I don’t know why it would be a startling revelation to disclose that people who are notorious control freaks would have concerns — okay, maybe undue concerns — about that control being undermined by lower-handed efforts by other notorious control freaks, but if we’re gonna talk about paranoia, consider a couple of things from this article on the subject.
It’s also not uncommon to face an opposing coach familiar with Alabama’s communication methods.
Kirby Smart qualifies there.
“Yeah, there are a lot of really paranoid coaches about that,” Smart said. “You’re not looking at one that’s overly paranoid but maybe I should be because everywhere I’ve ever coached, people are freaking out a week before the game, day before the game …
“We played Alabama this year and I had so much other stuff to worry about, I wasn’t worried about that. We didn’t change anything we did and I don’t know if they did or not. I had my hands full with other things. So, I think there is a paranoia out there for that and it’s probably overdone in my opinion.”
Add to that one more thing.
Not long after the College Football Playoff national championship game, a grainy security-camera snapshot made news in Atlanta. A mystery man wearing a hat and coat walked through the Marriott Marquis hotel lobby a few days earlier with a backpack that wasn’t his.
Alabama was finishing its game plan for Georgia when part of it walked right out the door. A playbook belonging to then-Crimson Tide defensive line coach Karl Dunbar was in the bag snatched from a meeting room in Alabama’s team hotel.
Given today’s heightened emphasis on cloak-and-dagger secrecy, the theft was not an insignificant breach. That other items from the backpack were recovered while the playbook remained at large only added to the story, though it didn’t go public until two days after Alabama’s overtime win over Georgia.
Still, it doesn’t do much to temper the tin-foil hat mentality of football coaches who place a premium on keeping even minute details private.
The playbook heist is perhaps the most straight-forward crack in the fortress, though the guilty party was never found, nor were there any connections made between the assailant and Georgia’s football program. [Emphasis added.]
Now, let’s say Sanders hadn’t been deked, broke up the pass that wound up being the actual winning score and Georgia held on to win. Can you being to imagine the outpouring of tin-hatted, bizarre theories used to explain how Kirby’s perfidy cheated the Tide out of a natty? Call it Alex Jones meets PAWWWLLL!!!.
Okay, it would have been a kick to listen to, but you get my point. This game makes a lot of people weird.