Fumbled football trophy joins list of crystal mishaps

Decatur Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.

And now, the story from today’s newspaper about the unfortunate incident that turned a treasure into trash …

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama loved its crystal football to pieces.

By Saturday night, that’s all that remained of the Crimson Tide’s glittering reward for winning the last BCS national championship.

The Coaches Trophy met its early demise following Saturday’s A-Day Game at a team function. Only shards of Waterford Crystal remained today. Valued at $30,000, the now-iconic award was first presented in 1986. Athletic department spokesman Jeff Purinton said the parent of a current player stumbled on a rug that was under the trophy display.

This wasn’t, however, the first time such a mishap required a broom and dust pan.
Florida’s 2006 crystal football was famously fumbled, or knocked from its pedestal, by a recruit. The culprit, Orson Charles, ended up playing for archrival Georgia.

Alabama is still exploring options to replace its version, but if the case ends like Florida’s, someone will be forking over some cash. The Gators reportedly had to pay $4,000 toward replacing the sparkling ball, which was insured for $8,000.

Florida State also lost two of its Waterford footballs, but without the violent crash and a happier ending. The Seminoles 1993 and ’99 trophies were stolen out of a locked case in 2004.

Despite its sometimes troubled history, the American Football Coaches Association has strict rules regarding the use and handling of the fragile hardware.

“The trophy may not be shown to be broken or shattered, even in simulation,” reads a four-page instruction sheet that comes with the trophy. “The crystal ball may not be shown being dropped, thrown in the air or rolled on the ground.”

Alabama’s fallen trophy had a busy, but short lifespan. A statewide tour allowed fans to pose with pictures at various retail outlets. The football was displayed up until Saturday morning when fans grabbed a few final photos before the A-Day Game.

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