There is news that former Texas A&M and Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione will do the Color Analysis for ESPN Radio during the Alabama – Clemson game in the Georgia Dome. If there are enough fans buying beer at the concessions during the game, I imagine any altercation with Fran would go a little something like this….
Dave Barnett: We’re live from the Georgia Dome! Welcome to the ESPN Radio broadcast of Alabama vs. Clemson, an exciting match-up for the opening of college football. My name is Dave Barnett, and I’m joined by this man sitting to my right, Coach Dennis Franchione. Welcome, Coach!
Dennis Franchione: Thanks Dave, it’s great to be here. *dodges a thrown red Dixie cup*
Barnett: Uh… So Coach, Tommy Bowden has himself a bonafide Top 10 team here. How do you handle a group of players when they are being bombarded with expectations and predictions of championships?
Fran: Well Dave, one thing you need is good leadership from your captains. They have to play their part in keeping the team focused. You yourself need to show no signs of worry or anything of that nature since they can sense it in you on the sideline. Other than that, you really just… oh, hold on a sec *dodges a hurled whiskey bottle*. Whew…. as I was saying, you have to take it one day at a time and keep a good schedule so that the players don’t feel out of sorts. Players need structure when it comes to preparing for football games.
Barnett: Do we need to get a plexiglass screen up here coach?
Fran: Don’t worry about me, I’ve been exercising this off-season so I’m much more nimble.
Barnett: *a tone of nervousness in his voice* Well… uh, so let’s talk about your former school, the University of Alabama. Nick Saban is in his second year as the Tide coach, bringing in a highly praised recruiting class. Of course, he has some depth concerns, and will probably have to play a bit of a balancing act in knowing when and when not to play his freshmen. How difficult can that be for a coach?
Fran: Oh, it can be fairly difficult. Of course, it depends on the situation of your program, such as the actual talent of your older players. You don’t want to just pull a solid player out to appease fans by replacing him with the likes of Julio….. *avoids a flaming Fran bobble-head doll*… Julio Jones or Jerrell Harris, but you do need to play them eventually if they have a clear athletic advantage over the older player.
Barnett: This is getting crazy. *flips open cell phone* Honey? Hey, it’s Dave. Listen, I was wondering when my new life insurance policy is effective. Do you have the papers nearby? What’s that? Oh, no reason. Ok…. Ok. Sure, I’ll meet you for dinner with Tony and Martha on Monday if I can. Love you too…. *gulps* bye.
So Coach, we both know that Clemson has a dynamic duo in the backfield. How would you utilize them in your offensive game plan?
Fran: *side steps an air-born truck tire* I’m sorry Dave, I missed that last one.
Barnett: How would you use Clemson’s high power backfield?
Fran: Well it’s pretty simple, you use a mixture of run and pass to keep them from stuffing the box too often, but set up some big time blocking to take advantage of their speed and power.
Barnett: Let’s say you’re the Alabama coach…
Fran: *chuckles* well, I’ll do my to pretend I have experience coaching Alabama.
Barnett: how do you defend that backfield with such a different group of defenders from last year?
Fran: Well, you need to be able to put a lot of pressure on the QB, so that they have to depend on the run more. Then, once you rattle his cage, you have to play a very aggressive run defense and pray like heck it works.
Barnett: Hey, whatta know. We actually got past a question without any flying obje… *Barnett is unable to complete his sentence as he is hit with a car door*
Fran: Duck and weave rookie, duck and weave. Can we replace him with Musburger? He’s used to angry fans hurling things in his direction.
Oh for the love of… would you look at this?! *bends over and peels off a script A car magnet* These fans should really calm down. This magnet could’ve landed on one of our computers!!
Barnett: *slowly come to as he rolls over to sits up* How do you handle it Dennis? HOW?!
Fran: You just get used to it. Heck, Bill Curry wakes up every morning with a dead horse head in his bed. It has something to do with a group of sarcastic fans unhappy with the term “Alabama Mafia”.
I’m lucky since they don’t visit Texas too often. You’re lucky too, considering you took that door on the beef of your back.
Barnett: Geez. We’ll be back with more after a message from out sponsers. *cuts off mic* Medic!!