Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jimmy Johns busted for selling cocaine

Tide LB Jimmy Johns arrested for possession, distribution (AP)
Alabama linebacker Jimmy Johns was arrested on felony drug charges Tuesday and kicked off the team, the latest in a string of off-the-field problems for coach Nick Saban’s squad. More >

Jimmy Johns arrested, dismissed from team (Tuscaloosa News)
Narcotics investigators have charged University of Alabama linebacker Jimmy Johns with selling cocaine. More >

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Recent Tide news

From making tackles to saving souls Tuscaloosa News
"When Wayne Davis was a linebacker for the University of Alabama, he was a silent leader. Now, he's taken the pulpit of his hometown church in a much more outspoken role for the congregation and the larger community. 'One of the first things I thought when I saw the Lord leading me to do this, is that I had to begin to teach and establish the fact that leaders are very vital as far as the church is concerned,' Davis said. 'Spiritual leaders are very important as it pertains to carrying out the mission of the church. Our desire is to win the lost. We have to do that through evangelizing. I'm a real big advocate of sound and solid leadership.'"

Bama signee Ray drafted by Dodgers, mulls decision - Mobile Press Register
"Alabama football signee Melvin Ray is considering a professional baseball career instead of playing for the Crimson Tide, according to his father Melvin Sr. The Los Angeles Dodgers presented Ray, a standout receiver and outfielder from Tallahassee, Fla., with the additional option by taking him in the 33rd round today during Major League Baseball's first-year player draft. "We're not sure yet," said Melvin Sr., a former pitcher in the Detroit Tigers' organization. "He's contemplating over this thing tonight or tomorrow. I'm going to call the (Alabama) coaches and everything once he makes that decision."

Self remembered for his integrity
- Florence Times Daily
"Hal Self, who started the modern-day football program at North Alabama in 1949 and served as the Lions' head coach through 1969, died Friday after an extended illness. He was 86."

Destin Hood goes No. 55 to the Washington Nats Mobile Press Register
"Alabama football signee Destin Hood was the first prospect with Crimson Tide ties selected in today's Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Hood, a receiver and shortstop/outfielder from St. Paul's in Mobile, was selected No. 55 by the Washington Nationals."

New Birmingham station for Saban's show - Birmingham News
"The Nick Saban Show" will move to CBS 42 in Birmingham when the Alabama football season kicks off this fall, the station announced today."

Who knows? Preseason sports annuals rank Tide 20th... and 30th.

The two leading sports annuals in our market, Athlon and Lindy's, have somewhat divergent ideas on the Tide's prospects this year. Both rave over the team's recruiting efforts, the nation's best, and agree Saban will produce a championship down the line. But one feels this will still be a major rebuilding year while the other is a little more optimistic.

Athlon cites heavy losses of starters on defense as cause for concern. The shifting of several players to new positions in the offseason (some have even switched sides of the ball) and the installation of yet another new offense will produce an early learning curve. Athlon also believes John Parker Wilson's stellar numbers are too riddled with inconsistency (and turnovers) in the clutch to allow him to carry the team. With Bama meeting virtually all their toughest SEC opponents on the road this year, they foresee status quo or a one win improvement at best. They give the Tide 6 likely wins, 5 probable losses, and 1 toss-up.

Final ranking: Nationally, 30th. SEC West, 3rd

Lindy's (published in Alabama, btw) grants a few of those points but believe there is potential for a breakout season for many freshman in Saban's merciless meritocracy. They believe JPW may finally shed his lingering insecurities. And they point to a tendency for new coaches to have a major spike in quality in their second season. None of these are as objective as Athlon's reasons, in my book, but I sure hope they are right.

Final ranking: Nationally, 20th. SEC West, 3rd

New fan

Just like Ashley Judd at basketball games and car races, we may have our own celebrity fan drawing the attention of television cameras during Alabama football broadcasts this fall. Jay Barker's fiancee, Sara Evans, has converted wholeheartedly to the Tide and appeared in left field during the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge sporting a Bama ballcap.

For you softball fans, Sara's team won 8-1, led by the pitching of the game's MVP JoDee Messina. Her shutout was spoiled in the ninth inning on a run scored by Carrie Underwood, who was helped by her experience with Louisville Sluggers. And a few "errors" by a gracious infield. Video

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sharp reviews...

Check out Sharp's review of "The Missing Ring" by Keith Dunnavant.

"This book's subtitle is "How Bear Bryant and the 1966 Alabama Crimson Tide Were Denied College Football's Most Elusive Prize." The Tide were the defending back-to-back national champions in 1966. They were ranked first in both polls as the season began. They finished the season undefeated and untied - yet managed to finish third behind Notre Dame and Michigan State, who had played each other to a 10-10 tie in midseason. This book was intended to explore why that took place...."