Friday, August 4, 2017

" We Embrace It"


 He didn’t engage in coachspeak.  He didn’t dodge the anticipation. I suspect he is telling his players to feed off the media frenzy and enjoy the ride. I think Johnson knows he has the horses to win enter the derby. If you caught the practice earlier this week it is apparent that the Crimson Tide is going to be very good. At a minimum, the Crimson is NCAA good. I wonder what the maximum be. This team isn’t going to win the NCAA this season. Alabama might win the SEC, but it is possible they might. Don’t get overexcited. It likely won’t happen after watching team up close and personal it seems to me the talent is available to give it a good run. Why do I say that? Here are the reasons:

1.       You must understand the firepower that Alabama has on the floor. Sexton and Petty bring a new dimension to set the gym on fire. Add Ingram, Davis, Riley, Davis, and Jr. to the mix and you have a lot of high scoring options.

2.       How about the improvement on the offensive end by Hall? How about the contribution that Giddens is going to bring? Seriously, this big package can dominate the inside. Johnson is not likely to have both on the floor together consistently, but individually they both are big time players. The improvement of the post players is huge, and it could be the most important upgrade the Tide makes.

3.       This team can run and then run some more. The Crimson and White is going beat up some teams with their speed and quickness on the break. See #2 to understand what is going to make that possible.

4.       Alabama also can run a half-court offense that will be patient enough to get great shots. A good inside and outside game is going to win a lot of games.

5.       Think about this – Dazon Ingram may be the 4th best player on the floor this year. Alabama still has Braxton Key who was last season’s go to guy by seasons end.


   Every time I try to temper my enthusiasm with common sense, the talent makes me even more enthusiastic. This team can win big if all the pieces fall into place. The Canadian swing gives the Tide extra practices and solid competition. One of the Canadian teams is almost SEC caliber. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Saban excersies wisdom and restraint in Hand punishment

COACH SABAN FINDS A FAIR BALANCE


    Nick Saban had a tough decision on his hands. His star defensive lineman was charged with driving while intoxicated. The facts clearly indicated that DeShawn Hand was not driving the car. I have no idea whether the car in question belonged to Hand or not. He was asleep in the car but the keys were in the automobile. As a practicing attorney I know that is being in constructive possession of an automobile. If you read my recent post about the efficacy of that law you know how I felt the State selling alcohol and charging someone with a DUI seems unfair. 

    Frankly, Nick Saban reached a decision that everyone should be able to live with in the future. Hand was evaluated for his drinking. I am not indicating that Hand has a drinking problem and I am sure Saban wasn't to convey that either. There may be legal ramifications or perhaps the Tuscaloosa Police Department will be satisfied with what occurs. A hearing is set and I am very interested in what occurs. If the City Attorney for Tuscaloosa makes some political statement out of the arrest I will be very disappointed. There is always room for equity in reaching a legal decision. At least that is true in most cases. It is not in best interest of Hand or the City of Tuscaloosa to become draconian. 

    Saban said that Hand will not be suspended for any games. A howl arises in the Loveliest Village on the Plains.  That might explain the absence of a law school on campus in Lee County. Just joking. Community service is upcoming. Had Hand been behind the wheel driving it would have been a different outcome. Reactions to Saban's decision was based upon partisan lines, of course. One last thing about the negative reaction. Haters have to hate. That's who they are until it happens to their child. 

    


     


COACHES POLL PICKS 4 BIG TEN TEAMS IN TOP 10...

OHIO STATE, PENN STATE, MICHIGAN, AND WISCONSIN IN TOP TEN.

   
    Excuse me if this post seems a little disjointed. I finished reading the USA Today Coaches Poll and have been rolling around on the floor laughing. It's time to catch my breath. Some things are so palpably funny it is hard to take them seriously. USA Today delievered for the Big Ten like a pimp will deliever the goods for a political national convention. Michigan? Holy out of your mind, Batman. Penn State? Only good if you count the wins in the lowly BigTen. Wisconson? I have loads of respect for a good program and no quibbling from me on the Badgers or the Buckeyes for that matter. Four teams in a conference which has become irrelevant cannot be sold with a straight face. 

           Let me make my case to the football jury out there in posting land. Since the BCS National Championship seems like a good place to start, I looked at the Big Ten winners. Starting in 1998 and looking skyward you find NO BigTen Champions until Ohio State won in 2014. That's it. One is the lonliest number you will ever find. That is one out of nineteen games (1-19). There are several ways you might choose to look at that Stat. I pick, "how horrible is that?" The alternative is, "what a joke conference."  But wait, perhaps I need more analysis. There were nineteen games in the first BCS system. 16 of those games were before the final four version and feaured only two teams. So let's look to see how many BigTen teams played in those games?  That number would be a lackluster two (2). Sorry, I almost hit the floor again but stopped at laughing tears at  televison's hope that the BigTen is an important conference. 



Big Ten 

        Just to be fair, let's look at the BCS National Playoffs version of the Championship. Okay, that is three years for six more teams that played for a Championship. May I have the envelope, please... and the winner isn't the BigTen. Only, you guessed it - one BigTen team spwas invovled and that is Ohio State. Acutally, Ohio State is the only BigTen team to make it to a National Championship Game in the history of the BCS ear. Maybe,  I'm looking at this wrong. Could I be biased? Is the National Championship Sports Information Director give us fake news? This will require additonal research and study so I'm headed to my liquor stash to get a drink. Preparation is important in these matters. 


        I am an SEC man through and through, so I decided to expand the search to find more favorable stats for the BigTen. Okay, here is where I short changed the mighty BigTen. The last three years have involved four teams. Michigan State got thrashed by Alabama in one semi-final game. So after bracing myself with an Oban single malt scotch I wish to tender my remorse for short changing the most overrated conference in the NCAA. I said you had sent one team to the Championship. Well, acutually you still only sent one to a Championship game, but we need to acknowlege the Spartans. I will update you on how to define that stat as soon as I have a second OBan, and pick myself off the floor one more time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

HAND NEEDS HELP NOT PUNISHMENT

ALABAMA'S DESHAWN HAND SUSPENSION?


It is my firm belief that DeShawn Hand does not deserve punishment in excess of the facts of his case. I hope not and as a matter of fact, he doesn't deserve to have an NFL career jeopardized over something as immature as a DUI. I'm not saying that he doesn't deserve some punishment for his actions. I'm not even hinting at that. What I am saying is his life should not be dictated by one event. Those actions are not DeShawn Hand. I bet he is a nice young man who made a mistake and for a large part has already been punished for his transgression. To inflict punishment on him that outweighs the facts of his case is fair. Let's not have a rush to judgment here. At best, the attendant facts of his case are mixed. He did some wrong but he did a lot of right as well.

    Our Auburn friends (or however you choose to describe them) are reveling over the arrest of Hand. Was it the smart thing to do? Of course, not. But DeShawn Hand was not driving an automobile. In fact, he had the judgment not to drive an automobile. I've practiced law for almost forty years, and Alabama's DUI statute doesn't make sense with the plain meaning of the word driving.

     Subsequently, we all learned that Hand was actually sleeping. I'd submit to my jury of posters that sleeping cannot nor should be construed as driving. I have no idea if he had his car keys with him. My calls to the Tuscaloosa Police Department have not resulted in my learning whether or not he did. If he didn't, it is unlikely to result in a conviction. He could not have operated the vehicle. In reality, he is being charged with something he did not do, but granted, he may have had the ability to do so at a later hour.

    But here we find ourselves in a gray area. He was not driving because he realized he should not be driving according to a couple of articles I have read. That makes all the difference to me as a human being. Instead of punishing him shouldn't we be recognizing the fact that he made a correct decision?
He will be punished. The Alabama coaching staff will see to that, and I bet they will keep in mind he wasn't driving. I bet they also remember he chose not to drive. It was stupid and immature to get intoxicated. (if in fact,  he was).

    Suspending him for the FSU game would be the biggest mistake we could make. Judging this young man too harsh given the fact situation would be in error. I also know, and sadly so, that law enforcement officials have long since quit keeping the peace. Now they are under the impression it is their duty to arrest anyone who makes a mistake. I draw a distinct difference between keeping the peace (which entails protecting people) and enforcing our laws. He will lose his ability to drive for 90 days. He might face a suspension of his license. He will be fined between $600-$1800 dollars and could be ordered to attend a driving class that costs $50.00. That is fifty dollars a session times 32 weekends. He will also have to pay court costs and his lawyer. (I have no idea how much that might be). Court costs will be around $200.00. That mistake will cost him over $3500.00.  A further draconian reaction is simply uncalled for in this matter

   That is what they call unnecessary roughness in football. How much of that goes to balance the cost of running a city. I don't know. If Nick Saban suspends him it should be for the second game and whatever he views as equitable relating to team discipline. You want Hand to understand that drinking is not a good thing. Let's not ruin his career, and let's not lose our judgmental minds over a mistake where no one was injured. I understand someone potentially could have been hurt, but that is a whole different issue both criminally and civically. Here is one last comment about something that has alway bothered me. If we want to punish someone for driving and drinking why does the State of Alabama sell and tax liquor? That seems like a clear conflict of interest. #befairtoHand

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TIDE TO PLAY FSU IN BEST OPENING GAME EVER...

   ALABAMA WILL NEED ITS A GAME AGAINST THE 'NOLES...

#1 Tide takes on #3 Florida State in Atlanta
Time: September 2 @ 7:30 PM
Place: Mercedeze-Benz Stadium
Line: Tide is six point favorite

  We have begun the countdown to football. The Tide takes on the Florida State Seminoles in the season opener. One again, Nick Saban is going after a big fish in game one. The inclination of poll voters to pick Alabama is always likely. Knock off FSU and the Tide gets some real juice in the race for the national championship. Florida State has no downside in this matchup. If they lose it is because they were supposed to lose. If they win, then FSU just beat the number one team in the nation. Regardless, who wins this is one of the biggest games ever scheduled for an opening game. Perhaps it is the biggest ever played.



     Alabama has won five straight opening games. Here is a list of the victims:  USC, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Michigan. Each of those wins solidified ‘Bama’s early season rankings and gave notice to the rest of the NCAA that Bama was ready for another Championship run. The first AP Poll has the Tide at #1 and FSU at #3. I wonder if the Seminoles can slip up a spot to #2 by kickoff?  Alabama got that #1 ranking with a lopsided vote. Heavy is the head that wears the crown but picking ‘Bama #1 seems to be a pretty safe bet to start the season. The Tide is a six-point favorite right now.


  
   This might be the first time an Alabama team has taken the field and not have the best defensive line. Florida State’s defensive line is talented and tough. This game isn’t likely to be a 17-10 affair. I believe the winner will have to put up at least 30 to win. Bama’s offensive line is going to be dominant. The quarterback is experienced, and he will prove he can pass. The Tide’s running backs, almost a six-pack, are
simply incomparable. Of note, is the fact that Atlanta is now a home game for the Tide. FSU has no glaring weaknesses, and they gave a great quarterback. I’m willing to bet that Hurt or Francois will be touted for the Heisman Trophy by the fourth quarter. Sportswriters will be ready to declare the Tide dynasty dead by halftime, but in the end it will be Bama 31 – FSU 24. The Dynasty lives!

Monday, July 24, 2017

CHANGING NUMBERS ...

WHEN THE LAWS OF COMMON SENSE DON'T APPLY

     It just makes sense.  Sooner or later  the Nick Saban coached Crimson Tide is going to have an off year.  Of course, off is a relative term. That might mean the Tide could lose two games, and dare we gasp, even three games?  All programs have ups and downs. We are accustomed to that. That is what makes Nick Saban amazing. He seems to defy the laws of familiarity. 

    The Tide has suffered major losses in their defense. Anyone with half a brain would believe that when a defense which losses that caliber and number of players should expect some bad moments this season. So why am I not believing will happen?  Here’s why.  The Tide faithful have had the should beat out of them.  Anytime something bad should happen to Bama, Nick Saban has a way to making sure it doesn’t. Alabama football players simply follow “the process” and beat the laws of inevitability. This is what makes Nick Saban and his football program the best in the NCAA.


    I know that Clemson is on an emotional high after winning the national championship last season. Ohio State and Michigan will always argue they have the best program. For years, Texas and Oklahoma made that boast. Chip in Notre Dame and Southern California to the discussion. All claim or claimed to have been the best. Really?  Do they really believe their respective programs are even in the same category? Alabama always plays for the club championship. Everyone tries to win their flight.  The number 16 comes to mind when arguing about who has the top program. No one else has 16 National Championships. What makes that particular number so unique is that is  temporary. It will become 17, and 17 will become 18, and 18 begat 19. Maybe one day the world will end and the number becomes permanent.  That is the only way any number will find perpetual rest in Tuscaloosa. Until that time Alabama will continue to succeed. Records will be broken. Heroes will be made on the field. Coaching legends will be made, and the Tide will keep on winning. That’s how things work here. 

    It just makes sense.  Sooner or later  the Nick Saban coached Crimson Tide is going to have an off year.  Of course, off is a relative term. That might mean the Tide could lose two games, and dare we gasp, even three games?  All programs have ups and downs. We are accustomed to that. That is what makes Nick Saban amazing. He seems to defy the laws of familiarity. 

    The Tide has suffered major losses in their defense. Anyone with half a brain would believe that a defense that lost the caliber and number of players it has should expect some bad moments this season. So why am I not believing i5 will happen?  Here’s why.  The Tide faithful have had the should beat out of them.  Anytime something bad should happen to Bama, Nick Saban has a way to making sure it doesn’t. Alabama football players simply follow “the process” and beat the laws of inevitability. This is what makes Nick Saban and his football program the best in the NCAA.

    I know that Clemson is on an emotional high after winning the national championship last season. Ohio State and Michigan will always argue they have the best program. For years, Texas and Oklahoma made that boast. Chip in Notre Dame and Southern California to the discussion. All claim or claimed to have been the best. Really?  Do they really believe their respective programs are even in the same category? Alabama always plays for the club championship. Everyone tries to win their flight.  The number 16 comes to mind when arguing about who has the top program. No one else has 16 National Championships. What makes that particular number so unique is that is  temporary. It will become 17, and 17 will become 18, and 18 begat 19. Maybe one day the world will end and the number becomes permanent.  That is the only way any number will find perpetual rest in Tuscaloosa. Until that time Alabama will continue to succeed. Records will be broken. Heroes will be made on the field. Coaching legends will be made, and the Tide will keep on winning. That’s how things work here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

FREEZE DIES FROM AN EXTREME BOUT OF SABANITIS...

FREEZE IS THE LASTEST VICTIM OF SABAN SUCCESS...


Another one bites the dust
   Let me say that I do not know Ex-Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze. I met him once and he seemed like a nice man. Freeze is the latest victim of Nick Saban's effect on SEC football. (See also Gene Chizak, Les Miles, and Mark Richt) Freeze was the darling of 
the landed gentry in Mississippi, especially in Groveville. The Rebels, er' the Black Bear faithful, had visions of sugar plumbs dancing in their heads after a unprecented 2013 recruiting class. That was followed by two stunning upsets over the Alabama Crimson Tide. It turns out that Ole Miss was literally the best college team money could buy. Throw in a little dash of unethical behavior for good measure. Okay, not to split hairs, but it was a lot of unethical behavior and it is safe to say that Freeze isn't as good a record keeper as he was a head coach. Those darn telephone records make it hard to hide facts, what with the dates, parties talking, and time of day calls were made. Talk about things that make you go hmm... in the middle of the night. The cover up is always worse than the crime. The violations were cheating. Hiding the fact made Freeze a liar and a cheat.

    Still is isn't hard to feel a little sorry for Freeze. Winning in the SEC  is the only thing that matters to a fan base. When you coach in the Western Division that means having to beat Alabama to reach the pinnacle. To a lesser degree it also means having to beat LSU and Auburn. Texas A&M is no turnover, and then you still have your arch rival to play. That is a tough row to plow as we say in Dixie. If you want your team to be the penultimate team in your division your odds are slim you can actually pull it off. Freeze had two options at hand. One is take your time and build. The second is pay your players and reap the rewards. Sometimes the rewards are losing your job. Freeze chose option two and crossed his fingers. It worked for a while and then it didn't.