Archive for October, 2013

31st October
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

Roll Tide Chicago at Gameday in Tuscaloosa

This past weekend was my first trip back to Tuscaloosa for a gameday in about 10 years.  It is better than I remembered – we did not have Saban or did we tailgate on the Quad, last time I was in T-town for gameday.  I went with friends who are all presidents/board members for their cities for the Alabama Alumni Association.  Below is a picture of some of the Out-of-State (OOS) Alumni Association presidents/board members who were able to make it to T-town for game weekend – this will now become an annual event for most of the OOSers:

Bye Week & Scholarship Fundraising

It might be Alabama’s bye week but its November so how can you not want to watch College Football?  Since we know everyone wants to watch some college football Saturday and we like to raise money for the Roll Tide Chicago Scholarship Fund the Houndstooth is offering us a special this Saturday 11/2 from 2-6 pm.  Purchase a package for $25 that includes 4 hours of domestic drafts or wells and some food and $10 of this package goes to the RTC scholarship fund!  Come out to the Houndstooth and watch the FLA vs. UGA game and the start of the Auburn vs. Arkansas game, we might even watch some non-SEC games and help raise some money to send a Chicagoland student to the University of Alabama next fall!

Houndstooth Saloon
3369 N. Clark
Chicago

Can’t join us but want to donate to the RTC Scholarship fund you can do so here:

https://onlinegiving.ua.edu/giving/givingForm/begin?division=30&account=6074

Long Sleeve T-shirts/Roll Tide Chicago Memberships

We still have a few 2013 long sleeve t-shirts left – order yours today before the 20 we have left are gone!  Stop by the Houndstooth Saturday or email rolltidechicago@gmail.com to get the Crimson long sleeve Roll Tide Chicago T-shirt.

Sizes available Small – 2XL

T-shirt Pricing:

Members: $30 each (separate/extra to membership dues that include the grey t-shirt)

Non-Members: $35 each

Southern in the City SEC Happy Hour

As a part of an effort to unify the SEC alumni chapters here in Chicago, Roll Tide Chicago hosting an SEC “Southern in the City” kickoff party. As a minority in Big 10 country all SEC presidents felt it important we come together as a group to have some laughs, share some drinks, and embark on some new and fun ways to better our chapters as well as our experience in The Windy City.

WHERE: Glascott’s

2158 N. Halsted St.

WHEN: Thursday November 7th, 2013

6pm – 8pm

DRINK SPECIALS: $3 dollar domestics

$4 wells

$6 chardonnay and cabernet

Please feel free to pass along the invitation to friends that have attended an SEC school or are fans of the SEC.

Hope to see you out Saturday or next Thursday to support Roll Tide Chicago during Alabama’s bye week.

Roll Tide!

Laurel

 

4th & Goal

My single favorite weekend of the year has come and gone. For the last 10 years 14 of my college buddies and I have gotten together one weekend a year to come back to T-Town for football, drinking, food and shopping. Yes shopping I will get to that shortly. Each year as we get older we seem to step it up a notch with the tailgate or the activities that we do while down for the game. This year we each ponied up $50 bucks for the Nick at Noon lunch and Q&A with Coach Saban at Coleman Coliseum. And in keeping with the grand tradition of every fraternity house, locker room or trip to Vegas I was told before Coach spoke that what you say and what you hear stays here. But since I don’t think I’d be treading on state secrets here are the highlights of his talk and Q&A:

  • As this was the first time I had heard Coach speak in person it is amazing how even in a large room like the floor of Coleman how much of a presents he is right off the bat. The entire energy in the room shifted as soon as he walked in (with his police escort).
  • While he is the master of coach speak aka double talk and talking without really saying anything the few times he did get worked up was when someone asked him how he dealt with the off-field issues (Ha-Ha, rumors of Miss Terry house hunting in Austin etc.) It was at that point that he went into a long speech about how every player that has been suspended needed to and that as long as he focuses on football he is ok because he can’t control everything that is always going on around him
  • When asked who he speaks to weekly I was surprised to learn that he talks to at least two different sports psychologists both for the team and himself. I don’t think he meant it as he sits down on a couch and tells these guys his life story but I do think they help him more than we think.
  • I guess it is his birthday one day this week and when some moron got all of us to sing Happy Birthday to him you could tell how much he HATED it and I can’t stress that enough.
  • When asked how he has changed as a coach from when he first started he said that the big thing was how he has become a better teacher. For example if a guy is giving  it his all and he makes a mistake he can coach them up to improve but if a guy is loafing or not doing his job that is where the screaming and yelling comes from.
  • Finally he mentioned how he can’t understand guys getting all worked up over being disrespected by teams (the Vols called Alabama the “red team” all week and Butch Jones said that they could beat any team). Coach’s point was that if you get worked up over something that the other team said how come no one gets worked up when they don’t give 100% in practice or in school or in life. Aren’t you disrespecting yourself? I found that to be the most interesting point he made all speech.

While the speech was cool to see listen to by far the highlight of the day was going to the Mal Moore athletic building next door to Coleman. It is free and I can’t stress enough how amazing this building is. First of all you walk in and right next to the front desk are all of Mal Moore’s championship rings, watches, trinkets from the bowl games etc. And since he has been a player, coach and AD for every single championship since Bear Bryant took over that is a lot of rings. Just a special display for all of us to see.

Walk up the stairs into the Hall of Champions and the first thing you see smack in the middle of the room is Mark Ingram’s Heisman. All around the trophy are displays for most of the national titles including the trophies, pictures rings etc. They have a few of the SEC championship trophies in another case and on the far wall a few of the awards that the guys have won over the years (Outland, etc.).

And down the hall they have pictures of all of the All American football players. The university did a great job with this area and I highly encourage all of you to check it out the next time you are in T-Town.

Somewhere between 1999 and now my frat brothers have turned into my sorority sisters with the amount of shopping that some of them do. In one of the many ways that the university has changed since I was there is how much people wear Alabama gear. When I was a ZBT from 95-99 I owned 3 Bama shirts and one sweatshirt that I wouldn’t wear in public. We won’t be caught dead in “Bamaflause” let alone go to three different stores looking for it. Fast forward to last Friday where my buddies dragged me into in The Locker Room on the Strip and the Shirt and Pants shop downtown looking for the perfect Elephant button down shirt, hat or polo shirt. And I’m not talking about a $50 dollar shirt I’m talking about hundreds of dollars on clothes. I couldn’t believe it when they were buying all this stuff. Maybe I’m more of a t-shirt and Nike sweatshirt guy but does anyone really need a $150 fleece from the Locker Room? (I say when you want to class it up and dress for the games!)

Walking around the quad pre-game has become an experience in and of itself. From just about every tent having a TV, food, beer, booze and kids tossing a football the game day in T-Town tailgate is pretty impressive. Plus if you run out of your drink of choice duck into a tent and get a refill.

The big story as most of you know heading into the game last week was would the students stick around for the entire game. This is a story that I have been following for a couple of weeks but it finally came to a head after the Arkansas game when most of the students left before the end of the game (if you were in college and the score was 52-0 and you had a couch, a date, beer, a TV and more importantly a nice bathroom all waiting for you would you stick around for a blowout?) Anyway as Bama moved down the field and basically ended the game with about 6:00 minutes to go in the first quarter all eyes turned to see if people would leave. And 3 hours later as the Tide crushed another hapless SEC team we all stuck around to sing the Rammer Jammer. The highlights of the game for me and the rest of us were of course the amazing catch that Norwood made in the 2nd quarter, the re-emergence of Coop and my man Landon Collins laying the smack down on defense. And if you watched the entire game we saw D. Henry come within one ankle tackle of taking a handoff 99 yards for a TD. The bigger point on the do you stay vs. leave debate is that let’s be honest unless you are watching the Red Sox win the World Series at home for the first time since 1918 what is the incentive to go to a live event anyone? Don’t get me wrong I’ve been to 3 of the last 4 SEC Championship games and two of the three national title games and I did just fly down from Chicago to go to a game and I won’t trade that for anything. The highlight of my summer was taking Maya to her first Reds game but if you are a college student why would you go to a game? Everyone has a flat screen TV these days, you are not standing all game, you have your own bathroom, you can flip to other games during the million TV timeouts that drag the game to well over 3 hours and did I mention you have your own bathroom? The NFL is dealing with this same issue and don’t think as TV’s get better and tickets continue to skyrocket the problem is only going to get worse.

I don’t like to knock the Million Dollar band but once again I beg the band director: When doing a tribute to an artist (This week it was Stevie Wonder) play songs that are from Stevie Wonder. When a marching band plays Tears From a Clown (A Smokey Robinson song) as song by Stevie Wonder it sounds like a marching band playing Tears of a Clown. And once again this week the OSU marching band takes it up a notch:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNe0ZUD19EE

You know you are living right football wise when your two teams that you root for win by a combined score of 94-19 over the weekend. RTR and Who Dey!

As Blake Simms took the field the huge “Big Al Elephant” in the room was once again apparent who is going to take over for AJ after this season? This was conversation #1 with my friends as well and while I think whomever is under center next year will be fine more than any season in years the question is up for debate: http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2013/10/30/5043740/life-after-mccarron-alabama-football-quarterback-jacob-coker

I don’t currently have Showtime but come Nov. I think I better sign up because this movie looks great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA5YlCVLLGA&feature=youtu.be

It’s always nice when a story that you think is going one way turns out to be something completely different. Such is the story of former Bama LB Rolando McClain: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9882568/nfl-former-oakland-raiders-alabama-linebacker-rolando-mcclain-self-imposed-exile I hope that he stays on the straight and narrow and continues to keep his life in order.

With Texas Tech and Mizzu losing last week (and that Mizzu loss was just painful to watch) it is down to 6 big time teams that are undefeated. With FSU playing the U on Saturday that will knock the list down to 5. It would be fitting that in the last year of the BCS all 5 teams run the table (Alabama, Oregon, FSU/Miami winner, Baylor and Ohio State) but Outkick the Coverage breaks down which team has the best chance to run the table: http://outkickthecoverage.com/what-are-the-chances-we-end-up-with-five-undefeated-bcs-teams.php I wish that this will happen but if history has shown us anything more than one of these teams is going to lose. Let’s just hope it’s not the Tide.

I have come to realize that Big Ten fans and OSU fans in particular don’t want to A) listen to facts about the Big Ten, B) understand that just because I went to Alabama and am an SEC shill that I honestly don’t have anything against them other than the fact that they play in a terrible conference and haven’t beaten anyone in the top 15 during their current 20 game winning streak. C) never let the facts get in the way of a good football argument

I am getting a week ahead of myself but next Thursday the 7th might be the greatest weekday night of college sports of all time in any sport: Baylor plays Oklahoma in the early game and the night game is Oregon vs. Stanford. The fact that we will know the results of three of the top 10 teams in the country before we even kickoff on Saturday vs. LSU I think will be a great advantage.

With the bye week this week I figured this song was fitting for this weekend since most of us feel this way when the Tide isn’t on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRyrWN-fftE

And after last weekend and walking around the quad this song got stuck in my head. Because just about everyone on the quad had one of these drinks in hand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmgOrhELXs

Finally in things I didn’t know until I was a Dad: You can give your kids every toy in the world but in the end they will enjoy playing with tape, band-aids, paper and yarn more than anything.

Enjoy the bye week RTR

RTR

Marc

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25th October
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

UA Fun Fact & Trivia:

Where did Tuscaloosa get its name?

The modern city name, “Tuscaloosa” was derived from the old name, “Tuskaloosa.” In the languages of the Creek and Choctaw Indians, “Tushka” means warrior and “lusa” means black.

It’s Tennessee Hate Week – yes it used to be the 3rd Saturday of October and now is usually the 4th Saturday, but it is one of my favorite weeks of the season.  Hope you have seen some of the jokes and things we have been posting on our Facebook page this week.  If you are not a part of the Roll Tide Chicago Facebook page please join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/70751310545/

My favorite joke of the week has been:

What does UT & a sandcastle have in common?

They both look good till the Tide comes in!

Viewing Parties

Both of our locations will be airing Alabama vs. Tennessee Saturday; kickoff is at 2:30 pm, but arrive early if you want to ensure yourself a spot at either bar.

Houndstooth Saloon
3369 N. Clark
Chicago

Another Round
5141 Main St.
Downers Grove

Long Sleeve T-shirts/Roll Tide Chicago Memberships

We just got our long sleeve t-shirts in for 2013 and it couldn’t have been better timing because it has been cold this week.  We only ordered a 50 of these shirts and will not reorder when we are out of stock.  We only have about 30 long sleeve shirts left after the pre-orders so stop by the Houndstooth Saturday or email rolltidechicago@gmail.com to get the Crimson long sleeve Roll Tide Chicago T-shirt.

Sizes available Small – 2XL

T-shirt Pricing:

Members: $30 each (separate/extra to membership dues that include the grey t-shirt)

Non-Members: $35 each

We currently have all of the sizes of the 2013 Roll Tide Chicago t-shirts so make sure to pick-up your t-shirts before supplies run out at the Houndstooth or Another Round.

Membership Levels

$25 White Membership – Includes 1 T-shirt

$40 Crimson Membership Includes 2 T-shirts

$60 Houndstooth Membership    Includes 4 T-shirts

I am heading to Tuscaloosa Friday for the game with other Out-of-State presidents, so next week I will give you a recap of my time in T-town.  Also, since next week is a bye-week we are looking at doing a fundraiser for the scholarship fund so you can still come out to the Houndstooth and watch some college football and help support the Roll Tide Chicago Scholarship fund.  Details to be provided next week so stay tuned.

Have fun at the Houndstooth or Another Round cheering on Alabama, but remember to Roll Tide!

Roll Tide!

Laurel

4th & Goal “I’m Going to the Game Addition!”

This week instead of ending 4th and goal with Things I didn’t know until I was a Dad we are going to start with it: John Lennon once sang in the song HELP! “And now my life has changed in oh so many ways (my independence) seems to vanish in the haze” That was never more true for me than this past Saturday as the Tide was about to kick off vs. the Hogs. Instead of being at the game, or the bar, or watching the game sitting in peace and quiet on the couch I was mashing a banana into a bowl to give it to Jacob. That’s right with the 6:00 PM kickoff it was dinner time at the Brafman’s and I was feeding the kids. At least Shana was nice enough to let us watch TV downstairs in front of the TV so I won’t miss anything. But sometimes the point of having kids is really driven home in weird ways and on Saturday that was one of them. On the flip side having Maya wave her shaker with me after every touchdown and asking me to sing the “Elephant” song again was well worth it.

Let’s start this week with the combo topic of the SEC eating its own over the weekend and what it means for Alabama. We’ll take topic #2 first. As you all know the first round of BCS rankings came out and everyone in Oregon was crying because they got bumped to #3 after FSU. Meanwhile the Tide just rolls along at #1 (random stat the Tide has been ranked #1 more times since 2011 than every other team combined) and while LSU and A&M losing doesn’t really hurt the Tide it doesn’t help it much either from a sexy game stand point. Before FSU went to Clemson and whooped them the best win of the season was our win over A&M. Of course upstart Auburn (and we’ll touch on them shortly) going to College Station and winning ended that argument. If people start coming up to you and crying that the Tide doesn’t play anyone (false) or that they don’t deserve to be ranked #1 (double false) remind them of this. Until a two time defending champ is beaten how can you rank anyone ahead of them? I know it’s a new season I get that but in my opinion if you end the year at #1 you should start the year at #1 until you are knocked off. So with the SEC East being tossed around a little here is what I would like to see happen if for no other reason than to show the country that the Tide is the best. First I am on board the Mizzu train. Let them run the table the rest of the way Beating S. Carolina, going to Ole Miss and ending the year at A&M will not be easy but it will make for a great and sexy (on paper) SEC championship. Second and this is the one that I think we can all agree on. Count me on board for Auburn winning out until the Iron bowl. Sure we both have some tough tests before that game and I am not at all sold on Auburns defense but just imagine for a second this game. Remember a couple of years ago when Michigan and OSU played for the Big Ten title and the winner got to go to the National Title game? Keep this in mind. Not since 1971 (I think) have both teams been ranked in the top 10 and NEVER since it split into the East and West has the Iron Bowl determined who would win the West and go to the SEC Championship which is pretty amazing. Can you imagine the hype of this game? 11-0 2 time defending Champion Alabama rolls into 10-1 Auburn with a shot at the SEC West, the trip to Atlanta and a National title on the line? I think the state might explode, I think Clay Travis and Feinbalm would implode and all of college football would once again come to Alabama. So if both those things happen Alabama would beat at worse two top ten teams and possibly depending on the rest of the country two top 5 teams in back to back weeks. Show me another team that would have to do that…

It boils down to this. If the Tide wins out it will play for the National title. On the flip side if the Tide lose and the rest of the teams win including Ohio State, Baylor and Texas Tech the Tide will not get lucky enough as a one loss team to get back into the running. The SEC just isn’t as good this year.

A couple of quick things on the Arkansas game before we move onto the Vols:

Injuries happen to football teams every year and every game. What a shame that it had to come to Bama last Saturday and to Vinnie S the brain if not the heart of the defense. At least we have Ha-Ha and my new favorite player Landon Collins to lessen the blow. Let’s all hope that Vinnie gets better and is out there again to start the 2014 season.

Not many teams have a guy on special teams that cause a fumble, recover the fumble then later in the game blow the defense out of the water on a 80 yard run that had Coach Saban toss his arms up. Derek Henry is going to be a special player and Saturday showed us why.

We have seen Coach Saban lead us to three national titles, 2 SEC titles and 4 SEC west titles yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as excited as he was when Jones made that INT in the 2nd quarter. He was jumping up and down on the sidelines and maybe sort of smiled.

Welcome back Mr. Cooper we’ve missed you

One of my co-workers is engaged to a Vols fan/grad (we can’t all be perfect) anyway last night we were texting and he said something to the effect that he doesn’t think that the Bama defense is “as good as it has been” which might be true until you take a look at the numbers: Now I am saying this now if I were the Vols I would throw the ball 50 times on Saturday. I would throw and throw and throw (which I thought Ole Miss should have done. But once again take a look at these numbers:

With its shutout Saturday, Alabama made it three seasons in a row in which it shut out two SEC foes (the second in 2011 came in the national championship). It was Saban’s 12th overall shutout at Alabama, seven of which have come against SEC opponents.

— Alabama leads the nation with its average of 9.7 points allowed per game. At this point last year, Alabama led the country with an average of 8.27 points allowed per game. In 2011, it was 6.88. Since 2009, the most points per game Alabama allowed after eight weeks of the college football season was 12.5.

— Texas A&M accounted for 42 of the 68 points Alabama has allowed this season. That’s a whopping 61.7 percent.

— Let’s have some fun with numbers and take away the Alabama defense’s best and worst performance. If you do that with scoring defense, Alabama’s average would be 5.2 points allowed per game. Do that with total defense, and it’s 225.4 yards per game.

— The average total offense ranking of the seven teams Alabama has faced this season is 75th. The extremes are Texas A&M (third) and Virginia Tech (110th). The average ranking of its next four (purposely excluding Chattanooga): 45th. The extremes are Auburn (19th) and Tennessee (89th).

— Alabama has allowed an average of 2.54 yards per carry in its last five games. It’s allowed 5.28 yards per pass attempt.

— Alabama has held the opposition below 100 passing yards three times this season. It did that six times in 2011.

Since the Texas A&M game, Alabama has outscored all opponents 201-16.

Take out the Texas A&M game and Bama has beaten the other six teams on its schedule 236-26

That folks is getting it done. Losing Vinnie from a leadership if not a talent stand point is a big loss but the Tide mantra of next man up is true (I think the Bears are saying the same thing about their defense and QB situation at the moment).

The Vols game to me is always my favorite game of the year. Let me start by saying I hate the Vols. When I was in school we never beat them and I can remember clearly Peyton Manning waving that giant T flag at Legion Field after one of the wins while Rocky Top played over and over. While my hated has gotten a little less since Fat Phil and The Wonder Boy Kiffin are gone my enjoyment of kicking the crap out of them hasn’t. And since I am going to the game I look forward to seeing Butch Jones walk off the field with the same shell shocked look on his face that most of the other coaches who have been destroyed by the Tide have. I think our offense is really starting to find it’s a game. Not sure if you guys heard the stat on Saturday but we have run/passed almost exactly the same number of plays since 2011. The splits are unreal. I think that trend continues this week with TJ and K Drake doing their thing and AJ, Coop, Bell and the rest continuing to raise the bar. The Tide has now been favored in an amazing 49 straight games hasn’t lost to an unranked team since the infamous La Monroe game, and has been favored by 20 points or more in 20 times since 2011. I’m not a betting man but I like the Tide to cover the 28 points this weekend and lay the boom to the Vols.

In the be careful of what you wish for department students at Oregon have started selling these shirts on campus: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2013/oregon-students-distribute-we-want-bama-shirts/ . I’ll say this for the Ducks: After watching FSU destroy Clemson I think I’d rather play Oregon.

Last thing on Oregon/FSU/OSU/Baylor etc. How great is this playoff going to be next year? If it was in place today the Tide would open up vs. Ohio State and play the winner of Oregon and FSU. I can’t wait for this to start.

A Few years ago at the game that I went to the Million Dollar Band at Half time did a tribute to Elton John where one of the songs that they played was Elton’s version of The Who song Pinball Wizard. Read that sentence again because I’m still trying to figure out how a marching band playing a song written by one group and sung by another isn’t just the original version of the song plus we are talking about Elton Freakin John not Mumford and Sons. Are you telling me that the powers to be at Bama couldn’t find 4 Elton John songs to play? (can you tell that I am still bugged by this? What does any of this have to do with anything? Because our friends from Columbus and Ohio State know how to do a tribute at half time. Check out the OSU marching band pay tribute to Michael Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GTca2nrIn4U#t=324

As I write this on Thursday afternoon there is yet another rumor about Coach Saban going to Texas this one has Terry Saban looking for houses in Austin. This is too dumb to even comment on…

Like I mentioned I am going to T-Town this weekend and will report back next week on how the weekend went. So with that in mind here are a couple of songs that get me in the mood for game day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQSJBSl9SM0 and a lost classic from the Grateful Dead (who played at Foster Auditorium in the spring of 1977)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNtnJrowvZo

If you’re down in T-Town this weekend drop me a line mbrafman@feldinc.com and we’ll toast a Tide Win

RTR

Marc

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18th October
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

UA Fun Fact & Trivia:

What Tuscaloosa establishment’s nickname is a reflection of the travel time it takes to get there?

Nick’s – known affectionately as “Nick’s in the Sticks.”

What is the specialty drink of the house at Nick’s?

A Nicodemus – bright red and very strong!

If you have never been to Nick’s in the Sticks – make sure you stop by it’s a great place and have a Nicodemus or two…we will be stopping by next weekend during the Tennessee game weekend!

If you did not know at least 15 of us from Roll Tide Chicago, and many more who got their own tickets to the game went down to Lexington last weekend for the Alabama vs. Kentucky game.  It was great seeing all the Crimson around Lexington all weekend and hope we will have a chance to do another Roll Tide Chicago road trip to an Alabama game in the coming years.  Here is a picture of some of us at the game:

Thank you to those that helped at the Houndstooth and Another Round last weekend while most of the board was in Lexington.  Please note that the things we have at the board table at the Houndstooth are not all for giveaways or to take, we have things that have been stolen from our table…so please be mindful that some things are people’s personal property and we might sell it to you, but please do not swipe Bama items from the tables – ask first!  Missing 2 small elephants with Alabama Buttons – please return!

 

Viewing Parties

Both of our locations will be airing Alabama vs. Arkansas Saturday; kickoffs is at 6:00 pm, but arrive early if you want to ensure yourself a spot at either bar.

Houndstooth Saloon
3369 N. Clark
Chicago

Another Round
5141 Main St.
Downers Grove

Social Committee

Want to introduce y’all to our new members of the Roll Tide Chicago Social Committee, welcome Katy and Alexandra!  They will be putting together different social events for Roll Tide Chicago and the Chicago SEC Alumni association throughout the year, so keep watch for different events.  Have suggestions for different social events you can reach out to them at rolltidechicagosocial@gamil.com.

See y’all this weekend at the Houndstooth or Another Round to cheer on Alabama, but remember to Roll Tide!

Roll Tide!

Laurel

 

4th & Goal

As a sports fan do you ever have an ah-ha moment when you realize that you are just as bad as the rest of the sports fans? What do you mean by that Marc? Let me explain. As you all know as big an Alabama fan as I am, I am 10x a bigger Cincinnati Reds fan. I spent the first 18 years of my life not having a clue about Alabama but living and dying by the Reds. With that said I have come to hate everything about the St. Louis Cardinals (the only thing I have in common with Cubs fans) they are always good, they aren’t flashy, they have great and loyal fans, old school uniforms, have been consistently good if not great for pretty much 100 years, always seem to get great players either through trades or rookies that they bring up. There old manager (Tony LaRussa) had some success at his first couple of spots (White Sox, A’s) before winning two more titles in St. Louis. I openly root against them in the playoffs and even root for teams that I normally could care less about (Pirates and Dodgers) and if they make the World Series Boston or Detroit. Now you guys are saying that is great Marc what in the world does that have to do with Alabama football? Yesterday I was doing my normal Wed. night college football reading and on ESPN’s Grantland web site they were doing there midseason college football recap and writer Andrew Sharpe had this to say about the Tide:

Andrew Sharp: It’s happening again.

We’re halfway through the season, Alabama is undefeated, and soon we’ll have to worship Saban all over again. I want to strangle someone every time a TV analyst starts getting all starry-eyed talking about Nick Saban’s “process.” Or his team’s discipline. Or his preparation. Or that one time he left his wife and kids on the side of the road during a vacation in Mexico because he had to drive to Texas to recruit and then go watch film because football never stops and winners never take a day off. This is awful.

But it’s happening again.

Yes, Nick Saban may be the greatest college coach we’ve seen since Bear Bryant. And if we really want to have that conversation, Saban’s accomplishments are probably more impressive than Bryant’s, because it’s much harder to be this dominant in 2013. But no.

F#%k Saban, and f^&K his unstoppable, joyless winning machine. Please just let someone other than Bama win the national title this year so we don’t have to keep pretending AJ McCarron is a good quarterback or continue worshiping this perpetually constipated elf genius.

It’s not about the SEC. I love the SEC. I’m just sick of Bama winning every year. Three out of four and counting. The title game is in Pasadena this year, and I’ll be there, and all I ask is that I don’t have to watch Saban lift another crystal football.

The Tide’s schedule the rest of the way?

• vs. Arkansas
• vs. Tennessee
• vs. no. 6 LSU
• at Mississippi State
• vs. Chattanooga
• at no. 24 Auburn

And … yep! Unless LSU can save us, it’s probably happening again. Bama will go undefeated into the SEC championship game, probably maul some lame SEC East team unless Georgia gets there, and even then it’s hard to imagine Bama losing.

Accept it.

Accept it and try to cope by watching Oregon instead, or Clemson, or A&M, or any college football team that’s actually fun. But we all know how this ends.

And if you think we’re not appreciating Bama here, don’t worry. There is no better testament to Alabama’s greatness than how much people like me hate this team and wish it would just disappear forever. That goes for the fans, too.

You know what? I hope Alabama gets to the national championship. I hope Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas drop 60 on a stone-faced Saban as 70,000 fans spend the night in dead silence. Take it as a compliment, Alabama. I hate you all so much. See you in January.

And it was at that point that I realized that most of the rest of the college football world hates us. And just like me when it comes to the Cards I also realize that hated is jealousy and that I have to except that the Reds might beat the Cards from time to time but they will never be better than the Cards. And sure Bama might not go all the way this year but we sure are going to be major players year in and year out.  And that most drive the rest of college football fans crazy.

A few thoughts on last Saturdays beat down of UK: Bill Simmons my favorite writer for ESPN has something he calls the Ewing Theory which states that when a good player goes down for a team they rally around the subs and actually play better. I think we are seeing this with Ryan Kelly being out at Center. Since he got hurt the Tide has found their running game again (minus the fumbles) and it seems like AJ has more time to throw. With Kelly healthy we’ll see how the line plays this week. Did you know that last week the Tide ran up more yards on offense than any Bama team since 1973? Had it not been for the fumbles they would have won by 70.

Don’t believe that the rest of the country is against us? While I am not a betting man this stat is crazy: The Tide counting last week has been favored in a remarkable 48 straight games going back to the 2009 SEC championship game.

Remember when we were all up and arms over the Bama defense after the A&M game? Take a look at this stat: Consider — Alabama has given up just 68 points all season.

42 of them came to Manziel and A&M. The other five opponents on the Tide schedule have scored just 26 combined.

Want an even crazier stat? A&M scored more points in the second half than all of the Tide’s other five opponents have scored this year

With Jackson, Vinny, Ha-Ha (coming back soon) and CJ leading the way this defense is rounding into shape. I found it telling how upset the defense was for giving up that TD to Kentucky last week. Not many defenses would be that upset giving up a touchdown on the road. If they can continue to improve this team might get really getting its act together.

With that said the next two games the Tide needs to continue to improve. Too many drops, too many fumbles, and too many dumb penalties so far their talent is so far superior to whom they play they can get away with it. But that LSU game is coming up and if they don’t improve the little things we could be in for a surprise and not a good one on Nov. 9th

Last Saturday was one of those special days that sports fans like me live for. Wall to wall great college football (UGA/Mizzu) FSU/BC leading into LSU/Florida and Oregon/Washington followed up by our game, the classically awful Michigan/Penn State game and finally Ole Miss/ Texas A&M game.

Two things on the A&M game since I was watching this during our game. First because I am a fan of college football I was upset to see Johnny Football go down with what looked like a terrible knee injury. Sure I want A&M to lose but I love watching that guy play. And 2nd Hugh Freeze should be fired for his dumb play calling down the stretch. I understand that they run the spread offense and pass a lot but would it have killed them to run the ball once or twice to at worse eat the clock? Of course JF led the Aggies to two scores in less than 4 mins to win the game that they should have lost. Speaking of Ole Miss as a father of a daughter it melts my heart to see this video and think about Maya doing the same thing in 15 years: http://outkickthecoverage.com/ole-miss-coed-wins-at-lifeagain.php

The SEC this week put 8 teams in the top 25 tying a record. Meanwhile the Little 10 has 2 one being OSU and the other being Wisconsin. What does this mean for our friends from the Midwest? It could mean that by the end of the year OSU will have ended the year playing 2 teams ranked in the top 25. Simply amazing how this league has fallen so far behind the rest of college football.

As former Roll Tide Chicago President Laura texted me this morning and asked if it was normal for us to be more excited for the  FSU/Clemson game on Saturday night than our game which hopefully will be another blowout. The biggest game in ACC history could decide who the Tide plays in the National Championship game. I can’t wait to see who comes out on top.

Finally because I know you are paying attention to VA Tech: Check this stat out: Virginia Tech’s defense turned in another suffocating performance in Saturday’s 19-9 win over Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2). It sacked Panthers quarterback Tom Savage eight times, led by three from Dadi Nicolas. “We got eight, but I bet we probably missed eight,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer lamented afterward. Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0) has now rolled off six straight wins since its season-opening loss to No. 1 Alabama. It’s allowing just 3.97 yards per play, second only to Michigan State. Keep on rolling Hokies it will make us look even better.

This week in music: I watched an outstanding movie over the weekend called Muscles Shoals: take a look at the web site: http://www.magpictures.com/muscleshoals/ While I had of course heard of the studio down there and knew about the Swampers (in Alabama they have the Swampers, they’ve been known to pick a song or two) but I had no clue how many all-time classics were recorded down there. Here are two that I like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y8Q2PATVyI (Wilson Picket’s take on Hey Jude with Duanne Allman burning up the slide guitar) don’t believe me fast forward to 2:50 into the song) and of course for my money the greatest song ever recorded by a woman and in the running for greatest single of all time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0 it is as shocking to me now as it was to Aretha then that white guys could play with this much soul.

This week in things I didn’t know until I was a Dad: It’s amazing how different your kids are. Maya never pulled anything off a shelf, never pulled herself up on anything and you could leave her on the floor for a little bit and she would be fine. Jacob pulls everything down, can pull himself up by himself and once he starts walking will be getting into everything. It’s a good thing they are cute!

RTR

Marc

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