Friday, October 1, 2010

If It Hadn't Been for Tyrone Prothro, Alabama Wouldn't Have Saban

Lots of travel this week preventing posts of any real design for a few days. But fellow degenerates can rest assured (or don't), my picks and the locks will be up for tomorrow's college football.

Quick thoughts from the week:

1) Yes, Michael Bolton had to go. I have the feeling that The Situation needs to really show some improvement soon, because at this point, he only has the Margaret Cho/Florence Henderson Buffer Weeks to rely on now.

2) LeBron says race is a factor on the coverage of/reaction to "The Decision". And I agree. I believe people naturally rally around those of their own. Not saying it's right or wrong, but on the whole, that's how it works.

But it's important to note that just because race may be a factor in how people digest a situation, that does not make those people racist. Racism, along with bigotry, to me is associated with hate (usually blindly). And just because White Bob didn't like how LeBron made his decision and believed it to be an unnecessary spectacle, doesn't dictate that White Bob hates black people. He just doesn't like what LeBron did.

Race can be a factor, but let's not all hop on the racism/reverse-racism bandwagons whenever we can. I don't think it's healthy to do that.

3) My Braves host the Phillies for three games starting today. They're two games up on the Padres for the Wild Card, who play at San Fran. Let's not screw this up.

4) Drove through Hattiesburg, MS recently. I think part of the reason why Brett Favre comes back every year lies in that city. Flat, hot, Mississippi. Still a few hours from the beach. I'm not sure why the settlers thought Hattiesburg was a good idea.

5) Read Clay Travis' piece on Tyrone Prothro. I was in Tuscaloosa the day he broke his leg. Yep, it was awful. It was also the beginning of the end of Mike Shula's career at Alabama. If you recall, with the use of Prothro in multiple positions, Alabama's offense was hitting on all cylinders that year. The cover of Sports Illustrated followed that win, and Bama was back in the Top 5.

However, after that injury, Alabama's offense didn't just stall for the remainder of the season - it died completely. Bama couldn't score. Next week's win was a 13-10 win over a bad Ole Miss team, courtesy of a last second field goal. 6 points against Tennessee. 17 against Mississippi State (who was 3-8 that year). 13 against LSU (only 10 in regulation). And 18 against Auburn in the 'Honk if you sacked Brodie' game (but only 11 before JP Wilson's garbage time TD).

Bama went 6-6 the next year and fired Mike Shula.

Of course, then they hired Nick Saban. And that's worked out pretty well.

It was maybe two years ago that I was hanging out on my old Birmingham show and brought up a question that got people so mad and offended I thought I was going to be responsible for the station building getting burned down:

"Alabama fans, which would you rather have? Tyrone Prothro NOT breaking his leg, or Nick Saban as your head coach? Because you can't have both."

Yeah, Alabama fans didn't like that. But it's true. If Tyrone Prothro had never broken his leg, Nick Saban would NOT be the head coach at Alabama right now, and the Tide wouldn't be playing for their second straight national title.

Shula, whose game management skills really came in to question the following season, was not ready for big-time football. But you can trace it all back to that play. After that horrific injury, it all unraveled for Mike Shula, leading to his dismissal at the end of the '06 season.

Without Prothro's injury, perhaps Shula is slightly more successful through 2006, enough so that there was enough support to keep him around for another season. That throws off the Saban timing completely.

Perhaps Nick is still at Miami, perhaps not. Maybe he'd be at... NOTRE DAME.

Scary, right?

Sad as it may be, and Bama fans may not like it, but I believe that deep down Alabama fans know what their real answer to my question that day.

They'd still take Saban.

6) And finally, I think this guy doesn't understand how serious some Alabama fans take this kind of stuff. He really needs to reconsider coming to Tuscaloosa this weekend. I'm not saying that it bothers me, but I'm positive it bothers people who handle things in a more physical nature than I would.

She, on the other hand, is more than welcome to come up and stay with me.

Picks and locks tomorrow.