Sick PC and Dave Hart

Sorry for the MIA status, but my computer has been sick today, and I’m not sure when it will get better.

Get well soon

But there is some important news that you’ve probably heard: Mal Moore may have his successor, and his name isn’t Ozzie Newsome.

Dave Hart, the former Florida State AD has been hired by Alabama, who will “assist current AD Mal Moore with the day-to-day operation of the athletic department, sources have told The Tuscaloosa News.” (Tuscaloosa News). AKA, probably the next in line once Mal retires.

Some Alabama fans wanted Ozzie because of his Bryant status and his high profile job with the Baltimore Ravens. While I think Ozzie is a good business man, there are some differences between being an NFL General Manager and a College AD. Hart is an Alabama man as well, playing basketball under C.M. Newton back in the day.

For some reason, FSU seems to have plenty of Alabama connections, and vise versa.

This seems like mixture of our last two hires. Some people wanted an experience AD, so we hired that Bockrath character, who ended up running off Gene Stallings. After Bockrath left, some felt that we needed an “Alabama man”, somebody that understood the University of Alabama. So we turned to Mal Moore, who had very little administrative experience in the College landscape. Now, we have a bit of both in Dave Hart. He’s younger than Mal, has experience as an AD, and has Alabama connections.

Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. I really don’t know that much about Hart.

Crimson/White…. ROUNDTABLE!!!

Back to back roundtable posts…. I’m tempted to just bask in the glow. After all, blogging is serious business, and society should always appreciate when we bloggers bestow our graceful wit and insight to you, the reader.

In all seriousness, I am the host of this week’s roundtable. I have thought long and hard about what questions to ask our roundtable members. I’ve tried to avoid repeating everything in previous topics, providing questions that I hope will cause everyone to not only think, but have a healthy conversation in the comments section. We’ll see if it is successful or not.

1) Complete this sentence: Alabama’s biggest improvement from the 2007 season will be __________.

Alabama’s biggest improvement from the 2007 season will be the Offensive Line. Yes, I will drink the O-line kool-aid. We have a senior Center and a stud of a Left Tackle, two positions that are of great importance in football today. If they can finally live up to expectations (and I think they will), our offense might finally start rolling.

2) Who will be the unsung hero of the 2008 Crimson Tide? This is a player that hasn’t received any pre-season attention, nor will he receive any post-season attention from the media. Yet without his presence, the Tide would be lost.

Most people might not look to the special teams, but I think it could very well be Leigh Tiffin. I know that Corey Smith may end up being the better Kicker when it is all said and done, but I think Tiffin will be somebody we need to perform. Kickers rarely get the praise unless they hit a big field goal against a big time opponent, but they sure do seem to get the blame when it comes down to missing a kick or two (see Arkansas 2006).

He seemed like he was trying very hard to improve last year, and I think we could all agree that he gave us a good effort throughout the season. He’ll have experience on his side this year, which will hopefully mean a good performance in Fayetteville and many other road games.

3) This is a rather vague question considering we haven’t even started fall practice, but what bowl game some we expect for this Alabama team?

No more bitter cold nights in Bossier City/Shreveport for this blogger. If I had to just pick it right now, I’d pick either the Peach Bowl (stick with this name!!) or the Outback Bowl. I’d take a Liberty Bowl, but I would not be an extremely excited Bama fan.

4) This next one has to do with the recent hub-bub over the sabbatical Kenny Stabler is taking from the radio broadcast. I would like you to pick your ultimate Alabama football radio broadcast team. Pick an announcer, color analyst, a sideline reporter or two, and anything else you’d like to add.

Eli Gold 2.0 (Announcer): I know some don’t like how he rambles on, or how he fails to mention the down, time, and score, but Eli is a great talent that I don’t think we really need to let go at this point. I’d upgrade him to Eli 2.0 so we could get the down, time, and score more often, but I still like Eli all the same.

Joe Namath (Color Analyst): I know, some opposing fans might giggle at my choices of replacing a man with alcohol issues with another man with past alcohol issues, but I don’t care at all. The radio broadcast is for Alabama fans. Namath brings years of experience, blunt honesty, and great personalities that would delight listeners to no end.

Barry Krauss and Shaun Alexander (Sideline Reporters): Even though I’m still hoping for Shaun to get another shot at the NFL, I understand that his days would be numbered even if he got a contract. But, if he was willing to participate in state wide radio broadcast, I think Shaun would give the younger Tide fans a thrill on the radio. He’s friendly, humble, and just plain popular. I think Krauss has done an excellent job so far, so I’d keep him.

Tom Roberts (Pre/Post-Game Host): I like Tom, I really do. But, he isn’t a color analyst, and really does well with the radio show (even though some of his questions are not the best in the world). He’s loyal to Alabama, and has a good cadence while on the air.

CW Roundtable

Having failed the Roundtable in the past, I am an active member this week.

Picture Me Rollin’ is the host with the most.

1. Given your preference, do you choose the watch the game on television or in-person and why?

If I can afford it, I choose in-person. I’m usually a tense person in the heat of battle on the grid iron, and for some reason I do better watching it live than at home. I’m not sure why that happens, but I just don’t feel so stressed when watching JPW fumbling the football in person as apposed to on ESPN. It is just better for my health I guess.

2. As far as going to the game, do you prefer very comfortable or really sharp, in your attire?

As I’ve gotten older, my style has changed over the years. I used to just wear a Bama t-shirt and jeans or shorts depending on the weather. But, in an effort to try and be a respectable adult, I’ve switched to a good crimson colored golf (or polo) shirt with jeans or shorts. I still wear a Bama cap, so I guess I can claim that I’m presentable, but not too dressed up to be uncomfortable the entire game.

3. What’s your favorite gameday recipe or alternately, it’s just not tailgating without…

It’s just not tailgating without… that special food representing the other team. I used to hang with a tailgating group that would eat ribs for Arkansas, gumbo for LSU, etc. Anything easy to figure out that is (Vanderbilt would be tough). It was wonderful. I don’t know if they’ll be there this year with the new rules on tailgating, but I look forward to it. I just hope we can play Florida again so I can see what they bring.

4. What is your drop-dead have to be in your seat time?

At least 30 minutes before kick-off. I like to see the stadium  during pre-game. Plus, when I was in the band, we had to be there fairly early in order to get ready for what we had to do. Now, I’m just a creature of habit, although I’ve shrunk it down to about 30 minutes.

5. Is there any paraphernalia you have to take in the game with you?

My Alabama cap that I’ve had for about 7 years now.

One Last Thought

I’ve got one thing to state that people seem to be ignoring:

This lawsuit is not being brought by the University of Alabama, nor is it being brought by the fan base. In fact, Fulmer isn’t even a party to the case. This is Wendell whats-his-face from Chattanooga, TN suing the NCAA over his actions involved with a former Tennessee player. Sure, it stems from the Alabama probation saga, but that is really the only tie to The University of Alabama.

Does this law firm look foolish? Of course they do. How can a legitimate organization not try to contact somebody by phone or going through a local judge before even considering this kind of action? I don’t know, but I don’t think legitimate works in this case.

And I will say this: if Fulmer didn’t want to be involved in any messes, he should’ve followed the rules himself in turning us in, or at least be forthright like Spurrier (who wrote a letter describing it and signing his name).

More Lawsuit Action. Auburn May Benefit

-Update-

Here is a link to said Subpoena

-End of Update-

And get this, it is totally unrelated to Ronnie Cottrell, Tommy Gallion, Ray Kellar, or Logan Young.

In fact, it has to do with somebody claiming he was never associated with Alabama in the first place (the University of Alabama has been trying like crazy to get past all of this time and time again, so I doubt they knew about whatever the heck is going on.) This one involves Wendell Smith:

Kenny Smith, a defensive lineman at Stevenson High School, originally signed with Alabama after the 1996 football season but didn’t qualify academically and later went to Tennessee.

Wendell Smith’s lawsuit names the NCAA and members of the Committee on Infractions, including chairman Thomas Yeager. It is unrelated to a suit filed in Tuscaloosa by former Tide coaches Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams against the NCAA, Alabama and a number of individuals.

“My main concern is with the NCAA,” Wendell Smith said. “I don’t want to do anything to hurt the University of Alabama.”

He has admitted giving Kenny Smith $20,000 in the mid-1990s and arranging financing for three automobiles for the player’s family. But he maintains that it had nothing to do with Alabama.

Fulmer was served the subpoena at SEC Media days in shocking fashion as nobody- and I mean NOBODY- saw this coming.

You wonder about the title? Oh well, Fulmer has to testify days before the Tennessee-Auburn game, something that should benefit the Tigers greatly as Fulmer will have to worry about yet another legal threat.

I think I speak for a majority of Alabama fans when I say I’m tired of this stuff. We’ve all tried to move on time and time again, but people just keep bringing it back up. Were there some shady tactics on the part of the NCAA by breaking their own rules in order to gain testimony? Yes, but the past is the past. The NCAA is an ineffective organization now since you can in fact sue them repeatedly to dissprove what they were saying (see Alabama cases, Rick Neuheisel, etc.)

Sure, I know there will be fans who will jump for joy (there are these kind in every fan base) who might make up some of Finebaum’s caller base today. But, as I’ve said before, I know many more who want to get over this ASAP.

I’m excited about Alabama football’s future, and I certainly don’t want its past to stay the main topic for 10 long years.

Les Miles and SEC Personality

A few days ago, LSU coach Les Miles took what some would call a shot at Alabama:

“not to make too much of that game, as it seems like a lot of teams in Louisiana beat that team.”

While there are those that seem to be somewhat upset with that statement (trust me, not nearly as many as you would think), I am not. The SEC is in need of some coaches that have personalities… but more on that later.

What I do take issue with is Les backing down when pressed for another statement by trying to suck-up to those he joked about:

“I want you to know something, I have great respect for the University of Alabama”

Listen Les, if you’re going to take a crack at an opponent, stick with it. Don’t take shots when you’re safe at home, only to back down when you enter enemy territory. Even though you’ll take some heat from some in this state, you’ll gain my respect for standing behind what you say. If you don’t want to support your statements, then don’t say them in the first place…ok? It seems somewhat two-faced to me.

this is the best photoshop you’ll get

As mentioned earlier, I don’t take issue with what he said for a few simple reasons:

1) We lost those games. I promise you I’ll forever be angrier with every Alabama person involved in letting ULM win than a Louisiana coach talking to a group of LSU alums in some random hotel ballroom.

2) The SEC needs more personality during the off-season. Some might do a double take and wonder how such a conference with fanbases and players like no other could be in any more need of personality, but I stand by what I say (see Les, it isn’t hard.)

With the exception of Miles, Saban, Nutt, and sometimes Richt (see Cocktail Party), the other coaches are lacking in flair and media grabbing statements. Yeah, there’s Spurrier, but I really question how much longer he’ll stay.

Ever had to sit through an interview involving Bobby Petrino, Bobby Johnson, or Urban Meyer? It’s boring! They either try too hard not to say anything inflammatory, or just lack personality all-together. Tuberville is the king of passive aggressive jabs, but he too can be dull when avoiding statements that will tick people off outright. Fulmer says “heck” a lot, but not much else outside of actual football. Croom and Brooks? They can be ornery, but I don’t actually pay attention to them outside of game day.

The coaches are the stars of this league, and they make the games so much more fun.

Now, you don’t have to just make jokes about your opponents to provide the fans some flare. Take Houston Nutt for instance… (pictures provided by Razorback Expats, EDSBS)

His statements don’t make headlines (most of the time), but he is without a doubt the best physical comedian of the SEC!

Have I rambled too much? Probably. Enjoy SEC Media Days where Nick Saban will be present on Thursday.

Alabama Changes Online Store

The Alabama Bookstore, a long-time independent bookstore located on the strip next to campus, has lost their status as the official online store for RollTide.com. Now, the University is giving the contract to a Florida based company. From The Tuscaloosa News:

The company is the official store of the Southeastern Conference along with six other NCAA athletic conferences, two NFL teams, an NBA team and 13 other NCAA schools. The site also offers fan gear for 354 NCAA teams and all professional teams.

“We’re able to capitalize on economies of scale and really devote resources to customer service,” Swallow said.

David Jones, owner of the Alabama Bookstore, sent an e-mail to customers last week alerting them to the change. He said he’s not bitter, but is disappointed the contract went to an out-of-state firm.

“It’s a huge company, and I’m sure they’ll do a good job,” Jones said. “But they are not Alabama graduates. You’d think this university would be loyal to its graduates.”

Make of that what you will.

Speaking of Alabama merchandise, the new Nike sideline shirts are in (I think):

Still Nike-fied, but an improvement over last year. I do have one simple question for the “Just Do It” brigade…. why can’t you simply use regular buttons on the shirt? I swear, every year when they release these things they have at least 2 different types of buttons around the collar area. (see the two reds and a pearl snap button from a few years ago).

You know it’s the offseason when bloggers are belly-aching over the buttons on a golf shirt.