Toomer’s Rumors and Boomers – 1.27.08

bearbryantcover.jpg*** It seems so very appropriate that, on the 25th anniversary of Bear Bryant’s death, Alabama would beat Auburn…

… in basketball.

Speaking of, nobody guessed the right answer to my Bear Bryant Deathiversary Trivia Question. By that, I mean that nobody even ventured a guess. Thanks for the memories! But going on the assumption that people really do want to know, but were intimidated to silence by such an academic hurdle, I will go ahead and spill:

The two blue-chip recruits that committed to Auburn on Jan. 26, 1983 are Jeff Burger and Brent Fullwood, two of my favorites.

*** From an article published yesterday in the Kansas City Star:

“They could hear the sound for blocks, the sound of Dennis Franchione being fed to the wood chipper. Nearly a thousand Alabama fans gathered in Tuscaloosa in December 2002 and spent a Friday afternoon throwing anything with Franchione’s name or face on it into a machine that turns timber into dust.

They called it therapy. Eight days earlier, Franchione had left Tuscaloosa on the Texas A&M jet and never looked back. The man who was called a coaching genius and a savior of programs had made promises. They had trusted him.

When the wood chipper was not violent enough, the group started a fire and fed it more Franchione memorabilia. Bobble-head dolls sizzled and popped. Photographs curled and turned black and disappeared into the glow. The crowd circled the fire, dancing and cheering.

“The guy was a liar and traitor,” remembers local columnist Paul Finebaum, who has covered sports in Alabama for 25 years…”

But Paul, so is Nick Saban. In fact, people used those exact words to describe him just a year ago. You mean you feel that way about Francione because he lied and betrayed Alabama

Speaking of Finebaum, it must’ve been rough on him yesterday. In his latest, blindingly ironic column, Paul neatly excuses the past 25 years of Bama ball with one of his own quotes from “The Last Coach”: it was ordained in a no-mountain-without-valley sorta way. He argues that Alabama fans don’t live in the past, they remember excellence. He ends the column by claiming that Alabama, because of Saban, can finally look forward to good times… and then essentially denies the possibility that excellence can ever return, because “there was only one Bear Bryant.”

But before that: “The question has been hotly debated over many years in relation to whether Alabama can ever escape the long shadow of Bryant. The question ought to be why would Alabama want to.”

I think you just answered that question, Paul… flame on…

*** Even with the good news that Auburn is back in the thick of things with Enrique Davis, peculiarities still surround his reasons for de-committing, which were supposedly centered around Fear of a Spread Eagle. And yet apparently Oregon was being tossed around as a new contender for his loyalties even before Tony Franklin and Eddie Gran visited Davis last Wednesday. Not to belabor the point, but, again, as Ike pointed out, Oregon runs the hell out of the spread offense. Ducks running Jonathan Stewart ran for a team record 1,722 yards (more than 6 yards a carry and a 11 touchdowns), numbers bold enough for him to decide to forgo his senior season for the NFL draft. So was it the spread, or something else?

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