Monday, May 28, 2007

Down Season Articles

Not much happening in the world of college football? That's what we thought in May when I was a kid. How wrong these days! From allegations that Saban is cheating for Bama, to Paterno's discipline, to Jerry Duncan's induction to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; there is never a quiet moment!

Duncan dreamed of hoops glory
He made a name for himself as an undersized but overachieving lineman at the University of Alabama, fulfilling the dream of kids throughout the state. But Jerry Duncan's childhood dream had nothing to do with the gridiron or Bear Bryant or the Crimson Tide. "I always wanted to play basketball at North Carolina," said Duncan, who grew up in tiny Sparta, N.C. "If I hadn't signed with Alabama, I was going to walk on at Chapel Hill.

Let's go down to Jerry Duncan on the sideline!
To a generation of Alabama fans, Jerry Duncan was better known for his excitable personality on Crimson Tide football broadcasts than his playing exploits. Duncan, a successful stockbroker and investor living in Vestavia Hills, worked as the sideline reporter for 24 years, paired with play-by-play men John Forney, Paul Kennedy and Eli Gold. I wasn't there to brag on the other team," Duncan said. "I was there to talk about Alabama."

Loss of Prothro was a big blow to Tide
One play turned the tide for Alabama's football success over the past few years, former defensive coordinator Joe Kines told members of the Escambia County University of Alabama Alumni Association Tuesday night. (this is an INSIGHTFUL aricle about Kines!)

From my friend Johnny: "At this moment, I am humbled and awed by Joe Paterno. I am a huge college football fan but I have been embarrassed by the off-the-field behavior of players for years. Many act like nothing more than thugs with scholarships. But I am even more appalled by the weak, unprincipled, self-defeating responses of the head coaches involved."

Saban may have violated NCAA recruiting rules

According to reports, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban may have violated NCAA rules when he talked to recruits during last week’s trip to South Florida. However, Saban almost certainly isn’t the only coach overstepping the rule, and any violation would likely be considered “secondary," without significant penalty. College coaches are permitted to evaluate high school players on their campuses between April 15 and May 31, but “no contact may occur in this evaluation." According to NCAA bylaws, “contact is any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete and their parents or guardians and an institutional staff member during which any dialogue occurs in excess of exchange of a greeting."

Friday, May 11, 2007

By popular demand...

...well, at least a request by my good friend Sharp!

Listen, y'all. This is funny. I respect Coach Bryant and his winning legacy as much as anyone. He was a treasure for the State of Alabama and he was a positive influence in the lives of thousands of young men. But, having said that, with all due respect, listen to how he mispronounces names, loses his train of thought, and mixes up the names of towns and you have to laugh! That is doubly true if you lived through those days as I did. Rest in Peace, Coach Bryant. We love you!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Elite QB visits UA

Elite QB visits UA - BamaOnLine

Nick Saban and staff have made the quarterback position a priority in the 2008 class with the Tide having offered several of the nation's top signal-callers. On Wednesday, likely five-star prospect Blaine Gabbert made a surprise trip to the Capstone with his parents, and the Tide made a big impression on the 6-foot-5, 229-pounder.

"Me and my dad flew in this morning, and we are flying out tomorrow. We decided to come and see Alabama since we haven't yet and I'm glad we did. I was very impressed with everything I saw," Gabbert said. "When I got there this morning, I met pretty much all the coaches. They were all great and very down to earth. After that, I left with Coach Applewhite and we toured the facilties.

"I was extremely impressed with everything. We toured the campus, academic center and the dorms. I know it was going to be nice, and it was better than I expected. Everything was top notch. The athletes have everything they need on and off the field."

Gabbert spent a lot of time with Coach Applewhite, and the two have developed a strong relationship.

"Coach Applewhite is a good guy. He's very approachable and down to earth. We have a strong bond and today strengthened it more. He talked to me about more than just football. We discussed everyday life stuff and about how life would be as a student as well as a player. I learned a lot."

Tide head coach Nick Saban was on the road recruiting, but he made a special trip back to the Capstone to visit with the Missouri native.

Nick Saban's A-Day Press Conference Video


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recent Articles

Gimino: Houndstooth cap still looms large in 'Bama - Anthony Gimino, Tucson, Citizen
"Having had my fill of barbecue, slaw and sweet tea, I was getting ready to leave a Birmingham, Ala., restaurant last week when a friend nudged my shoulder. "Look over there," he said. I turned, and there at a table sitting with her family was a girl, possibly 10 years old, wearing a baseball cap. A houndstooth baseball cap. And so it is in Alabama."

Early Returns are Encouraging - Kirk McNair,
No one doubts that Nick Saban is a hands-on coach. Even though media gets only a glimpse of practice each day (at least that was the case during spring practice), it doesn’t take much of a gander to get a sense that Alabama’s football coach is on the move, checking on every detail. Players at every position back up the observation that Saban coaches everyone. So it was only mildly surprising during warm-ups prior to the A-Day Game that Saban was correcting the stretching procedure of a Crimson Tide player. That is the kind of thing that a head coach ordinarily would not trifle with. But Nick Saban is no ordinary coach.

QUICK HITS: A Comparison: 2006 team vs. 2007 A-Day
By Jess Editor-in-ChiefApril 22, 2007
Quarterbacks 2006: John Parker Wilson, Marc Guillon, Jimmy Barnes Quarterbacks 2007: John Parker Wilson, Greg McElroy, Jimmy BarnesSummary: There’s not much of a change here, except in the continued maturity of John Parker Wilson. A-Day 2007 revealed improvement in Wilson’s footwork and comfort level in the pocket. Wilson also seemed to have a good feel for screen passes which appear to be a big part of the upcoming offense. With Jimmy Barnes out for most of the spring with a knee injury, Greg McElroy won the backup job by default. His poise and game management skills looked sound Saturday, but he made a half-dozen ill-advised throws into coverage that, if Alabama’s defensive backs would pay a bit more attention to the tip drill, may have resulted in a handful of interceptions. Advantage: 2007. Wilson is better, McElroy offers solid backup....

Hating Saban is becoming an obsession

On Saturday there was an interesting column by Paul Finebaum titled "Hating Saban is becoming an obsession" Here is an exerpt:


Why all the hating?

What is everyone so afraid of?

Or is it laughter and mockery resonating throughout the world of college football since the staggering Alabama A-Day crowd of 92,123 became known a week ago?

Regardless, the fire has been lit again in relation to Nick Saban and his maiden voyage in Tuscaloosa. This has become a recurring theme since Saban's hiring but what is it really saying? What does it all mean?

Of the many catcalls and "delusional fan" cracks from all the usual suspects, the most amazing came from Barry Scanlon of the Lowell (Mass.) Sun. I understand ESPN and the south Florida media mafia hating on Saban. But a shot across the bow from a toxic waste dump in Massachusetts -- whose only claim to fame is being the hometown of Ed McMahon and for being featured in an HBO documentary as a haven for crack cocaine and as one of the most dreary and depressing cities in America -- almost has to be considered a compliment.