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Labor Day Open Thread

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A few Alabama notes for your holiday.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Labor Day, everyone. A few notes for your day off, starting with the best thing you will see today.

It still baffles me why any kid who has the chance to learn under this man chooses not to.

We haven’t spoken much about special teams this offseason.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH SPECIAL TEAMS?

Outside of placekicker Will Reichard being healthy and kicking two field goals of 50-plus yards in the first scrimmage, we haven’t heard much in regards to special teams. Reichard has been focusing on kicking instead of punting, leaving that up to Ty Perine and Air Force transfer Charlie Scott, the younger brother of Alabama legend JK Scott. The Tide also returns snapper Thomas Fletcher and punt returner Jaylen Waddle, but outside of what most people would be able to piece together on their own, there’s still plenty to learn about special teams.

Hopefully Reichard is healthy and ready to live up to his billing, and the punter situation will be interesting to watch.

Alabama had a few guys make practice squads.

· Wide receiver Gehrig Dieter by the Kansas City Chiefs

· Tight end Hale Hentges by the Washington Football Team

· Safety Jared Mayden by the San Francisco 49ers

· Center Ross Pierschbacher by the Washington Football Team

· Wide receiver Cam Sims by the Washington Football Team

· Cornerback Saivion Smith by the Dallas Cowboys

· Long snapper Carson Tinker by the New York Giants

Here’s a cool little anecdote for you.

And last but not least, Forbes has a nice writeup on the integration of Alabama football.

Sports is often a vehicle for change, and this game revved the engines and added fresh tires for the advancement of college football at Alabama. By 1979, the team had gone from zero Black players to 18 Black players on the roster. They’d also won three national championships, posting a win-loss record of 107-13 in that 10-year window. In 1971, junior college transfer defensive lineman Johnny Mitchell became Alabama’s first Black player to see playing time. That same year, another Black player, running back Wilbur Jackson would join him on the field. In fact, Jackson was in the stands watching the game as a freshman. Then by 1973, Mitchell would be invited back by Bryant to become Alabama’s first Black assistant coach. Mitchell is currently an assistant coach to Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Consider this your open thread for today. Enjoy the holiday.

Roll Tide.