I’ll be honest with you; I don’t think this game (unlike Georgia’s games against the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks) is going to come anywhere close to living up to the hype. Johnny Football has been living like Johnny Dangerously, drawing personal foul penalties due to his inability to take smack-talk about his abysmal off-field judgment, and this does not bode well for Johnny Manziel when he faces the most disciplined defense in college football. The Aggies gave up 31 points to Rice and 28 points to Sam Houston State, and the Tide had an open date within which to prepare. Add to that the extra incentive of erasing the lone blemish on their 2012 ledger, and I think ‘Bama is going to roll Texas A&M up and smoke ‘em.
Why, then, am I writing about the SEC West showdown, when I don’t think it will be much of a game? I raise the subject solely for the purpose of asking a question:
Is this a meteor game?
On the one hand, while I have nothing against the Aggies and I believe they have the best-named stadium in all of sports, I can’t stand Johnny Manziel. His nickname is dumb, I don’t like the fact that he (rather than Herschel Walker) became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, and he is the Lindsay Lohan of college football, with the distinction that "Mean Girls" was a much better pre-plummet achievement than the most overrated award in sports.
On the other hand, a growing and increasingly vocal segment of the Crimson Tide fan base is becoming more and more insufferable. I recently had an Alabama fan tell me that, had Georgia had 20 minutes at the end of the SEC Championship Game, the ‘Dawgs still would not have gained the five yards necessary to get into the end zone. Given the 28 points the Red and Black already had scored and the quarterback efficiency rating Aaron Murray had posted, I had to resist the temptation to ask him whether that was 20 minutes here on Earth or 20 minutes in whatever alternate reality he occupied.
Earlier today, a high school classmate of mine (and a ‘Bama fan who insisted at the time that Georgia’s 1980 national championship was illegitimate because the Bulldogs did not play the Tide that season, as though it was our fault they lost to Mississippi State and Notre Dame) sarcastically asked on Facebook whether the national championship had been decided on Saturday. I assumed, of course, this was a Southerner’s comment on ESPN’s effusive affection for the vastly overrated Michigan-Notre Dame "rivalry" (which was so important that they didn’t play in any of the 32 seasons from 1910 to 1941 or in any of the 34 seasons from 1944 to 1977), but, when I read the comments, it became clear that he was mocking the attention paid to the Georgia-South Carolina game.
I left a comment explaining that snapping a losing streak to a division rival was a big deal for us, just as it had been for Alabama when the Tide ended their six-game losing streak to the Auburn Tigers. This since-unfriended high school classmate left a response saying he only vaguely remembered 2008, because that antedated Alabama’s three national titles in the last four seasons. I had to resist the temptation to point out that he had just declared Bear Bryant irrelevant ancient history.
There are plenty of good Alabama fans around, several of whom frequent these parts, but the ignorant arrogant jackleg contingent of the Crimson Tide fan base certainly is getting louder and seemingly is becoming more numerous, to the point where I am not sure I can cheer for ‘Bama, even against Johnny Drama.
So, what’s the verdict, Bulldog Nation? Are we pulling for the Aggies, pulling for the Tide, or pulling for both teams, coaching staffs, and fan bases to be wiped from the face of the planet by a meteor large enough to have Aerosmith write a song about it?