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George Smith: Idle shots from the Toy Shop

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Wednesday’s list ... of beans ‘n greens ‘n other things:


NOW WE WAIT ... for Dec. 29 and the semi-finals for the National Championship playoffs.  Clemson (2) and Notre Dame (3) take the stage that afternoon from the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Alabama (1) and Oklahoma (4) play that night. Winners play for the National Championship on Jan. 9.

“Them’s the facts.”

Now a few shots from a long-ago sports writer for this newspaper who is a college football addict.

— Despite being seeded number one, Alabama has the toughest path to the championship game. Oklahoma can flat-out score, and Alabama’s defense will be tested, but I think the Tide will win.

— Clemson will kick Notre Dame into the middle of next July.

— Only two college football programs are even close to Alabama, Clemson and Georgia. Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Kirby Smart at Georgia are from the Nick Saban coaching tree.

— No Saban assistant has ever beaten Saban. The score is 16-0.

— Hold your breath on Tua Tagovailoa being fully recovered from high-sprain ankle surgery. And there is always that slight knee hobble. The last two games of the season, Tua was not Tua.

— What a really warm feeling to see Jalen Hurts come off the bench and bring Alabama from behind to the SEC title, much as Tua did last year in the national championship. Hurts is a class act.

— Hurts will play somewhere else next season. He will transfer with Saban’s blessing.

— It will be scary, but Alabama wins the national championship, its sixth in 10 years. Look up “Dynasty” in the dictionary; Alabama Crimson Tide.

Don’t save this. I hate eating my own words ...



“She slipped into the silence of my dreams last night

“Wandering from room to room, she's turning on each light

“Her laughter spills like water from the river to the sea

“I'm swept away from sadness, clinging to her memory.”

Weeping Willie (Nelson), music to slash your wrists by.


BIRTHDAYS: Dec. 1 — Marty Mangham; Dec. 2 — Taylor Carden and Bruce Wombacher; Dec. 6 — Kitty Bussey; Dec. 8 — Callie Daniel.


QUOTABLE: I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.” George H. W. Bush

Now you know why I consider Mr. Bush one of our greatest presidents.


TOP TEEN: The spotlight this morning moves to White Plains High School, where Noah Tillman is in the elite of the Class of 2019. An ACT of 32 and a 4.06 GPA not only puts Noah in the Beta Club; his peers have also elected him vice-president of the senior class.

He is also a member of the Key Club and is a 2016 recipient of a 2016 State Excellence Award Team winner.

Noah’s volunteer work is too much to list, but here are just a few highlights:

Working the Day of Service for Anniston First United Methodist Church; painting and doing lawn maintenance; participating in campus cleanups; working on home improvement at a children’s services home; assisting the elderly with household chores; yard work, shopping and running errands; participating in six mission trips improving a women’s and children’s shelter.

He can play a bit, too, having been on the football teams since sixth grade. Noah has also been a member of the band since sixth grade.

“Ben Franklin once said ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,’” says Angela Forbus, senior counselor. “Noah has invested greatly in his education and I look forward to see how that pays off as he steps into the next phase of life.”

Proud parents are Marcus and Gail Tillman.

Take a bow, young man ...


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