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Jumbo Package: Leap Day 2016

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Your daily dose of news and notes...

This is Reggie dancing to a little Tupac in his head.
This is Reggie dancing to a little Tupac in his head.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Leap Day, everyone. We have a few interesting links for you today, starting with a successful weekend on the diamond:

Alabama notebook: Tide softball wins in walk-off fashion - TimesDaily

The minimalist approach paid off in a big way Sunday, Grantham plated a career-high four RBIs on a 2 for 4 day, including a game-tying two-run double in her final at-bat before scoring the game-winning run on a walk-off RBI single by Leona Lafaele to down Tennessee in a 6-5 non-conference victory at Rhoads Stadium.

"This was for sure one of the games we wanted under our belt. First of all, it gives our freshmen a look at what the SEC is all about," Grantham said. "Because that’s what half of the series end up being like, and for them to get that experience in a game that doesn’t necessarily hurt your conference (record), … you always want to beat a conference team."

Great weekend for the ladies, as they swept four games over the weekend including two from the #15 Arizona Wildcats, one from the Marshall Thundering Herd, and one from the always hated Tennessee Volunteers. They are now 15-1 on the season. The baseball team also had a great weekend, sweeping three from North Dakota.

Getting Presidential:

Alabama football team to visit White House, Barack Obama for 4th time next week | AL.com

Alabama's football team is headed back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The White House announced it would host the Crimson Tide at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 2. It will be the fourth such trip for Nick Saban's Alabama program during the Barack Obama administration.

Maybe somebody will be thirsty and have about fifteen Dr. Peppers.

Donald Trump heaps praise on Nick Saban, Alabama football program at rally | AL.com

"I love Alabama. I do love that team. How good is that team?" said Trump in front of an estimated 10,000 attendees. "I love champions."

"I don't know your coach. I don't know, maybe he's endorsing somebody else, I don't care," Trump continued. "You got a hell of a coach. The job he's done here right?"

"But I love the team. I love watching them play, so professional," Trump added, concluding his remarks on the Crimson Tide.

What did Marco Rubio say about Auburn Football? | AL.com

An alumni of the University of Florida, Rubio kicked off his speech by saying "Tuesday's an important day and thank you for greeting me despite the fact I am a Florida Gator." He then followed this statement saying "We all want to beat Auburn that's good, right?"

After a mixed response from the crowd Rubio quipped "Oh, there's Auburn here? See I learned a long time ago not to get involved in that fight."

It seems that the Republicans understand what it takes to win in Alabama.

We've got politics, how about a little religion?

Televangelist Finally Discovers Direct Link Between Nick Saban And The Devil

We’ve long suspected a link between Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and the dark lord Satan—the names are just one letter away, jeez!—but here’s televangelist David Uth pointing out that the link between Alabama and sin is one inscribed in the Holy Bible.

Glad we can finally put those rumors to rest.

Football:

Member of Alabama's football staff leaving to take job at alma mater | AL.com

Alabama offensive analyst Keary Colbert is leaving to take the same position at his alma mater, USC, a source confirmed. Colbert had been on the Tide's staff since 2014 after starting his coaching career at Georgia State. Colbert was a star wide receiver for USC who was selected in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft.

Good for Keary. Full disclosure: I had no idea he was on the staff. I do remember him from his USC days, however.

Texas tight end Malcolm Epps shares why he committed to Alabama | AL.com

Epps, who said he measured in at 6-foot-5.5 and 215 pounds, becomes Alabama's second class of 2018 commitment behind Ferriday, La., offensive tackle Dare Rosenthal. "Alabama is the best program in the country football-wise and they have an outstanding academic building," Epps said. "I was just loving what I saw. They prepare you to get to the next level."

That is one large sophomore. Needless to say, the NSD 2018 is a ways off, but it's good to see the Tide making some hay early.

What it's like living with Reggie Ragland, a LB with uncommon musical taste | AL.com

"Just a lot of throwbacks that you probably hear your mom listens to when she's cleaning up the house or something," Reader said.

He'll hear Ragland playing everything from Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., NWA to Marvin Gaye "Oh man, I love a lot of old school music, a lot of blues music," Ragland said. "Any time I get a shot, I might through something weird on. Me and him, we have the same taste in older music like the Temptations and the O'Jays and all that stuff." Maybe headphones would be a wise investment?

"He doesn't understand all that good music," Ragland said.

I doubt it surprises anyone that Reggie is an old soul with impeccable taste. We're going to miss that guy.

Is Alabama the most hated college football team in America? | AL.com

The Crimson Tide received 9.2% of the vote nationwide in a 5,000-person Reddit College Football poll. The Ohio State Buckeyes were found at the top of the list, getting 11.4% of the national vote; Michigan State was tied with Alabama at second, also with 9.2%. Ironically, though, when polls were measured state-by state, the most hated team in the state of Alabama was Auburn (with 46.4% to Alabama's 20.2%). In the state, Tennessee was the third most hated team among Alabamians.

Shocking that the Ohio State Buckeyes are now the most hated team following their obnoxious fan response to a one-off national title.

NFL legend Bart Starr was victim of 'brutal' secret Alabama hazing | AL.com

"He was hospitalized at one point in traction," Cherry said. "That was in the days when they were initiated into the A-Club, and they had severe beatings and paddling. From all the members of the A-Club, they lined up with a big paddle with holes drilled in it, and it actually injured his back."

Bart never disclosed the incident involving the lettermen's club, says Cherry, because he thought "it would make him look bad." In declining health following two strokes in 2014, Bart, 82, is no longer able to discuss the events of his career, but the trauma he experienced at Alabama and its aftereffects are things the couple lived through together and have shared throughout their lives.

What an awful story. I can't fathom standing there while someone is injuring me with a wooden paddle. Thank goodness that the universities have cracked down on this sort of thing.

Not a ton going on today, but we bring you what we've got. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.