Let’s Go Patriots

When I first started blogging, I imagined a site dedicated to the Alabama Crimson Tide. But, not much else is happening and the Alabama High School Basketball Finals are this week. I’m sure we all probably agree that these players deserve some credit for their achievements, and I’m here to give it to them.

Well…. I must admit, I just want to brag on my old high school, Hillcrest High School of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. HHS happens to be in the 6A boys state finals against the one and only Homewood Patriots. Yes, the HHS Patriots will play the HHS Patriots, and the Homies are going down like Fulmer’s center of gravity.

Hillcrest, the previously #2 team in the state, just beat the previously #1 LeFlore High School on Thursday afternoon. Homewood did a very respectable job themselves, beating Sidney Lanier that morning. But, Homewood fans *cough* Mr. Todd Jones *cough* should expect something a bit tougher out of T-town’s HHS.

We’ve got some flash…

And we’ve got some grit….

So watch out Patriots, the Patriots are coming! Scott Suttles is one of the best coaches in the state, so I trust he’ll have his team ready. I’m looking forward to seeing how this game plays out, as I hope you are. Check it out at 7:00 pm at the BJCC, and maybe TV on a local channel. Let’s Go Hillcrest!

Note: This is all just in good fun, so don’t think I’m really just trying to be overly cocky. Just boys being boys. Homewood is a tough team, and both are very deserving of where they are in the state playoffs.

Hog Tide

This is Tide Druid (me)….

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I’m still no longer paying attention to Alabama basketball. But wait! Something arrived via the USPS.

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Political Break

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is still behind bars, and he’s actually getting some sympathy.

If you missed “60 Minutes” this past Sunday, they discussed Karl Rove’s involvement in trying to bust Siegelman on a number of things. Rove has been accused of hiring someone to follow Siegelman around in order to bust him on whatever charge they could find.

Does this mean something will happen for Siegelman? I really don’t know, and I don’t really care considering his own shady tactics in the past. Most people in this state aren’t too concerned about it, and I can’t blame them. Welcome to Alabama politics everybody!

Saban’s Law

So, Saban made a few small announcements yesterday, which left the Alabama fan base wondering about really goes on behind closed doors in Tuscaloosa. Saban did what most people expected by kicking Elder off the team (although it was inevitable), but he did get rather emotional about Rashad Johnson:

“It is a problem. We cannot tolerate poor judgment.”

“Rashad Johnson is a fine person, one of the leaders in our peer group. He has affected more players on this team in a positive way. He’ a fine student, over a 3-point grade point average and I would be very pleased with my children had the character of Rashad. He put himself in a (bad) situation and got caught up in the middle.”

Rumors are floating around that the arrest had a certain racial twist to it. Heck, people on the Finebaum show were accusing the officers of being Auburn fans. I really don’t like it when people start to depend on two things: A) the race card, which is a standard in the world today, and B) blaming the police for the faults of others.

I doubt Saban would publicly accuse the cops of anything, so I’d rather just leave this race issue off of the list of topics of the week. After all, who wants to hear Paul Finebaum have a debate on race with Donnie from Tick Pecker, Alabama?

In other news, Prince Hall was suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules. Will he be off the team soon? Hard to say for sure, but Hall has been in trouble with Saban ever since Nick got to Tuscaloosa. It’s not a true Brian Cook cut, but it is somewhat close if you dissect it long enough. Hall has the ability, but he seems to be lacking the drive (a common theme in the modern era of Alabama football).

In the world of coaching, Kevin Steele is no longer the Defensive Coordinator…. by title. Instead, UGA alum Kirby Smart has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator. As for Steele, he is now the Defensive Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach (because finding ways to fit ‘A’ight’ into every conversation ever is a two man project!). Yes, Alabama will depend on a Tennessee alum to work in harmony with a Georgia grad.

Fear the Tennessee-Georgia marriage laced with Crimson

This probably explains why Steele never accepted that South Alabama job. Smart was rumored to be interviewing elsewhere for a DC job, so Saban did what he could to make both men happy to keep them around for maybe 2 years…. we’ll see. I imagine Steele will leave before Smart will, so we’ll at least have some consistency on the defensive side of the ball in that regard. Besides, it works out well for both parties. Smart gets to finally call plays on defense, and Steele gets to work the rust off of his head coaching abilities in working as the 2nd in command.

Finally, Time Davis replaces Geoff Collins in an administrative role. Davis coached for Pete Carroll as USC’s O-line coach for a few years before running to work with Saban in Miami. He stayed around for the Cameron administration, but it did very little for his career.

We’ll see how things work out. Luckily for us blog types, we get something to chew on for a day or two during an otherwise boring part of the year.

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When Saban Speaks…

He certainly says a lot.

I’ll just leave you with the high points of the press conference as posted on AL.com (Paul Gattis):

*Jeremy Elder, arrrested last week for robbery, has been dismissed from the team and has withdrawn from school.

*Prince Hall has been suspended indefinitely and will miss spring practice for violating team rules.

*Zeke Knight, after a visit to the hospital earlier this month, is still undergoing tests and is not participating in the offseason workout program.

*Kevin Steele has been promoted to defensive head coach and Kirby Smart has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Saban said that’s an effort to keep two assistant coaches he values on staff.

*Saban on Rashad Johnson, arrested over the weekend for disorderly conduct, ” Rashad Johnson doesn’t need to get suspended from the team.

*Saban talked at length about building better relationships with everyone in the community in regard to growing number of arrests. Asked specifically if he meant the police, Saban again referred to everyone in the community. He also said he had “tremendous respect” for the police.

*He repeatedly described the arrests as a “family tragedy.”

*He praised new offensive coordinator Jim McElwane and said the offensive staff is working well together.

*On the problems on The Strip, Saban said, “Guys have to learn when to walk away and keep their mouth shut. I have never dealt with what we’re dealing with here.”

*He also said some limitations had already been given to players on where they could and couldn’t go. He declined to go into specifics.

*Glen Coffee, Patrick Crump, Terry Grant, Colin Peek, Roy Upchurch, Jimmy Johns, Rolando McClain and Milton Talbert all had offseason surgeries but all should be ready to go in spring practice starting March 13.

Saban Will Press a Conference, Then Chug a Liter of Coke…

Sorry for such a strange title, but it’s late and I’m panicking because I’m still struggling in my mixture of working all day in an internship, then going to night classes….. I don’t recommend it.

So as you may have heard, we’ve had our 8th arrest in 13 to 14 months, which isn’t sitting well with Alabama fans. In response to the previous two arrests, Nick Saban has called a press conference for Tuesday (HT: Gentry Estes- AL.com) Saban is not naive enough to assume that the fans will accept his usual public statements in discipline issues (not that he’s really ever naive), so I imagine he will have a clear and concise message for everyone to hear. Saban usually doesn’t like to dance around the issues -even the Miami “lie” wasn’t dancing around issues as much as it was side stepping- so I’m pretty sure we’ll figure out the direction of the program in terms of off the field discipline. He shouldn’t be caught off-guard like he was after that Capital One Bowl shocker against Iowa.

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I just wanted another excuse to post this picture

Still, he has an opportunity to address some key issues face to face with the cameras in order to show a unified path for Alabama football. He must do this for the fans, the press, and future recruits (he always takes into account what his actions will do to recruiting). If he can successfully use this PC to turn the mood of Alabama fans, he should have relatively smooth sailing for spring drills.

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I’m Breaking It Off With Gottfried

This is Tide Druid (me)…..

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