There are divisions in the Bama nation, regarding who our biggest rival is. Many will assume it is Auburn, because of the fluky finishes — even though they are eternal little brother and we didn’t even play for decades.
The old-timers will tell you that it’s Tennessee, a game steeped in a tradition of seething hate. The fact is that the Third Saturday in October has lost much of its inconsistent shades-of-orange luster, now that we enjoy a crimson winning streak that fully engages both hands of even the polydactyls from the hill country. (That means “twelve and counting” for those of you in Lee County.)
It is not a stretch to say that while LSU is not our most traditional rival, that game has been circled on more schedules than any other the last few years. There are always stakes, often delivered to the heart in the final moments with a screen pass or a missed field goal.
Halloween is behind us, and Thanksgiving is on deck — heralded by the arrival of annoying pumpkin spice variants on every menu. (And that’s not an orange that I can sit with.) Which means that the real holiday is upon us: Manball Christmas.
Another tradition that has emerged is our annual “trading of the barbs” with our colleagues over at And the Valley Shook. Below are my questions for Chef Billy Gomila - and I answer his fine queries over at their blog.
Ricky: The league office being housed in Birmingham has been a sore subject for a lot of your fanbase. If the SEC were to consider a move to another city, would you prefer it directly behind the Bryant Museum, or actually inside?
Chef Billy: I fail to see the difference in either of the scenarios outlined here.
Ricky: LSU has certainly had issues finding stability at the quarterback position. Please talk a little bit about how Joe Burrow is not a Greg McElroy-style “game manager.”
Chef Billy: Well for one, Greg McElroy couldn’t break down a Georgia safety in the open field if you handcuffed the Bulldog’s feet together. Honestly, game-manager describes Burrow pretty well. He doesn’t screw up much, and that’s an upgrade on most of his predecessors here.
Ricky: Follow-up question: Do you guys feel a little ripped off that you got the Purdue transfer QB when Ohio State was playing well, and the Buckeye transfer QB when Purdue smacked tOSU around?
Chef Billy: Does anybody feel ripped off in any scenario that includes bad things happening to Urban Meyer and/or Ohio State?
Ricky: Coach O has certainly acquitted himself, and put the “hot seat” talk in the trash. Who plays Ed Orgeron in the movie of his life? And who will play Tua Tagovailoa when they recreate that famous scene on the sidelines where Coach O met a two-time Heisman winner? (Three, if we count it Bama-style.)
Chef Billy: You know, he’d need to work on his bench press a little bit, and the accent, obviously, but I’ve always been partial to the great Fred Ward of Tremors fame. They have a similar look and a similar masculine je ne sai quoi. Ward could fill the role of Beef Dad well, and at his core, Coach O is the beefiest of beef dads to the beefiest of football players, defensive linemen. And Tua has kind of a Jaden Smith look to him, and getting his dad signed on as a producer is our surest bet to get this picture greenlighted. I mean if there’s one thing Alabama’s not about to complain about, it’s nepotism, so I think we have a path to getting this into theaters.
Enjoy the game, everyone.