George Smith: A time to worry ... and hate
Dec 05, 2012 | 3597 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WEDNESDAY’S LIST ...of beans ’n greens ’n other things:
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A COUPLE of questions ...

How many Alabama fans are on crutches this morning, how many pacemakers have been sold since Saturday? It was a classic ...

Alabama 32, Georgia 28 ... and just eight yards shy of it being Georgia 35, Alabama 32 ... with 14 seconds left on the clock.

Weak legs and faltering hearts, not only in Alabama, but in Georgia, also. In all honesty, this one was a game neither team deserved to lose. You hear that a lot. This time it’s a bit more than trite.

And ... coming soon ... another classic, No. 2 Alabama versus No. 1 Notre Dame for the national championship in January, which gives you a lot of time to worry ... and hate.

Other than fans of each, most people across the country love to hate Alabama and Notre Dame.

From Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated:

There’s also the curiosity of whom to root for if you don’t have a dog in the hunt. Outside the Southeast, there’s SEC exhaustion. Many would like to see the SEC not win a seventh consecutive national title. But it might be difficult for those same fans to muster much enthusiasm for the Fighting Irish, a program that is as reviled as it is loved.

In this match-up, there is a memory of the 1973 Sugar Bowl. I was there as a sports writer for this newspaper. Notre Dame won, 24-23, but until Saturday, I thought it was the best college football game I’d ever seen.

This one certainly matches up, but over the mists of time, I can’t say it was better than that one, even if the Irish did win.

In 1966, Notre Dame and Michigan State tied 10-10, but the Irish were named national champions over undefeated Alabama.

From a 2006 book, The Missing Ring, by Keith Dunnavant, there is this from an SI writer:

“Dunnavant wrote that Alabama and Notre Dame had more in common than most fans realized. Each school had used football to overcome prejudices. In the first half of the 20th century, much of America didn’t like Notre Dame because it was Catholic, and didn’t like Alabama because it was Southern.”

I’m not sure we have changed all that much despite the passing years.

On a less serious note, ESPN’s College Football final Saturday night had Lee May and Lou Holtz, former ND coach, in their usual war of words. May, in picking the Tide over the Irish, popped this one at Holtz:

“Notre Dame hasn’t been to a championship game since Moby Dick was a minnow.”

That’s a classic, too.

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BIRTHDAYS: Dec. 1 — Julia Ann Kirby and Marty Mangham; Dec. 2 – Taylor Carden; Dec. 4 — Bernard Robinson; Dec. 5 — Berton “A. J.” Austin and Cabot Holt; Dec. 7 — Sandra Triplett.

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TOP TEEN: Meet Mikayla Owen, a senior at White Plains High School where she carries a 3.8 GPA in working toward an Advanced with Honors Diploma in the spring.

She is a member of the Beta Club (honor society), the SCA and the FBLA.

Young Miss Owen has played volleyball, basketball, and softball since seventh grade, but it is when she sings that things move.

A member of the Chamber Singers (elite group of students in the WPHS choir), she has participated in the Alabama All-State Choir for five years. She is the only student from White Plains nominated as an outstanding choral student.

Mikayla has been awarded a two-year scholarship to play volleyball at Southern Union Community College in Wadley.

“Mikayla exemplifies the dedication and commitment required to be the best she can be,” says senior counselor Angel Forbus.

Proud parents are Johnny and Holly Owen of Choccolocco.

Take a bow, young lady ...

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George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:

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