Saturday, December 23, 2006

The University of Alabama Football Report Christmas Extravaganza

As the University of Alabama’s coaching search marks its one month anniversary (and they said it would never last), let us not forget the reason for the season. Stoke the fires, open your doors, and welcome visitors into your home.

The Ghost of Christmas Past:

We may no longer speak ill of Bill Curry. Let history be rewritten, as he was fired for some other reason than his inability to beat Auburn. How could that be true now? The man only lost to them three times in a row, a feat Mike Shula might see as amateurish.

The Ghost of Christmas Present:

We may no longer speak ill of Mike Dubose or Mike Price. Whatever dalliances either prior Mike may have had with boosters in Tennessee or bustiers in Florida, neither were fired for representing the University of Alabama in an unflattering manner. In firing our most recent Mike, Alabama has spoken the unspeakable: College football is about winning, and everything else is make believe.

Mike Shula may have been the most decent man to have ever been Alabama’s head football coach. But, to paraphrase Alan Barra, those men we admire are not the same as those men necessary to shape the men we admire and do not possess the same qualities.

The Ghost of Christmas Future:
We may no longer speak ill of Dennis Franchione. Rich Rodriguez will not be the next head coach of the Crimson Tide and Nick Saban most likely won’t be either. But whoever this man is, he will most likely follow the same pattern: When asked if he will be the next head coach of the Crimson Tide, he will deny it.

Eventually, someone will be lying. And that someone will be our coach.

Offer nothing but good cheer to Rodriguez. If anything he’s the anti-Fran, one who lied about leaving and then stayed – although asking his seniors to “hold the rope” was a bit over the top.

Earlier this year, Coach Rod asked West Virginia to commit to winning as much as he had, to upgrade the facilities across the board, to increase the salaries of his staff. Instead, West Virginia offered him an increase in his own salary and nothing more… until a plane from Tuscaloosa landed in Morgantown.

Coach Fran, for all his smarmy, self-serving, cowardly, sniveling charm, was most pilloried for not addressing his players about his decision to leave.

Mike Shula was not offered the chance.

Other ghosts come calling around Christmas, ones dragging chains for their sins and warnings for the sinners. Whatever rattling can be heard in Bryant Hall this season should be paid attention.

The old wives say more suicides occur on Christmas day more than any other time of year. Apparently, the lonely can stand only so much of others’ bliss. Is that true? Does it matter? If we’ve learned anything this year, what we once knew as true can’t be trusted.

God bless us every one.

Roll Tide.