Tuesday, December 21, 2010

family conversations: come a long way, baby, part ii

Following up on last week's post, here's more of my email conversation with my cousin's husband (cousin-in-law?) Jamie about Alabama football, Auburn football and life in general. Feel free to join the conversation by commenting here or by finding me on Twitter.
Jamie: 1)http://www.thearabtribune.com/articles/2010/12/15/mountain_views/views3.txt Really? I mean Really?
will: It's just a yahoo columnist. Take it for what it is and move on.
But the link does raise an important point, and only because I saw it happening with 'Bama fans last year and seen it this year with Auburn fans this year: Don't let a-holes like me take away the fun of all this. Seriously, seasons like this one don't come along all the time; don't let it go to waste by spending all your time being irked by snark from a few nay-sayers (fine, "haters") or rival fans. Enjoy the ride. Seriously.
Another thing: Whenever a team wins a championship of any kind, inevitably some fans will paint the victors as the ultimate underdogs, talk about how THE MEDIA picked against them all year and say they never got any RESPECT from the community at large. In the case of Auburn, they were favored to win every game by at least 3 all season, with the exception of their toughest road game (at 'Bama). Yes, it's way more fun to say you were an underdog and no one believed you could do it ... but the truth is, like Alabama last year, everybody pretty much knew you could.

Jamie: Got no problem with anyone picking against my team. My problem comes when ass faces use their platform to unleash an obvious personal vendetta and forget they are actually supposed to be professional. Your point about Vegas liking us all year actually backs up the no respect crowd. The no respect crowd doesn't look at Vegas for the respect factor, they look to Lee Corso, Tim Brando and the like. We were picked to lose by multiple outlets every week since Clemson save two so when Vegas says we will win, and the talking heads say we will lose, that's the definition of no respect. I don't personally care who picks us to win.

2) I'm going on a limb and saying AJ McCarron never starts at Alabama. You?
will: I put this to a poll of some of my 'Bama fan friends, and all of us agree that you're pretty far out on the limb here. While he failed miserably on his only four plays vs. Auburn — and I'm calling that a failure of play-calling as much as execution — he looked full of promise in all his other (less pressure-filled) appearances in 2010. The kid has a cannon for an arm, and if there's a knock on him, it's that he has TOO much confidence most of the time, and is likely to give Nick Saban an aneurysm before he graduates.

Jamie: Like I told you later, I will climb back on the limb a bit about AJ but not back to the tree. I didn't remember typing that he would not start. I guess that's the meth. I was thinking he would underwhelm. I still have that feeling. I will take the heat when I am likely wrong.

3) If McElwain leaves, would you want to go the way of...hold your breath...THE SPREAD? (enter psycho music)
will: Well, first of all, I should start this by expressing how disappointed I was in the offense this season. Ever since February, I repeatedly brought up how excited I was to see how the offense would function in 2010, how McElwain would find creative ways to get Ingram and Richardson on the field, how Julio, Maze and Hanks would fit in. The harsh truth: I'm still waiting. Alabama's offense showed flashes of creativity and innovation — showing versions of the Wildcat, lining Ingram/Richardson up at wideout, etc — but retreated into a shell when things got tight, and looked an awful lot like Mike Shula snuck into the booth vs. both LSU and Auburn. And that's before we even discuss the offensive line, which actually regressed as the season went on.
As for the spread, it's not as though Alabama runs the wishbone now. McElroy spent probably 45 percent of the season in the shotgun/Pistol set, and ran a number of plays you'd typically associate with the "spread" — the sweep play, multiple screen passes, etc.
My thought: regardless of who's in charge of the offense, and regardless of the sets, the play-calling must (MUST) revolve around the talents of Trent Richardson, as a runner and a pass-catcher. If he's not touching the football 35 times per game, I don't know what to believe anymore.

Jamie: After watching Gus do what he did with us, I am sold on the up tempo style of O. I really believe the speed of the defenses over the last 10-15 years have forced the college game into this.

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