Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Auburn fans are very sensitive when it comes to Cracker Barrel’s shop inventory

image A hilarious post is making the rounds on Auburn fan message boards this week. Apparently, a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Foley, Alabama (just north of Gulf Shores) offers lots of souvenirs of the Crimson flavored variety, but of the Orange and Blue… Not so much.

The fambly is not pleased, but this is nowhere near the first time the Auburn faithful have felt snubbed by businesses catering to a nearly two-to-one majority of Alabama fans in the state.

Perhaps you remember the boycott of Old Navy.

Remember when they went after Talk Show Host Paul Finebaum for comparing the Auburn program to a Ponzi scheme.

And don’t forget the infamous Bromberg brouhaha of several years ago.

There isn’t a more hypersensitive fan base in college sports.

Here’s the post:

You guys are not going to believe a conversation that I had Sun afternoon in the Foley, AL Cracker Barrel. Quick backstory. My Mother was in this restaurant in Sept 2011 and noticed that they had a lot of turd paraphernalia but had not one item with AU on it. She asked the cashier about it and got a blank stare. She mentioned it to me in passing but I forgot about it since I wasn't there and assumed that she just over looked our stuff.

Back to this past Sunday. I spent this past weekend doing some renovation on our condo and my parents were in town to help me. They wanted to go to CB for dinner on Sun so away we went. My Mother immediately veers right as soon as we are in the restaurant and heads over to check out what they have in the store. I go on to my seat because I have completely forgotten about her previous discovery and don't typically do my shopping at CB.

Shortly she shows up at our table and announces once again that while they have tons of crap covered in crimson that they have nothing representing AU. I find this hard to believe and head over to check it out myself because I can't fathom that this is possible. I was wrong. They have a huge table devoted to the mouth breathers and nothing in the store AU related.

I ask our server to send the most senior manager that's working over to our table. I tell him that I have lost my luggage and that I'm looking to buy some clothes to replace mine but that I can only buy AU apparel. He grimmaces [sic] slightly and tells me that I am unfortunately out of luck because they don't carry AU items. I ask how that's possible and he shrugs and says that their Divisional Manager (Xxxx Yyyy) made the decision to carry nothing but turd stuff. He then proceeds to tell me that they have no less than half a doz people per day asking basically the same questions that I am. He says that they pass this on but that the DM refuses to budge. I am amazed that this has been allowed to continue.

How do you guys think we should respond to this as a group? We live in a society that doesn't even allow us to "target" terrorists for fear of offending someone and yet this CB idiot has made the decision to complete ignore our university and our fan base. I can't decide how I want to attack this issue but have every intention of making these idiots explain themselves. BTW, the number for CB is 800-333-9566 and the extension for Ms. Ross is …... Her boss according to data that I gathered at the Foley store is Xxxxxxxx Yyyy Zzzzzzz and her extension is ….. I would love to find some way to esacalate [sic] this to a level that would cost one of all of these morons their jobs [sic]. Thoughts from the board?

UPDATE: We now have a photo of the grand display.

As you walk in the front door…

I think it looks wonderful. Helmet tap to Bamaroo.



Readers tell me that the same post is making rounds on other Auburn fan boards, including Inside the Auburn Tigers and The Bunker at

A sampling of the reaction:

“As a onetime Baldwin County boy I can tell you Baldwin County is fairly full of Auburn fans and a lot of them are my kinfolks. Personally I will agree to boycott any restaurant that refuses to give Auburn equal coverage for merchandise / curios in their premises.”

“Ask her what that days special is. Act like you can't hear her and get her to lean in a little. Then, stab her repeatedly in the eye with a root beer stick candy.
Alternative: Watermelon stick candy.
After she collapses on the ground, violate her with a pecan log.
Alternative: Slinky
Finally, dump her corpse in the fire place.
Alternative: Checkers table.” [totally tongue in cheek, we hope]

“Just for grins, I rang ole Beth up to see how she handles customer service. Got her voice mail. We'll see if she calls. I mentioned something about a Cracker Barrel Jihad for effect. :)”

The next logical step is for the Never to Yield Foundation to mobilize the boycott apparatus and bludgeon the local Cracker Barrel restaurant into providing equal space for their beloved Auburn Tigers’ gear.

I leave you with this viral cartoon from last year, compliments of @banditref.

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Braden said...

If they're all for equal inventory, then the Montgomery Wal-Marts should have to carry more Alabama gear. Several times, they've had a big Auburn tent with tons of Auburn paraphernalia but very little Bama merchandise. But what both sides have to ask themselves is "would we even buy our team's stuff if they actually had it to sell in the first place?" If not, you can't really blame businesses for wanting to cater to the majority of their demographic.

Barefoot Drunk said...

I'm not saying this guy is lying. I'm just saying, I've been to several Cracker Barrels throughout the state of Alabama, and they always have Alabama AND Auburn merchandise. Maybe it's true. I dunno. I haven't been to the one in Foley in awhile. But I think his reaction to the situation is almost as amusing as his repeated explanations as to what he was doing in a Cracker Barrel to begin with. It was his MOM'S idea, I tell ya. She was helping with his CONDO (trailer), and he'd never be caught DEAD there otherwise, I'm sure. He CERTAINLY isn't determined to beat his high score of "Just Plain Eg-No-Ra-Moose" on the peg game. *giggles*

I do understand the frustration though. They're not likely to see another championship anytime soon, so they wanna try to pick up all the 2010 merch they can while it lasts.

Silly barners. Nothing if not consistent.

KJinATL said...

CB is in business to sell stuff. If AU stuff sold, they would sell it.

I live in the Atlanta area - home to Georgia Tech. Yet, when you go into any store here selling collegiate merchandise, there is always 2 to 3 times more UGA stuff than GT stuff. Ask the sales people why and they always reply with the same answer: "UGA people buy UGA stuff - even when they lose. GT people buy one t-shirt that apparently lasts their whole live . . . The Tech stuff doesn't sell."

Businesses are in business to make money and they offer what sells so they don't get stuck with a ton of mechandise . . .

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