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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

Giveaway ends October 20, 2017.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 8: Auburn at LSU

Note to Reader: This is a pre-season prediction made in July. If you found this information the week of the game, please note that my actual game preview will be posted on Wednesday. Please click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

Rarer than a SEC game where a ref doesn’t blow a huge call is a game Tigers match-up that doesn’t go down to the wire. This one won’t be rare. Unfortunately, I think Auburn fans will feel a sting again.

Score Prediction: LSU: 31, Auburn: 30.
Record Prediction: 5-3

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Week 7: Auburn vs. Kentucky

Note to Reader: This is a pre-season prediction made in July. If you found this information the week of the game, please note that my actual game preview will be posted on Wednesday. Please click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

Auburn will be licking its wounds from thinking it should have won the road trip the previous week. However, the cheers of home will salve its pride. Expect Auburn to put this one away, but not until the second half.

Score Prediction: Auburn: 27, Kentucky: 7.
Record Prediction: 5-2.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 6: Auburn at Arkansas

Note to Reader: This is a pre-season prediction made in July. If you found this information the week of the game, please note that my actual game preview will be posted on Wednesday. Please click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

This will be a meeting of a former Auburn DC against a former Auburn OC. I doubt there’s any animosity between the two. If it was at Auburn, I’d pick Auburn. At Arkansas, I’ll pick Arkansas.
Score Prediction: Arkansas:16, Auburn 14
Record Prediction: 4-2

Friday, July 24, 2009

While My Wife's Away...

When we lived in Portland, my wife and I both had full-time jobs. Like any dual-income couple, we had all the joy of trying to plan vacations with the kids. One of the easiest vacations, though, was visiting my in-laws. My wife’s parents live in southern California, only ten minutes from Disneyland. Flights between Portland and LA were plentiful and cheap, with specials to be had. We could see them a lot on quick trips.

Now, with us living in Atlanta and my wife being a stay-at-home mom, visits her parents became a dearer proposition. However, it opened up different possibilities. When summer comes, my wife can take the kids for extended stays in California.

However, I don’t get an extended stay. While I can usually get away for a week, longer trips are problematic. (Trust me, I’m not complaining. I have a good job where I stay busy. In this economy, that’s a gift.) So, summers find me taking my wife and kids to the airport for a month long visit to California, with me joining them for a week while they’re out there. While I’m home, though, it’s a big lonely house.

So what’s a guy to do with himself when he’s got his evenings free?

I shouldn’t have worried, my wife left me a list.

It all started with an e-mail. My wife, who manages our house well, started sending me notes as she remembered things.

“The Nordy’s bill will come the first week we’re gone. Bring it with you when you come. I’ll pay for it in the store.”

“The gas bill charges extra if we pay it with credit. Send a check before you go.”

If the lawn people call to schedule a spraying, tell them they can’t come until after the 23rd. They tried to visit last time when only three weeks had passed. It’s a waste if they don’t wait a month.

“Make sure you water my flowers every day.”

“Would you mind re-grouting and re-caulking our shower?”

I’ve pre-made some stuff for you and it’s in the freezer. You can thaw it and fix it for yourself when you get home.

And on and on and on.

So, what’s a dutiful husband to do? First, I have to marvel a bit. There’s lots of little things that occur every day. I just didn’t realize how much. And there’s no way I’m going to remember all of it. Instead, I just print out the notes, affix them to the fridge with a magnet, and check things off as I get them done.

Still, that doesn’t address everything. My wife called me at work yesterday, concerned. She’d gone on-line to check our accounts and realized I hadn’t charged jacksquat at Kroger and Wal-Mart. “Are you eating?” she asked, convinced I’d lost 20 pounds in five days and that I was doing my impression of Tom Hanks in “Castaway.”

“I’m fine, Honey. You put a lot in the freezer. I’ve just been thawing it out and eating it.”

It’s a nice feeling to know she’s worried. I’d be lost without her. But it’s still a big empty house and I can’t wait for her and the boys to come home.     

Week 5: Auburn at Tennessee

Note to Reader: This is a pre-season prediction made in July. If you found this information the week of the game, please note that my actual game preview will be posted on Wednesday. Please click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

We’ve had Tennessee’s number for the last few meetings and won last year’s game on some brilliant defense. Tennessee has its own issues with a new head coach. It won’t help. Expect the same story.

Score Prediction: Auburn: 27, Tennessee: 21.
Record Prediction: 4-1

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Week 4: Auburn vs. Ball State

Note to Reader: This is a pre-season prediction made in July. If you found this information the week of the game, please note that my actual game preview will be posted on Wednesday. Please click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

After a disappointing loss to WVU, Auburn will come out and take revenge against Ball State. Expect the score to decent, the fans to be happy, and the Ball State fans to enjoy meeting some friendly people.

Score Prediction: Auburn: 31, Ball State: 10
Record Prediction: 3-1

Monday, July 20, 2009

Week 3: Auburn vs. West Virginia

Auburn opened last year’s game like gangbusters and had fans cheering everywhere. Then they went in the tank in an inexplicable second half that had people wondering what in the world they were doing. We totally changed strategy and shifted from an offense that was working to an offense that West Virginia practices against.

I expect there will be more focus this year than last year. However, WVU, even with a new QB, has a shot at the Big East Championship, while Auburn will struggle. Expect the home field to give Auburn some advantage, but not enough.

Score Prediction: West Virginia: 26, Auburn: 21.
Record Prediction: 2-1

Note to Reader: If you searched for this information the week of the game, click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week 2: Auburn vs. Mississippi State

Last week’s game vs. Mississippi State was the ugliest game in Auburn memory (though the match at Tennessee was almost equally disgusting). Mississippi State, like Auburn, has a new coach. However, their hill to climb is much bigger. Mississippi State is predicted to finish last in the Division. Auburn will do its best to see that it happens.

Score Prediction: Auburn: 13, MSU: 6.
Record Prediction: 2-0

Note to Reader: If you searched for this information the week of the game, click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Week 1: Auburn vs. Louisiana Tech

The season doesn’t begin until September for Auburn and for Auburn fans, it won’t come soon enough. We’ve put up with a lot of garbage, trash talk, and everything else about the hiring of Gene Chizik. Once the coach was hired, all the innovative recruiting tactics which through the spring brought attention to Auburn, will be shelved while Auburn concentrates on the season.

And nothing starts a season off better than a win.

Auburn, implementing an offense that works this season, will still open with fits and starts. We’ll see a good La. Tech team that has, in the past, given us fits and will do so again.

Look for Auburn to score late to put it away.

Score Prediction: Auburn: 24, La. Tech: 13.
Record Prediction: 1-0

Note to Reader: If you searched for this information the week of the game, click on the Blog Archive 2009 heading to be taken to the weekly preview or postgame.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Auburn 2009 Football Preview

Well, if you’ve seen the prognostications, you can’t be happy (if you’re an Auburn fan, that is. The rest of the division is probably enjoying it.) Auburn is basically picked to finish 5th in the Western Division, the lowest it has done since…well, since last year. It’s not total doom and gloom. One publication did pick us to finish 4th, ahead of Arkansas in the Division. (Should be an interesting game. I can already see the headline. A former Auburn OC meets a former Auburn DC. )

So, what have we got to look forward to this year?

1) Mississippi State is still supposed to be worse, though they are probably smarting from losing 3-2 last year and definitely won’t be a cakewalk.
2) Tennessee is still Tennessee.
3) Matthew Stafford has left for the pros.
4) We have a fun non-conference schedule, featuring West Virginia and Louisiana Tech.
5) A down-to-the-wire match with LSU. (Always the same story, just a different year.)
6) We have receivers.

That last comment can’t be emphasized enough. Our success in 2004 and 2005 did hinge primarily on having big play receivers, something we’ve lacked the last three years.

And lastly, of course, it’s football season. My initial thoughts…we’re not going to go undefeated. But, to paraphrase Auburn’s favorite announcer, Lee Corso, it’s gonna be better than the experts think.

Through the next few weeks, I’ll be giving my predictions on each game. I’ll put my thoughts (and my score out there) for comments and I’ll hope you’ll drop by to see the picks and then see my game week reviews (and occasional post mortems)

War Eagle!

And let’s play some football.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back to the Future

After a temporary move to a blog on Wordpress, it appears that the blog has moved back here. And, unfortunately, I can't access the posts that I put on Wordpress. Oh, well. Life goes on.

And speaking of Back to the Future, do you remember the end of the movie. At the end, Doc Brown comes back from the future. His car is powered by a fusion generator that uses garbage. The car also flies. Well, that movie takes place in 1985. Doc Brown went only 30 years into the future. So, in 2015, we'll all have flying cars that run on garbage.

I don't think so either.