You’d think these would be heady days for ‘Bama football, and you’d be right. A 4-0 start, capped with a big opening day win, a top 10 ranking, a huge game with the third ranked team in the nation coming up this Saturday and you’d think Saban and his players would have plenty to focus on and talk about.
Not enough. Not nearly enough. Not when there’s a blackout in town, boys!
First, the Big Kahuna felt the need to make a fashion statement of his own.
Alabama coach Nick Saban responded by, you guessed it, blacking out today’s news conference. There he was, at the podium, sporting a black Alabama polo shirt…
“Well, this is the only shirt I could find when I woke up this morning,” Saban said, laughing, before growing serious. “Those kinds of things only means something if you let it. Like those old Notre Dame teams that wore green jerseys and that means you’re not supposed to beat them. Or Joe Theismann talks to them Friday night, you’re not supposed to win that game. If all that does mean something to you, I guess it’s a problem. But they have good football players, that’s what we’re concerned about, not how they dress.”
No word yet on whether Saban will don a broadcast headset at his next presser to make a point about how he won’t let Munson’s retirement affect him either.
But there’s more! Saban’s charges aren’t just sensitive about shirt colors. They’ve got something to say about an incident that happened last year… that didn’t involve their team.
“Whenever we get in the end zone, we act like we’ve been there before,” receiver Mike McCoy said. “It just adds to our fire, but we wouldn’t do anything like that. We act like we been there. We are a respectable team.“
That’s cool, man. Really. It sounds to me like your respectable team is respected by the guys that will be wearing the black jerseys.
— Jeremy Lomax said his neck is feeling better and expects to play Saturday. He was in green Monday and didn’t get in on any contact drills, but said it’s almost certain he’ll be on the field against Alabama. “It would take a lot (to miss the game),” he said. “I’m ready to go. Fired up to get back out there, especially versus Bama. It’ll be a great challenge, a great atmosphere. I’m excited.”
— Mo Massaquoi was the leading voice in pushing for the blackout this week. “It was just something the seniors thought would be a great idea. We approached Coach Richt with it. We knew a lot was going to be riding on this game, and we just wanted to give the fans something to rally behind. It’s really a tribute to Alabama. They’re a great team, we’re a pretty good team, and we just want to go out there and put on a show.”
— Corvey Irvin certainly isn’t taking Alabama lightly: “I’m excited because I want to see what I’m made of and see what my other teammates are made of, to see where we’re really at. This will be, to me, the best team we play this year. I don’t want to back myself into a corner, but they’ve got some really good guys, and they’re going to play hard.”
Nothing like a good case of faux concern to get a team motivated. I figure we’ll be hearing something before week’s end about Georgia players dancing. That’s when you’ll know this whole respect deal has jumped the (crimson) shark.