Auburn’s Defensive Tackle, #90, Nick Fairley was resoundingly criticized for his late hit to the back of UGA’s QB, and justly penalized 15 yards.

Fast forward to Iron Bowl LXXV (75).

The Crimson Tide played a good game, and as is often said, “all bets are off when the Iron Bowl is played.” Even the odds makers in the USA and Great Britain placed the point spread between 3-5 points for Auburn, with some splitting the difference at 4.5. And yet, Auburn’s one point victory, proved even expert odds makers wrong. Similarly, no one could have predicted the Crimson Tide making consecutive first downs in what seemed to be a march toward victory every time they had possession of the ball in the first quarter.

The Crimson Tide’s 21 point lead at the end of the first quarter of play led many to wonder if the game was over for Auburn. Fortunately, it was not, for Head Coach Gene Chizik, whose winning record from a 10-point-deficit showed not only his winning strategies, but Auburn’s mettle, as well.

What was dismaying, was what some may have wondered if indeed they saw what they thought they saw.

After Alabama Quarterback Greg McElroy, #12, had just completed a drive and scoring pass at the end of the first quarter for Alabama’s 21 point lead, CBS television cameras focused upon McElroy ever-so-briefly, and then quickly switched to another scene. It was one of those “Did I see what I thought I saw?” moments. Thank goodness for DVR, eh?

Greg McElroy made and obscene gesture, the “middle finger salute” to the Auburn team.

It’s unmistakable.

Here are the pictures.

McElroy flips off Auburn

Alabama Quarterback Greg McElroy, #12, makes obscene gesture to Auburn team after AL's 3d touchdown at end of 1st quarter.

Here's a close-up. Notice how the fingers on the outside of his hand very much appear to be bent downward.

*UPDATE*
Tuesday November 30, 2010

Here’s slow-motion video of the event.

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29 Responses to “AL QB Greg McElroy, #12, flips bird, gives middle finger salute in Iron Bowl 75 – *UPDATED* WITH VIDEO!!”

  1. Ronda Locke said

    You can clearly see he’s not doing what you are saying,shame on you!

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, and for writing! While there does seem to be some room for conjecture (I have attempted to duplicate what is visible), so far, it doesn’t look very promising. And, there are comments from others on the issue, as well (though not necessarily confined to this blog).

    • Marilyn Sirote said

      NOOO !!! Shame on you for ” seeing, hearing and believing” what makes ALL you BAMMERS so DESPICABLE !!!!! BOTTOM LINE…We played an honest game, our athletes played with good morals, and last but SURELY not least, WE LEFT WITH THE WIN !!!!!

      • Cindy said

        Seriously Morals! Congratulations on the win; but don’t try to act like the Newtons are anything about Morals. They know the rule book and they went against it from the beginning!

      • Warm Southern Breeze said

        Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Some comments make for pleasant reading, while others, though they may contain spelling and grammatical errors, are peculiarly thought provoking. They are pungently aromatic, a veritable stinging perfume for the eyes. Yours are more than a chore – they are pugilistic shadow boxing spaghetti strands, fighting ever so limply to find a way to the mouth. Your comments are like kamikaze landing gear, useless, off-target and doomed from takeoff. That is to say, your attempt at analogy has fallen way short – thus, making your comments less than germane. Presumably, any suggestion to use simile, allegory or metaphor would be equally inappropriate as well. Also, it seems you checked your verb agreement at the door – one which you might more carefully watch, so that it doesn’t surprise you on your way out. You might want to investigate that further. Like the the way that ‘Bama played the Iron Bowl, your comment seemed to start out well… then quickly crashed and burned. Ciao!

  2. Toffee said

    Cut me a break, you are the example of poor sportsmanship. Take your win and be happy about it instead of trying to continue to slam the Tide post game time. It’s over let it be.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! It was poor sportsmanship for Fairley’s late-helmet-to-the-back hit on UGA’s QB, and I indicated so in writing. If indeed UA’s QB is flipping off the Tigers – and it very much appears he is – then I’ll call it that way, too! I calls ‘em like I see’s ‘em!

    • SCH251 said

      Did you forget to mention he was facing the student section? So he flipped off his student section? Right! Maybe you should look at what he is gripping in his hand..or maybe watch a game before this 1 where he does the exact same thing!Get all of the facts before posting something! I can tell that you “calls em like you see’s em”….!

      • Warm Southern Breeze said

        Thanks for reading and for writing! If you’re more carefully observant, you’ll see that he is pointing to his LEFT side with his RIGHT hand, while gesturing with his LEFT hand in the air. My follow-up comments to others are sufficiently germane and cogent. I suggest you read them.

      • Chase said

        Actually it was in the end zone where the auburn upper deck section was… i was there. wde. stay classy bammers… (i know its too much to ask)

      • Warm Southern Breeze said

        Hi Chase! Thanks for reading, and perhaps most importantly, for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Greg said

    I watched this video over and over and over again. And while I’m a major Auburn fan, I tried my absolute best to downplay what possibly happened. But I can’t commit to that. Watching very closely, at the end of that video is an extremely quick, but difinitive change of hand position and finger switching from index to middle. And after thinking about the distastefull happenings at the pre-game warmups (the DJ playing “Son Of A Preacher Man” and “Take The Money And Run” and the Bama fans throwing fake money at the Auburn players exiting the field after warm ups) I had to ask myself “Is the possibility of the salute really THAT far fetched?”. As much as I hate to admit it, the possibility is too strong for me to say “no way”. Call me a sore winner if you choose, but growing up and spending a lifetime in the state of Alabama there is one thing I can guarantee; that most Alabama fans are just plain sore…..period.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks, Greg, for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. Your reply is the most thoughtfully expressed and cogent on this issue that I’ve read anywhere! I concur wholeheartedly! Thanks again for sharing!

  4. Marilyn Sirote said

    The environment was vicious from the start. With the songs that were played, the waving of the money, to the flipping of the bird…you have to think hard and ask yourself…what is in a man’s soul to make him so unlike God ? It was so hard to believe that we/our Auburn Tigers were being treated with such disrespect. Families were there, grandparents, small children, teenagers, trying to grasp the true meaning of the Iron Bowl and leave with good memories. I have NEVER in my entire life been so disappointed toward a group of athletes (if you can call youselves that, anymore)and their supposedly leader/coach. What a TOTAL let down you are for the University of Alabama !

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, and for writing, Marilyn! I just noticed this story:

      Alabama staffer terminated over Iron Bowl song choice
      in the
      TuscaloosaNews.com.

      I really appreciate your perspective, and for reminding everyone that this sporting event is a FAMILY affair – as you wrote – “Families were there, grandparents, small children, teenagers, trying to grasp the true meaning of the Iron Bowl and leave with good memories..”

  5. Evan said

    I actually watched the video clip and he is most assuredly giving the index fingers (both) to the fans and he then pulls his left hand back to pull out the one finger salute to the Auburn area. This happened when (I’ll have to watch my DVR again) they went up 21-0 I do believe. I’m sure the Auburn fans were jawwing at him, but it’s not as if they were a potent force as far as noise goes. They intentionally put the Auburn section in the new section and in the upper deck. Just Alabama’s almost Rhodes Scholar showing class. A sore winner I may be if you feel that way, but I watched some extremely bad calls by officials, heard the classless music during Auburn’s warm-ups and team prayer, and then heard about the fake money being thrown by students. Very classy Bama.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks, Evan, for sharing your thoughts… and for reading! Granted, there’s “trash talk” in any sport, and such is a part of (dare I write it?)… good sportsmanship. A Photographer friend of mine – Gary Cosby, Jr., of The Decatur Daily – has an excellent photograph of some trash taking doing on during the game!

      Auburn players on the sideline give an ear full to Alabama receiver Marquis Maze as he is driven out of bounds on the Tiger’s side during the first half of the Iron Bowl in Bryant Denny Stadium Friday.

      Bear in mind, however, that so-called “trash talk” is NOT a license to misbehave. Being ugly and disrespectable is just that – ugly, and disrespectable – and tells more about the person so behaving, than the object of their poor and tired tirade. Interrupting prayer… I believe you wrote that you “heard the classless music during Auburn’s warm-ups and team prayer…” – well, that’s just low-down, and UN-CHRISTIAN.

  6. Titusville_Al said

    I went home and turned on the Tivo. At the 53 minute mark CBS is about to go to a commercial break, they are replaying some moments of the game. McElroy is bouncing toward the endzone with both hands raised with his index figers giving the #1 salute. He lowers his right hand and turns his left hand so that the back of it is now showing as he lowers his index finger and raises his middle. He certainly, beyond any doubt gave a middle finger salute to someone.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, and for writing! As you may have surmised from the entry, and my follow-up comments to respondents, this unfortunate event is an example of how poor sportsmanship has weaseled its way into our state’s collegiate sports. I can’t write about other sporting events, such as baseball, volleyball, etc., simply because they’re not as high-profile events as NCAA Division I football, and therefore are less likely to be nationally telecast. And it is that aspect of the sport – the national telecast – that is perhaps most disturbing about poor sportsmanship, because it demonstrates to a thousandfold audience – one comprised of strangers to our well-known, and highly documented intense intrastate rivalry – the exact character and nature of the participants. Thank you again for sharing.

  7. Kenbo said

    You do realize that if he was flipping the bird to anybody, it would be to Alabama fans. That being directed towards the Auburn fans is a geometric impossibility.

    The direction he is facing and where he is on the field means he would have to use his right hand to flip Auburn fans off. (They were in the Northeast corner of the field and on the North side upper deck).

    Think about it for just a minute and realize how stupid this is.

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, Kenbo, and for sharing your thoughts! Here’s what one of my friends wrote about this: “This touchdown put Alabama up 21 to 0 at the end of the first quarter. Alabama was driving into the South end zone of Bryant Denny Stadium. Greg is facing South after the score in question. Any clue who sits in the south end zone at BDS? Alabama students and high priced donors. He has his mouth piece in his hand. You and your friend have to much time on your hands. Why don’t you just enjoy your teams victory instead of looking for something to bitch about … Like a typical Auburn fan!

      The following is regardless of his N,S,E,W orientation. In the photo, the team to McElroy’s RIGHT is the Alabama Crimson Tide, which can be clearly seen in the background of the photo. That would mean that Auburn is on his LEFT. McElroy is pointing with his RIGHT hand toward his LEFT side… the sideline where the Auburn Tigers are located.

      Now, I ask this question rhetorically… why is he doing that – pointing to the LEFT?

  8. Evan said

    Why would he flip off his own fans? Was he flippin off Coach Saban? It’s all besides the point, he flipped the bird CLEARLY and it showed extremely bad sportsmanship. Kids watch this and learn from this. Least classy thing of the year.

    • UA13 said

      Was it the best move? No. It was very uncharacteristic of McElroy. Was it the least classy thing of the year? Hardly. Auburn players have the corner in that area by far. I don’t feel the need to list examples; I’ve done it on here before.

  9. jt said

    Guys and Gals,

    It is blatantly obvious that he WAS NOT giving the finger to anyone. He is holding his mouthpiece in that hand. If you could see the entire screen (which in the posted video is cropped), he was holding both hands in the air signaling a touchdown. Of course one finger was bent; It was holding his mouthpiece! Geez, some people are always thinking the worst.

  10. SEC Fan said

    Some of you are just idiots!!! Go research some more videos and he clearly goes from pointing his one finger in the air to holding up 3 fingers symbolizing his 3rd touchdown of the day. I am def. not a Bama fan and I could even clearly see that….. but hey, whatever keeps your rivalry alive!

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for reading, and for writing! For me, it’s not an issue of “whatever keeps your rivalry alive.” I am not the solitary individual who saw this game. Thanks again!

  11. Evan said

    Dude, I watched it on my 42″ Bravia in HD and it is clearly him giving the bird to someone. It’s not about rivalry, it’s about class. He had none by doing that.

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