The Tommy Tuberville Bus Erupted. Choose Your Metaphor


A campaign bus for U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville burst into flames on the highway Wednesday in Dekalb County, Alabama. Since authorities reported no injuries to local news outlets, The Open Man can make light of the situation without it being in completely poor taste!

Hmm, poor taste — sort of like Tommy Tuberville ostensibly entering into the political realm when he espoused birther rhetoric in a phony, well shucks, I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’ manner.

Not that you’re likely to hear or read much of that angle. Coverage even in 2011, when Tuberville went on national TV to dip his toes into the conspiracy theory waters, was sparse. Surprising indeed that the stick to sports crowd went mute. Musta been busy that day!

Nine years later, you’re even less likely to read of the then-Texas Tech coach using his platform to signal-boost a debunked FWD: RE: RE: RE: RE: talking point with racist connotations. More prevalent has been navel gazing at the novelty of a football coach with exactly zero prior public-service experience running for one of the most important positions in the federal government, like this Athletic article from last summer that fails to make any mention of birtherism.

In that context, it makes sense that Tuberville’s platform seems to exclusively be operating as a surrogate for the reality game show host president whose candidacy was covered with similar navel gazing.

Since football props up the Tommy Tuberville campaign, let’s choose a fitting football metaphor for the campaign bus bursting, shall we? Outside of an admittedly strong half-decade during his time at Auburn, Tuberville’s career was wholly unremarkable. There’s no shortage of parallels to choose from.

Sept. 13, 2008: Auburn 3, Mississippi State 2

Tommy Tuberville’s last season on the Plains ended in seven losses, but a win may have provided the defining moment of his swan song. Auburn’s 3-2 defeat of Mississippi State carved its place in the annals of college football lore immediately, with the two teams that finished the 2008 season tied in the SEC West cellar setting the game back decades.

Certainly, an apt metaphor for a Tuberville vs. Jeff Sessions race.

Nov. 2, 2011: Oklahoma State 66, Texas Tech 6

I mean…do I need to elaborate?

December 2012: Dine-and-Dash

Tommy Tuberville joined the FAKE NEWS chorus several years after the story of him ditching a dinner table of recruits upon learning he’d receive the vacant Cincinnati job.

Nov. 5, 2016

Politics are never pretty, but the 2016 presidential campaign took on an especially venomous tone that seemingly bled into society. Just days before the election, Tommy Tuberville spit some invective of his own at a spectator following a 20-3 loss to BYU.

For comparison’s sake, I have seen and heard numerous vitriolic messages thrown at Clay Helton from disgruntled USC fans. Someone actually paid for a biplane to fly a banner reading “Lynn Swann Please Fire Clay Helton” over the Coliseum prior to the 2018 Notre Dame game. Helton has handled the criticisms with more grace and avoided implying fans were unemployed losers.

Perhaps that explains why one will coach in 2020 and the other is piggybacking a Senate campaign off of the current whiny and childish echo emanating from Washington.