If The University of Alabama is playing against the University of Texas, you can’t expect South Florida Sports fans to care, right? Well, I CARE! I have a few good reasons to care about tonight’s game. I’m cheering for the Texas Longhorns tonight. Not because I’m an alumnus of The University of Texas, nor because I’m from Texas, I’m not, nor have I been to Texas, yet. But for a multitude of reasons that I shall explain right…now. How many could I find? Six. This number is of importance. Just read.
1. Texas has provided good karma for Miami when it comes to sports.
In the 1973 NFL season (Super Bowl played in 74) the Miami Dolphins won their second consecutive Super Bowl defeating the Minnesota Vikings. Where was this game played? Rice Stadium, in Houston, Texas, 163.5 miles away from the Austin campus of the University of Texas at Austin. In 2006, the Miami Heat won the NBA title against the Dallas Mavericks in the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas, 195 miles away from the Austin campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Next year, the Super Bowl is being held in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, 137 miles from the Austin Campus of the University of Texas at Austin. If we can send some good karma to the great state of Texas, they’ve proven that they’re more than happy to return the favor (I’d like to think that since obviously Dallas was cheering for their Mavs in 06, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, and maybe Austin sent some karma the Heat’s way.)
2. Ricky Williams=Texas Longhorn.
Rule of thumb, cheer for the alma mater of an important player on your team. Now I know, Justin Smiley went to Alabama, and yes, without an O-Line your running backs can’t be, running backs, but, I have an attachment to Ricky that I don’t with Smiley, no homo.
3. People from Texas are great and friendly.
This is the absolute truth. You have a seven-time Tour de France winning cancer survivor, my favorite cubs pitcher of all time, the meanest, toughest S.O.B. in wrestling history, The Show-stopper, a great singer who died before her time and inadvertently got JLO her big break, Charlie’s Original Angel, Wooderson (Dazed in Confused actually set in Texas…you know if you’re into awesome movies), and of course someone very special to me. I could name more, but I want to keep this short and I have a lot more to write.
Ok Canes fans…this should give you plenty of reason to cheer against Alabama. Going into the Sugar Bowl, #1 vs. #2 for the National Championship that year, The Hurricanes were favored by 8 points. Well, in typical Dennis Erickson era Canes fashion, they showed up a little late to the game and thought they had it won just by showing up. But then Alabama got a 13-6 lead at halftime. The Canes needed a momentum shifting play. They thought they had one in the third quarter, after trailing 20-6. “Heisman winner” Gino Torretta (I don’t believe he should’ve won it, it should’ve gone to Marshall Faulk that year) threw a beautiful pass to Lamar Thomas, who flat out SMOKED Bama cornerback George Teague and was on his way to an 86 yard TD reception to put the Canes back within a Touchdown, that is until Thomas decided to slow down and Teague stripped him from behind. Why am I so tired of this play? Well first off, if you’re a halfway decent CB playing in the SEC, you should be able to catch up to someone who slows down and strip the ball from someone who’s carrying it as lackadaisical as a disgruntled FedEx delivery man would carry a package on his last day at work. Plus, the play was called back by an offsides penalty meaning it was a free play for the Canes, had he scored they would’ve declined the penalty. Did it prevent a touchdown? Yes. Was it one of the greatest plays in college football history? HELL NO! It doesn’t compare to the Cal-Stanford kickoff return in 82, or the LSU Hail Mary against Kentucky a few years back, or the Flutie play, or ANY of Boise State’s plays from the 07 Fiesta Bowl. OVER-RATED! Alabama, you may now shut the fuck up about that play!
5. They pushed Mike Shula out of the head coaching job.
Did Mike Shula deserve to get fired from the University of Alabama? It depends. I mean, the guy recruited most of this year’s National Championship team for God’s sake! Plus, while recruiting said players, Alabama faced severe sanctions from the NCAA brought on by other coaches such as his predecessor Dennis Francione. Now, Alabama didn’t interview anyone other than Saban in their coaching search, more on that in a minute. The way Shula was treated on the way out was egregious and should not be forgotten considering he is Miami-raised (and a graduate of my high school, Columbus High ’82)
6. Nick Saban
Really the only reason I needed, but considering how thick the average student at the University of Alabama is, I had to name others. Saban left a job while still under contract and to make matters worse lied about his intentions when all the signs pointed to him leaving. That is the slimiest of slimy moves, only to be topped by what Bobby Petrino did to the Atlanta Falcons the year after. Look, we get it, it’s different to coach in college than in the pros. Lou Holtz flopped with the Jets then went on to great success at Notre Dame, Rich Brooks flopped with the Rams before doing well at Kentucky, Butch Davis was atrocious in Cleveland, and we all know how well Spurrier did with the Washington Redskins. However, none of them left until either their contracts expired, or they were shown the door. They didn’t lie about their intentions while with their NFL teams (Davis did lie about his intentions while with the Canes though) and they stuck it thru until the bitter end. Saban gave up after one bad year (make that one bad mistake: Culpepper over Brees) instead of seeing what 07 could bring. Because of that the Dolphins had to find a new coach when they didn’t expect to, bring in a new staff, and the whole organization became a complete mess which they’re still trying to dig out of. (Think about it, 18-15 since going 1-15 is pretty damn good!)
Now is it rational for me to hate Nick Saban for doing something that most people do every day and leave one job for another? I say yes, usually people are forced to be held up to their contract. NFL players are forced to be held to their contract, so should coaches (coaches in college should be forced to be held to their contracts to.) He not only left, he managed to attack Miami on the way out, which is funny because he never lived in Miami, he lived in Weston, worked in Davie, and on Sundays when the phins were at home played in Miami Gardens. He pretty much blamed everyone in Miami for the problems the Dolphins faced except himself. He was a self-proclaimed secondary guru that didn’t make much of a secondary, he chose Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees, didn’t put together an O-Line, and the entire operation had about as much transparency as a brick wall. He was a jerk to the fans and the media, which made it worse when he made his decision to leave. He’s just a glad-handing, self-serving jerk. I’ve tried to warn Alabama fans about him and how if Bama faces any NCAA sanctions (based off their history the last few years pretty likely) and he gets a job offer someplace else, he’d leave there too. They don’t believe me now, but I hope that I’m correct, much like I hope I’m correct about my prediction for this evenings game.
Texas 38 Alabama 30.