Armchair Talking Head


Bigger and Newer: Is it Always Better?

I damn near cried the first time I went to St. Louis and saw the giant hole that used to be Busch Memorial Stadium. I went to my first Cards game with my Dad there. I learned that it was okay to love a baseball team like a woman there–you have your ups and downs, but you still lover her, dammit. My emotions were similar the first time my Dad and I set foot in New Busch Stadium where a whole slew of new memories have been made, none to top sitting on the first base line with Dad as the Budweiser Clydesdales galloped around the warning track with the 2006 World Series trohpy on opening day. As cool as new Busch Stadium is, something about me misses the old arches atop the old park. I liked the idea of watching Albert Pujols play at the same place my old man watched Bob Gibson hurl the ball. Progress is all good and well, and the topic of old baseball parks and the new-fangled “baseball parks” that focus on fan experience instead of baseball is an entirely different topic.

Credit: Crassic

I had a somewhat similar feeling as I drove down Bryant Drive today for the first time since it had opened post-South Endzone construction. It’s beautiful. It’s worth every penny spent on it. I oohed. I ahhed. I almost rear-ended a sorority girl back a week early for Rush in the BMW her daddy bought her because I was staring out the side window of my beaten down Chevy. A marvel of football, modern engineering, and a testament to the thousands of Alabama boys who have worn the Crimson and White on Saturdays in the fall sits between University Blvd. and Bryant Drive for sure, but I had a different reaction as I turned north on Wallace Wade Avenue.  Just as that street is named for a coach of old (Wade won 3 National Championships at Alabama from 1923-1930), the western side of Bryant-Denny tells a different story. Exposed beams, old but sturdy bricks dominate the view. You can see inside the stadium to an extent, and on game weeks you can often see the inner workings of getting the stadium ready for the 100K plus fans that will fill the seats that weekend. I kind of miss the ability to take a glimpse into the stadium, and the old feeling the stadium used to have. That oldness spoke to the tradition that so many Alabama fans love to talk about. I often wonder as I stand at the urinals tucked under the seats of the student section staring at the wood bolted to concrete and steel keeping us in our seats if the men who built the stadium in the 1920’s, or even people who have worked on it in the years in between, ever imagined the behemoth it has become.

In the changing, fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world of today’s college football, bigger and newer might mean more talented recruits, more fans, and more money. In fact, it might even play a part in the success of the team on the field, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I do like it, and I welcome progress, but  a little part of me hopes they never cover up the older parts of the stadium.



Kirby Smart
January 5, 2010, 7:32 pm
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Today I’ll spare you any further commentary on why Boise State deserves to play for the National Championship or any more pre-game fodder on the Tide. I just have a quick thought. Why in the Hell would Kirby Smart go to UGA? Sure he has ties, but he couldn’t be in a more solid position as DC than he is at Alabama, and Mark Richt might be the most precariously situated head coach in the SEC going into next season.

Kirby will be a head coach in a matter of a few years if he holds on with Saban at Alabama, but there’s no guarantee that he won’t be an unemployed DC after next season if he goes to UGA. For Coach Smart and the Tide’s sake, let’s hope he lives up to his name.



Bama vs. Arkansas

The Tide pulled off a win in a sloppy, offensively sluggish game tonight.  Demetrius Jemison had a huge night offensively with 19 points.  The most impressive thing was our defense.  Namely the perimeter D.  We held the Hogs to just 3 of 21 from behind the arc and to a FG % of 36.  Senario Hillman pulled of some SICK dunks yet again.

What does this mean?

Not much.  Gottfried did seem to care a little (note the jumping and crowd pumping late in the game), but I hold that he’s a fairweather coach.  He only seems to get into it when is players perform well.  Good coaches’ players react to them, not vice versa.  Will Mal give him another year?  I think so.  3 million bucks is what a buyout of CMG’s contract would take, and I just don’t know if the basketball program is worth that much to the powers that be.

As for the team, they head to Oxford on Saturday, then at red hot Butch Pierre led LSU on Wednesday.  Those are toss ups.  Win out and show up in the SEC tourney, we may be looking NIT.

The last home game is March 8 against Vandy for Senior Night.  That will almost undoubtedly be a loss.