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Decoding The Mysterious Ryan Aplin/Coach Anderson Photo

Rumors surfaced Friday night when a mysterious photograph appeared on Twitter that seemed to show a tête-à-tête between Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson and former Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin.

Is the great Ryan Aplin returning to J-Town?
Is the great Ryan Aplin returning to J-Town?
Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

Some images are stamped upon the collective memory of history: Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the Cherry Pie album cover from Warrant. Each of these photographs are a visual cue imprinted on the very fabric of American society. And then there is this photo:

AA Photo 1

Bearing the classic photographic quality of iconic conspiracy images (the Patterson-Grimlin photo of Bigfoot comes to mind), this image appears to show A-State Head Coach Blake Anderson and former Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin engaged in...something. Dinner, maybe?

Or, perhaps, intense negotiations?

There are many within Red Wolves Nation who would like to see the legendary Ryan Aplin return to A-State at some capacity. As it so happens, the quarterback coaches position on Anderson's staff is currently empty thanks to Walt Bell's exit. Aplin won a pair of Sun Belt Player of the Year awards as the Red Wolves signal caller and is now a GA with Gus Malzahn's Auburn Tigers. Before that, he spent a year at Ole Miss as a GA with Hugh Freeze. Aplin played under both, absorbing an immense amount of offensive knowledge in the process.

Is Anderson negotiating terms with Aplin? Or are two wily, football veterans merely exchanging war stories over a blooming onion appetizer? Let us examine the photo for clues!

Where There's Ketchup There's Fire

As everybody knows, hot dogs are tastier when garnished with ketchup. Furthermore, hot dogs are served at Centennial Bank Stadium. "Coincidentally," Ryan Aplin used to play football at Centennial Bank Stadium. Could this bottle of ketchup (which, incidentally, shares the same hue as one of A-State's official colors) be a sign, perhaps subliminal in nature, signaling Ryan's return?

Who Is This Guy

We're not talking about the guy sitting at the table. We're (90%) sure that's Ryan. No, who's the mystery man in the white striped short-sleeved shirt? It's winter time, bro! We haven't any answers to Mr. Short Sleeves identity, but if you see anyone in the Jonesboro area wearing suspiciously unseasonable attire, question that man at once.

What The Heck Is Anderson Looking At?

Observe Ryan Aplin in this photo, his steely gaze focused like a laser on Anderson, as if attempting to decode the mystery of the head coach's soul! Meanwhile, Anderson's attention is clearly diverted to something on the table. What could it be? An appetizer menu? An autographed photo of Ryan Aplin? Or something more revealing. Just like they do in CSI and Bones, we enhanced this low resolution photo to unearth the final clue:

contract

Holy moly! Wow! That's some good photo-enhancement technology. Is this conclusive evidence that the great Ryan Aplin is about to be reunited with his alma mater? Nah. But it's January. Spring football is months away. And quite frankly, we've got to talk about something, right?