Saturday, January 9, 2010

They Call Alabama The Crimson Tide

I know it's been a day or two since the BCS Championship game, but I have to say some things.  Not only about the game itself, but also about the broadcast.  Mainly about the broadcast.

I've been an Alabama fan since I was a teenager, mostly because of Bear Bryant, and because two of my good friends played football for "the Bear".  I was so avid that, while in college, my roommate and friend Mike gave me a Crimson Tide toilet seat for Christmas one year and told me to frame the Bear's picture in it.  Among other things he told me to do with it.

Anyway, you'da thought listening to Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit as they called the game Thursday night that the only team playing was the Texas Longhorns.  And that they won, handily.

I got excited when I saw Keith Jackson during the coin toss.  Keith Jackson is The Man when it comes to broadcasting college football.  I say "Alabama" the same way he does:  AAAALL-AAA-BAMA!  I hoped against hope that he would be in the booth, since he broadcast all the other Tide games.  He wasn't.

Instead, I got Musburger and "Herbie", as he kept calling Herbstreit.  (As an aside, if I was a grown man, and another grown man called me Herbie, I'd take his head off.)  I like Kirk on ESPN's College Gameday, and I don't like Musburger anywhere, anytime.  I don't know the man personally, so my opinion is purely professional.

I'd rather hear Donald Duck do the play-by-play than Musburger, or "Brentie" as I like to call him.

It was obvious from the outset that he was a Texas fan.  Here's an example:

Brentie:  "The 'Horns stop Alabama at the 13!  What a dee-fense!  They're amazing!"
Herbie:  "Alabama scored a touchdown, Brentie."
Brentie:  "But that defense!  Should be a flag somewhere on that play!  Those Longhorns!  THEY'RE AMAZING!"

All.  Night.  Long.

Colt McCoy, the Texas quarterback, got knocked out early in the game.  He was replaced by a freshman, Garret Gilbert, who looked like a future Heisman Trophy winner.  After which the Crimson Tide scored 24 unanswered points.

But all Brentie could talk about was the Longhorns.  And Colt McCoy.

Brentie:  "You know, Herbie, McCoy being knocked out has really hurt the 'Horns defense."
Herbie:  "I didn't know McCoy played defense, Brentie."

All.  Night.  Long.

Texas fought hard in the second half, but the Big News was that McCoy wouldn't be returning to the game.  This information was delivered by Walter Cronkite, back from the grave to make sure the report had the same gravity as a political assassination or natural disaster.

Even when Alabama won, 37-21, Brentie was still in love with Texas.  Thankfully he was not on the podium when the trophy was presented, or it might be in Austin this morning.

I miss Keith Jackson.  Or "Keithie", as he likes to be called.

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