Wednesday, November 17, 2010

University of Alabama Football Report for 11/17/10: Humpday Edition

What in the holy hell is going on around here? Two losses in a season and now we're the Thursday night special on ESPN-Esperanto? College football is made for Saturdays, damn it. It's easier to sleep through a sermon hungover than a business meeting.

No matter. It could be worse, after all. We could have the federales sniffing around for a money trail connecting bingo-hall funds to our Heisman candidate.

Ah, what's that? You'd like to hear more on this matter? Such kerfuffle will have to wait until next week. For now, we've this matter of a football game to play, albeit, if things go accordingly, not much of one.

In truth, the Georgia State program is not yet through its first full season and should not pose serious competition over the course of four quarters. Despite that, the game has drawn more attention than most of its ilk, which can be owned up to the return of former Alabama coach Bill Curry.

You'd have little trouble finding people in Alabama with good things to say about Bill Curry. Unfortunately, they're most likely Auburn fans. In Curry's three-year tenure on the Alabama sideline, he was 0-3 against our in-state rival (a feat a more recent coach would call amateurish). However, if it can be believed, his record against Auburn didn't lead to his termination.

Curry was a bad fit for Alabama, or vice versa, depending on how you look at it. He presented himself as an honor-bound Quixote, determined to take on the "Alabama mafia" and their influence over the program.

But not so honorable that he wouldn't back out of a game with A&M until his quarterback was healed up.

Nor did his resoluteness prevent him from pleading for sympathy in the press to deflect attention from a loss here or there.

The less said about the you-know-what thrown through the you-know-where, the better.

What is seldom remembered now is that Curry wasn't fired; he quit. For Kentucky! And unless you're planning on shooting free throws with that football, you don't consider that gig a step up.

You don't leave Tuscaloosa for Lexington if your focus is on championships. And if championships aren't your thing, maybe you shouldn't have been in Tuscaloosa to begin with. In that, we can find a lesson: if one is determined to play the victim, life will oblige easily enough.

In time, as younger generations stovepipe themselves into self-reinforcing echo chambers that rely more and more on crowd-sourced ad populum rather than challenging outsider viewpoints, I suspect that Bill Curry will be absorbed along with Dennis Franchione and Mikes DuBose, Price and Shula into a composite character--an amalgam coach who hired strippers for secretaries, never beat Auburn, and eventually followed Bryant's coaching stops backwards to Maryland.

This Bill-Mike Franchibosla will be remembered with a mix of resentment and pity. He will be seen, for various reasons, as not man enough for the job at hand. He will be acknowledged but not loved, defined by his shortcomings more than his successes. He will be judged by a standard unfit to his abilities and it will be unfair.

Still, if only because he held onto something greater than himself before it slipped away, he will be remembered.

Welcome back, Coach.

Roll Tide.