Friday, December 4, 2009

Welcome to the Main Event

Well it is the game we have all been waiting for. Saban and the Tide get a second chance at the SEC Championship and second shot against the Florida Gators. Going into this weekend, all I have heard is Tebow this and Tebow that. I give the guy credit for possibly being the college game's best quarter back ever, but i think our friend Rolando McClain will have something to say about that this weekend and will have an extra eye on the so-called Superman.

So as I've been sitting here listening to the Atlanta radio stations say we don't have a shot. It reminded me of the Sugar Bowl in 1992 when the professionals said we didn't have a shot at winning that game either. So I received an email with a newspaper article written the day before the Sugar Bowl was played and i had to share it with everyone going into Saturday's game the underdog.

"Miami will blow away Alabama"
Los Angeles Daily News article by Michael Ventre Jan. 1, 1993
NEW ORLEANS -- Miami is No. 1. It will stay that way. Alabama doesn't have a hope, or a prayer, or a shot in the dark of upsetting the Hurricanes for the national championship in tonight's Sugar Bowl. And it won't even be close. Alabama will be trounced, clobbered, mauled, devastated, humiliated and left for dead. The Crimson Tide will not roll, not even a little bit. Tonight you will experience low Tide. Probably even ebb Tide. You wouldn't even have to hike up your pant legs to wade in what be left of this Tide after the Hurricanes pass through. Here are the reasons why:

Reason No. 1: ATTITUDE The Alabama people are just too darned nice. They're too respectful. All their players act as if Bear Bryant is waiting in the woodshed with a whittled switch if they misbehave. This may be OK in the SEC, where everybody is like that. But how can you build up a nice healthy hatred for a renegade school like Miami if you spend most of your time acting like Sunday school teachers? You may not like Miami, but they have an attitude. And you NEED an attitude. Just listen to Miami wide receiver Lamar Thomas: "I try to talk to the defensive back as much as possible. When he starts listening, that's when I know I have him in my back pocket."

Reason No. 2: AIR POWER Alabama believes in establishing its running game. That's dandy, except for the fact that tonight the only running the Crimson Tide will do is running onto the field, and then running off it. Alabama will not be able to move the ball. It won't be able to BUDGE the ball. You will need calipers to measure Alabama's productivity on the ground. So then the Alabama players will have to throw. And they won't be able to do that, either. And they'll commit turnovers. And then the Miami players will boogie and gyrate as they create a new dance for the occasion. See, Alabama's quarterback is a guy named Jay Barker. He is a nice young man, and when he regains consciousness late tonight, I hope he has a plan for the future that features him as a constructive member of society. Because when the fraternity brothers of I Slamma 'Bama get through with him, the only football he'll ever want to play is Nintendo. Miami, on the other hand, has a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback in Gino Torretta, a formidable offensive line and a fine group of receivers. "We're too talented," Miami wideout Kevin Williams said. He speaks the truth.

Reason No. 3: COACHING Don't get me wrong. I like Gene Stallings. He's a terrific coach. He has restored much of the luster to the Alabama tradition. And he has his club on the brink of a national title. But he made a big boo-boo Thursday night. He kept his players at their hotel, the Hilton, instead of packing them up and taking them to some secret location, a la John Thompson of Georgetown and, for that matter, Dennis Erickson of Miami. "They showed Bourbon Street on TV," Erickson said Thursday. "I'm glad I wasn't there. It's unbelievable, all the hoopla....We'll go to someplace so remote even I won't know where it is." That's good. For a game of this magnitude, you have, in no particular order, groupies, derelicts, boosters, maniacs, spouses of boosters, students, drifters, children of boosters and drunken rednecks scattered throughout the teams' hotels, trying to get a piece of the action. This isn't good.. On the night before a game, the team needs to stay together, avoid distractions at all costs and focus on the task at hand. Stallings, though, has chosen to keep his team in the middle of the madness. Big mistake. Most teams look confused and disoriented against Miami anyway. Tonight Alabama will look that way during pre-game introductions.

Reason No. 4: KARMA You just get the overwhelming feeling that its Miami's year again. Little things are adding up. Alabama lost one of its best linebackers for the Sugar Bowl when Michael Rogers was injured in a Christmas Eve car accident. Miami survived the Pell Grant scandal and Hurricane Andrew and the loss of star defensive end Rusty Medaris and is still brazen as ever.
Tonight the Tide won't roll. It will roll over.

So looks like there was a lot of doubt about the Tide going into that game as well, and we all know how that game ended. It has also been a while since the Crimson Tide was considered an underdog (vs Clemson and UGA in 2008) and we know how much these guys love that persona and that helps them to elevate their game to rise to the occasion.

So while they may have superman on their side, I think we still have a great shot at this one as well.

Prediction:

Alabama WINS 28-17.

ROLL TIDE

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