Monthly Archives: July 2009

Good Friday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe and to celebrate the 15oth posting on The Bama Blog.

  • It turns out Nick Saban had a visitor Thursday in Tuscaloosa. His guest: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. The Tulsa World reported on the meeting confirmed by a text message from the Sooner coach. Read more here.
  • There is more reaction on the web to the most disliked sports figure poll released the other day on Forbes’ Web site. Read one here and another here. Remember, Saban landed at No. 9 on that list.
  • Check out this story about Rolando McClain, but expect one in Sunday’s Daily that takes a deeper look at the Decatur native’s rise to the top of the college football world.
  • For those in search of a weakness in Tim Tebow. Here you go: He’s nearsighted. Read about this stunning revelation here.

Details released for Aug. 9 Fan Day

UA just sent out a news release with the details for the Aug. 9 (next Sunday) Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Here’s what the release said:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team’s annual Fan Day is set for Sunday, August 9. The team will hold an open practice in Bryant-Denny Stadium from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Players and coaches will be available for autographs immediately after the practice on the field.

Fans may enter the stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. via the northeast gates (37-38) and occupy the lower bowl. The open practice, which is slated to start at 2:30 p.m., is scheduled to last approximately two hours.

At the conclusion of practice, those wishing to participate in Fan Day will enter the field through gate 16 (near the southwest ramp) and exit via gate 38. Fans who do not wish to view practice and would like to start lining up early can do so beginning at 1:30 p.m. Those fans can enter through gate 16 and the line will wrap around to the west side.

Following practice, the Crimson Tide football team, coaching staff and head coach Nick Saban will be available for autographs on the field. The gate to the field will be open once the autograph session has been set up. Due to meeting commitments for the team and the coaching staff, the session is limited to 45 minutes. In an effort to facilitate as many autographs in the time allowed, fans will be limited to one item per person for autographs, and no posed photographs will be permitted. Posters and photos of Coach Saban will be available to all fans as they enter the stadium.

Soft drinks, water and several food items will be available for a special Fan Day price of 50% off the regular gameday prices. Vendors will be walking through the stadium with concessions available and the stands at gate 32 (field and mezzanine levels) will be open. Alabama merchandise will also be sold on Sunday.

Those attending Fan Day will possibly find campus very congested with traffic and pedestrians, especially areas east of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Students will be back on campus from summer vacation as they move into their respective dormitories. Many will have accompanying family members as well. There will be more parking available at the perimeter campus lots (Softball, Tennis, Rec Center, etc.). Other locations may include the ten Hoor Decks, ten Hoor Surface Lots, Soccer Lot and Moody Music Lot. No special accommodations will be made for recreational vehicles (RVs) on campus. All RVs should park at the Northington Lot near University Mall. Fans should logon to for updates and other pertinent information.

In the event of inclement weather, the autograph session would be moved to the indoor practice facility and fans would enter through the double gate next to the Mal Moore Athletic Facility.

Good Thursday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe.

  • Defensive back/kick return phenom Javier Arenas is one of 52 Division I athletes nominated for the AFCA Good Works team to honor those who give back to the community. A news release sent out by the university says Arenas has volunteered more than 50 hours to the Tuscaloosa community including speaking to schools and making phone calls to children battling cancer. It’s nice to see these high-profile athletes giving back in such an unselfish way.
  • Check out the charts on this link to see how much Alabama pays its assistant football coaches compared to how much some programs spend on their entire football program. Then click here for the full story. Very interesting stuff.
  • Check out what the Montgomery Advertiser is doing with Alabama fans by clicking here.
  • writer Dennis Dodd took on the task of ranking football programs over the span of the decade. Alabama landed at No. 28 sandwiched between BYU and Hawaii. Click here for the link.

Another Tide LB transfers

Linebacker Charlie Higgenbotham became the latest Alabama football player to leave the program in the summer of transfers. The Mountain Brook product is headed to South Alabama to play for his former prep coach Joey Jones, a former Crimson Tide player who is coaching the first-year FCS program in Mobile. To read the official news release, click here.

After sitting out the 2006 season with a redshirt, Higgenbotham played mostly special teams while recording 16 tackles including a sack in his 24 games with the Tide.

He joins the long list of transfers from Nick Saban’s program that closed spring practice well about the 85-scholarship limit set by the NCAA.

In other ranking news, Bryant No. 3 coach ever says Sporting News

Fans might not like Nick Saban, but Bear Bryant’s peers think he was pretty darn good. The Sporting News just released the results of its poll of “118 hall of famers, championship coaches and other experts” that put Bryant at No. 3 behind only John Wooden and Vince Lombardi.

There will be more in the Sporting News magazine when it hits newsstands this week. But for a peak at the story click here. What do you think of these rankings? Post a comment below.

Here are the other members of the top 10:

1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football

Saban 9th most disliked man in sports

The results are in. Nick Saban is hated (or at least not liked).

The research group E-Poll released the results of its most disliked people in sports and the Crimson Tide football coach landed at No. 9.

Forbes Magazine may have ranked in the No. 1 most powerful coach in sports, but the general public apparently hasn’t gotten over his departure from Miami for Tuscaloosa.

Read more about this survey here. And now, the complete list:

1. Michael Vick, former NFL quarterback

2. Manny Ramirez, Los Dodgers outfielder

3. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees third baseman

4. Terrell Owens, Buffalo Bills receiver

5. Kobe Bryant, Laker guard

6. Allen Iverson, NBA free-agent guard

7. Isiah Thomas, Florida International basketball coach

8. Stephon Marbury, NBA free-agent guard

9. Nick Saban, Alabama football coach

10. John McEnroe, former tennis champion / bad boy

BREAKING: Alabama releases NCAA appeal documents

Another story just jumped onto the plate. Read more about it in Wednesday’s paper, but the university released its 29-page appeal for the NCAA textbook case just minutes ago.

The document spells out the appeal. In brief, they make contentions to try and prove the penalties, including vacating 21 football wins were excessive. UA contends the penalties departed from precedent in several ways.

It did not argue the facts of the case but said there were problems with some of the wording in the committee on infractions report.

Read more tomorrow.

A few videos to wet the appetite

Now that practice is about a week from starting, I thought you might want a few more motivating videos to help with the anticipation.

Please note that I did not produce any of these videos nor do I endorse any message. They are just for fun.

Another reminder: Vote on the poll and leave an entry in the caption contest from yesterday.

Reports: RB Jermaine Preyear to transfer

Several media outlets are reporting yet another Crimson Tide transfer. This time it is running back Jermaine Preyear.

The Mobile Press-Register is reporting he is interested in moving on to Jacksonville State.

Incidentally, Preyear was not listed in the 2009 media guide released last week at SEC Media Days. And it adds to the trend of this summer.

An overloaded roster means several scholarship players would have to find other accomodations for the coming season. The program was well above the 85-scholarship limit mandated by the NCAA.

With a loaded backfield packed with running backs, seeing at least one transfer would be expected.

Glen Coffee signs with ‘Niners

Read the story posted below from the Associated Press concerning the signing of former Crimson Tide running back Glen Coffee with the San Francisco 49ers. In other non-news, Andre Smith has still to sign a contract with the Bengals. Stay tuned for updates. Also, add your entry to the caption contest in the previous post.

Now, from the AP:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have signed running back Glen Coffee, their third-round draft pick, to a four-year contract.

The deal was announced by the team Monday night.

The 6-foot, 209-pound Coffee, out of Alabama, is expected to be Frank Gore’s backup this season in coach Mike Singletary’s power running offense. Coffee ran for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Crimson Tide. He finished his collegiate career with 2,107 yards on 410 carries with 14 TDs, and 42 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns.

First-round pick wide receiver Michael Crabtree remains San Francisco’s last unsigned draft pick. He could hold out when the team hold its first training camp practice Saturday.

New feature: The Bama Blog caption contest

Now, introducing a new and occasional feature to the Bama Blog, I offer to you the first picture to be considered in the caption contest. As a favorite challenge between coworkers, my challenge to you is to write a clever caption for the photo provided. Most of the times it is funny so reach deep into the creative half of your brain.

The first photo to caption is below (obviously). It comes from last week’s SEC Media Days and was taken by Associated Press photographer Butch Dill. Look below the photo for an example of what I’m talking about.

Even Nick Saban looks on with skepticism while Nick Saban addresses reporters at SEC Media Days.

Now, to offer your best attempt, click on the comment link below the post. It will say “0 comments” until the first brave reader takes his turn.

The best caption will be featured in a future post with credit given. So impress your buddies and/or coworkers and submit your best caption today.

Mark your calendar: Alabama fan day is Aug. 9

The university has not released complete details, but they did announce this afternoon that it will host the annual football fan day Aug. 9 (Sunday) in Tuscaloosa.

Further details will be released Wednesday, but I thought you might want to make plans to attend the event.

SEC Championship Game staying in Georgia Dome through 2015

The Southeastern Conference and the Georgia Dome will remain partners for five more years. The league just announced a new five-year deal to keep the title game in Atlanta through the 2015 season.

The big game has been played on that field since 1994 and Alabama has won one championship there (1999) with the other coming in 1992 when the inaugural game was played in Birmingham’s Legion Field

Good Monday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe. After skipping the daily ritual at SEC Media Days, it’s back again.

  • Is it blasphemy to suggest any coach is the next Bear Bryant? Well one writer is suggesting it could be Urban Meyer stepping into that role. Read more here.
  • Check out this story (written by my first sports editor at my college paper) about Virginia Tech’s chances of beating Alabama in the season-opener (less than 40 days away). Clemson’s C.J. Spiller apparently likes the Hokies’ odds of winning in the Georgia Dome.
  • According to this writer, Alabama’s Javier Arenas is ready for the big time.
  • Don’t forget to vote on the new poll posted Sunday night.

A few notes for a slow Sunday evening

It’s been a nice quiet weekend following the three SEC Media Days spent in Hoover. That event is pure madness and if you read the blog, you’d know that.

Take a look at the new poll question just posted. It is a feature that has gained popularity as of late and I encourage you to keep at it. This week’s question: Who will be Alabama’s MVP this fall. Vote away.

If you read Sunday’s paper, you’d see a John Parker Wilson story I wrote based on an interview conducted Saturday afternoon in Decatur after he signed autographs at Martin’s on the Beltline. As I was leaving, a group of teenage girls leave the store, I was reminded of his “heart throb status.”

These young ladies nearly fainted as they screamed “Oh my God. He is soooooo hot.” It was funny so I thought I’d pass it along on this slow Sunday evening.