I swear, I can't believe what I'm hearing about on those newfangled sports radio talk shows this week. Every time I crank up my trusty RCA Victor (bought it in 1934 and still good as new!) all I hear is everybody up in arms about the travesty of officiating at the Alabama LSU game last Saturday.
You kiddin’ me? Alabama involved in a cheating controversy? Surely, you jest.
But there is no joke. Instead there's a massive cloud hanging over Tuscaloosa with the appalling spectacle of officiating this past weekend in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The whole contest was an atrocity capped by the call in the fourth quarter ruling LSU's obvious interception an incompletion. But it was the replay official's refusal to overturn the call that laid bare the truth.
Peterson was the third man, the odd man. But he was not out.
Alabama fans argue that the replay official simply upheld the call on the field. Horsefeathers I say! Alabama has a long tradition of cheating and you can count on it every year as surely as you can count on the Farmer's Almanac coming out with a new edition.
The replay officials were obviously on the take. This was clearly the play that would have turned the game around and led to the Tiger's victory but Alabama contrived to steal yet another football contest from a better team. And I can prove it.
The most damming evidence has been right there in front of the whole world every week. We saw it with the no call with the helmet against Tennessee. We saw it with the use of tape to help the kicker against South Carolina. And we saw it again on Saturday. In each instance it's obvious Alabama would have lost had the proper calls been made.
Let me remind you that the Alabama legislature voted to abolish all taxation for state purposes in 1836. Revelations of grossly careless and even of corrupt management was revealed after the Panic of 1837 that followed. And while that has no bearing on this situation whatsoever, it certainly gives you something to think about.
The truth here isn't hard to figure out. The mob is connected in several southern cities due to it being much easier to buy into the local politics. Tuscaloosa is just one of these cities.
I spoke with Eddie "Fingers" Coyle from Boston yesterday and he said he knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who left 600 rolls of quarters in the passenger seat of a 2005 Honda Acura parked in the official space for officials in the Bryant-Denny parking lot that just happened to be unlocked.
I've always believed you can trust a man with a good nickname unless that nickname is "Bear" then he's obviously an ingrate.
But I've learned even more that! Late last night I was contacted by man who works at a company here in Atlanta called Steryl-Ray. He said he overheard a telephone conversation between Alabama Coach Nick Saban and SEC Commissioner Mike Silve discussing the game. Here is a copy of the notes he took during that discussion:
We never saw this kind of foolishness when Bobby Dodd was at Georgia Tech. Why I remember one game in a late fall afternoon when the sun was shining down brightly through the chilly air. There I was in the press box of Grant Field and... wait, what was I talking about?
Oh yeah, Alabama cheating. All of this is about as ethical as a highly celebrated journalist making up quotes to contribute to a big expose and then claiming to fact check that same story but letting a host of inaccuracies, falsehoods and outright fiction make it into print.
"I never had a chance, did I?" Coach Les Miles said bitterly to a friend the other day. "I never had a chance."
When a fixer works against you, that's the way he likes it.