6 DEC 09: Catch 22
For several decades, the University of Alabama fight song seemed very antiquated. It has a line about winning the Rose Bowl - but the rules for competing in the Rose Bowl barred Alabama from taking part. And no one ever seemed to suggest the Crimson Tide join the Big Ten conference.
But it appears Alabama will play inside the Rose Bowl come January. The Tide topped Florida 32-13 Saturday evening to win the Southeastern Conference title. Except they'll play for the Bowl Championship Series title, not in the Rose Bowl game itself. Who can work out something, so the cheerleaders can ride in a parade float?
Alabama gained revenge for last year's SEC title game, by beating Florida at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Consider what the alternative might have been. Another trip to the Sugar Bowl to face an undefeated Mountain West Conference champion - and this time potentially getting run over by a bunch of frogs.
Did you notice all the times the number 22 came up in Saturday's game? Florida had won 22 games in a row. Alabama won its 22nd Southeastern Conference title. Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram wears #22. About the only thing with a 23 was the number of ingredients in Dr. Pepper.
Mark Ingram scored three touchdowns for the Tide. But the CBS announcers noted for some reason, he developed leg cramps after the game. That sometimes happens to me after long runs - only they tend to happen in the middle of the night. If they happen hours later, does that mean my body's stronger?
The Alabama radio broadcasters noted something unusual about the victory celebration. Coach Nick Saban did NOT get the cliche "Gatorade bucket" over his head. The broadcast team said that's because the job of winning a national title isn't finished yet. I thought it might be due to the fact that Gatorade was created at the University of Florida.
(That reminds me: I learned a new word from reading online comments about the Alabama-Georgia game. It's "HATER-ade" - which sounds like someone who's just joined the Taliban.)
The Alabama win means a Phenix City Central graduate is likely to take the field for the B.C.S. title game. Earl Alexander is a junior wide receiver, but he's only had four catches this season. It's like he's been lost in a maze - in this case, starting wide receiver Marquis Maze.
The Alabama marketing campaign for the B.C.S. title game already is underway. As of Saturday night, you could buy a replica of the jersey Mark Ingram will wear in January for only $64.95. And then people wonder why such a high number of Alabama households are below the poverty line....
But back to that fight song: Alabama has a 5-0 record in Rose Bowl games. Its last appearance in Pasadena, California was in 1946 - when the Crimson Tide was coached by Frank Thomas. [True/Tide media guide] It makes Thomas's 500 home-run career even more remarkable....
Alabama capped a perfect football season, by beating Southern California in the 1946 Rose Bowl. But even then, the schedule was open to criticism. Two of the wins came over military bases, at the end of World War II. And if Alabama never even played Auburn, can you REALLY say the season was perfect?
(So let's see - U.A. from the SEC will play for the B.C.S. title near L.A. And for once, those initials will NOT stand for Lower Alabama.)
Several places in the Columbus area had "viewing parties" to watch the Southeastern Conference championship game. WTVM found one at Ben's Chop House on Sidney Simons Boulevard - which probably was the most pricey place to watch, with a two-martini minimum.
It appears Alabama will tangle with Texas for the B.C.S. title. The Longhorns escaped with a last-second win Saturday night over Nebraska - and regained that last second only through an instant replay review. Football has moved beyond a "game of inches" to a game of nanoseconds.
Another area college football team had reason to celebrate Saturday night. Georgia Tech won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship by clubbing Clemson 39-34. Georgia Bulldog fans will argue that only makes Georgia Tech the best football team in South Carolina.
The ACC title tilt in Tampa came down to the final drives. Jonathan Dwyer ran for the winning Georgia Tech score with 1:20 remaining, then the Yellow Jacket defense stopped Clemson on downs. On a night when neither team punted, any stop made a fan's jaw drop.
Did I hear the Georgia Tech radio sideline reporter correctly - that assistant coach Giff Smith was so fired up before the game that he broke his hand? Maybe he should learn from Tim Tebow, and join hands with other players in prayer instead.
Some Georgia Tech fans threw oranges onto the field, as the final seconds ran off the clock. Either the Yellow Jackets are going to play in the Orange Bowl, or those fans planned to get their vitamin C for the weekend by drinking peach liqueur in Tampa bars.
It's easy to forget that when Georgia Tech shared the national college football title in 1990, its bowl game was NOT one of the majors. The Yellow Jackets played at Orlando in the Florida Citrus Bowl. This was back in the good old days - when national title games sometimes were arranged through haggling by the highest bidder.
Saturday night's tilt in Tampa showed the difference between Atlantic Coast Conference football and Southeastern Conference football. The ACC title game did NOT sell out, only drawing about 57,000 fans. And it really says something when the Ledger-Enquirer doesn't bother to send a reporter.
-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Check "On the Flop!" <--
E-MAIL UPDATE: We're always open to suggestions for a better blog. Here's the latest one....
Your blog could do with a graphic or two. Go find a small inexpensive digital camera, some photo manipulation software and use an original picture to break the monotony.
I just discovered your blog through my interest in Columbus and it's history. You have some very funny written scenarios so why not use some "Show n' Tell" to accent the story?
Here are some samples from my blog.
Thank you for sharing those -- but it's interesting that one of the "top ten posts" in the link only has a sports logo for Michigan State University. Apparently gas is too expensive up north to drive around for some pictures from faraway places.
We actually do have a digital camera, and we post photos here from time to time. This writer must not have seen last Tuesday's tour of the new Muscogee County Public Education Center. I didn't need "manipulation" for any of those pictures. Each shot of the building made it look equally expensive.
While some bloggers carry a camera everywhere they go "just in case," I don't normally do that. I certainly wouldn't take one for a two-block walk to the convenience store - because if I did, a beggar might offer to swap it for a half-empty bottle of soda.
Now let's see what else is worth a look this weekend:
+ Columbus Police reported a man was shot in the thigh on Buena Vista Road, while hosting a late-night party at his home. When in doubt, buy that extra bag of cheese puffs.
+ The Lee County Sheriff's Department raised $1,000, to buy a former deputy 50 pairs of handcuffs for use in Iraq. The challenge now is for Iraqi police to handcuff the drivers, before they load the dynamite in their cars.
+ The annual "SafetyCab" service to prevent year-end drunk driving began in Columbus. In fact, it began about a week earlier than usual. Are bars so desperate for customers that beer prices are dropping?
+ A horse shoeing specialist went to Fort Benning, to take care of horses on post at no charge. I can understand why he took care of the horses - it was too cold outside for the commanders to play a regular game of horseshoes.
BURKARD'S BEST BETS: Gas for $2.40 a gallon at Marathon on Warm Springs Road in midtown.... milk for $2.25 a gallon at Wal-Mart.... and someone to call TV stations Monday, complaining a Muscogee County school's heaters aren't working....
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