As always, you can find the other responses at the C&W Roundtable blog.
1. Have y'all developed an unexpected affection for any of the non-revenue sports during the offseason, and if so which ones?
Well, like I said back in the original post my heart sank about as low as a football loss when Hawaii won game three, which was really completely unexpected. I'm not sure if that means I've really gotten into softball as a sport or just love winning, though. On the one hand, having followed it pretty closely this season and watched every game I could I started picking up on the strategies of the game and got a much better understanding of it. I would never claim to be an expert or anything, but at this point I do feel like I know enough about it to enjoy it. On the other hand, the fact that I completely ignored baseball (so much so that I fell asleep after the second weather delay and had no idea we had lost to LSU until hours later), which had sunk pretty low there through the middle of the season, tends to give credence to the notion that I only enjoyed watching the softball team because they are so good. LittleSis summed it up pretty well, actually:
my heart and stomach hurt at the end of that softball game. so much that i didn’t even watch the remainder of the baseball game. SO MUCH THAT I DIDN’T READ OR COMMENT ON RBR FOR TWO DAYS. i hate that pit in my stomach and it honestly as anxious as i am about there being only 94 days to kickoff, i am getting nervous too. i don’t want to feel that feeling but i know most folks expect us to drop one or heaven forbid TWO this year. part of what made the loss to florida so heart wrenching in 08 was that i had forgotten how losing felt. that softball game made me remember again.
I'm pretty excited about next season still, though, so hopefully that means the Tide softball team has won over another honest fan instead of just me paying attention when they're doing good and ignoring when they aren't.
2. Back to football, which team on the upcoming schedule are you most looking forward to facing and why?
Has to be Penn State. I'm sure I've talked about this on here before, but for anyone that hasn't heard the story yet this is why I always believe we're going to win:
That game was the first Alabama game I watched on my own. I was all of 11 years old and up until that point I had always watched games with my family or occasionally made the trek out to Legion Field to see them in person. Being a youngster and easily distracted, most times I wasn't paying attention until everyone else got excited and so in my child's mind Alabama always won. For some reason I actually watched this game on my own, laying on the floor in our living room while Mom watched in the den (not sure where Dad was). When Penn State managed to drive into field goal range my heart just broke and then...well, you know. I even remember hearing Mom yelling from across the house. From that moment I've always had faith that we could find a way to win, even during the lowest of low times, and that single play probably has more to do with my Alabama fandom than anything else. So getting the Nittany Lions back on the schedule, even if for only two years, really brings back some fond memories and I'm really hoping we can them back on more often.
3. It's hard to imagine Jim McElwain not making the leap to a head coaching position sometime soon. When that sad day comes, who would be your dream OC hire to take his place?
I think I know of a certain pirate captain looking for a ship that would be the most hilarious experiment in coaching chemistry in the history of college football. Could you imagine Saban and Leach in the same room? I could, and it's magnificent.
4. In that same vein, which OC that Alabama will face this year would you send an unmarked van filled with goons to "disappear" and then replace with a cosmetically-surgified-to-look-just-like-them Jeff Bowden?
I'm gonna go with Malzahn, not out of "fear" (I've already broken down the floundering of the Spread Eagle against our defense despite what the "58 minutes woo!" crowd might tell you) but because the hilarity coming from the Auburn fanbase once the Auburn offense grinds to a halt would be so so worth it. On one side you'll have the knives out, "that bum don't know nuthin' 'bout no offense run him off"! crowd facing the orange tinted glasses "it's working, you're just too stupid to realize it but I know it's working, it's just not working like it's supposed to work" crowd facing off by week two.
5. Finally, what is the one thing you are most looking forward to when football season finally gets here?
The comfort of "next week." If you win, there's another team to be beaten "next week." If you lose, then you can get right back in the saddle "next week." If you're headed into a bye, well at least there's football to be had "next week." God I love "next week."