Snake is down but shouldn’t be out

By Hunter Ford

My heroes have always been cowboys, you know, people who have an independent spirit and march to the beat of their own drum.

It’s hard to watch when one of them falls out of the saddle.

Such was the case last week when the news broke that Kenny Stabler got arrested for his third DUI.

The predictable feeding frenzy of sports talk radio followed, and Kenny was mangled a bit. He also had supporters, including Alabama football coach Nick Saban, who publicly said he wanted to see Stabler continue as color analyst for radio broadcasts of Alabama football.

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I also hope Stabler will continue to call Tide games this fall.

But the whole fiasco brings up some serious issues, and to me, conjures thoughts of other personalities like Stabler.

I can think of teams of people (mostly rock stars and entertainers) I admired for their talents, whose talent couldn’t save them from their excessive tendencies- the list is endless.

Stabler, known as “Snake” for his slithery athletic moves, gained his reputation as a hard-living playboy type a long time ago.

In college, Stabler was suspended by Alabama coach Bear Bryant. He paid his dues to Bryant and was allowed back on the team. In his pro career, Stabler was legendary for going straight from the saloon to the gridiron.

There’s something kind of supernatural about getting blitzed all night at a bar, then avoiding the rush of 250-pound linebackers and hurling touchdown passes with ease the next day.

That’s pretty cool….when you are 25 or 30 years old. When you are 62 years old, standing in an orange jumpsuit posing for a mug shot at the Robertsdale Police Department? Not very cool.

There are other talented people who go through life struggles and live to tell about them, in the process teaching and inspiring others.

Joe Namath preceded Stabler as an Alabama quarterback. Namath was also benched by Bryant. Namath guaranteed a victory for his New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. He made good on the guarantee. Namath became “Broadway Joe,” one of the first pro athlete multi-media sensations. Namath was famous for liking his women blonde and his Johnny Walker Red. Pretty cool… in his time. But a couple of years ago an aged “Joe Willie” was snockered on the sideline of a nationally televised Jets game. He told the pretty sideline reporter that he could care less about the game. “I just wanna kish you!” Not very cool.

Namath profusely apologized for his indiscretion and humbly served as a role model for “what not to do.”

Stabler has the chance to do that. He can be humble, take his medicine (whatever that may be) and serve as a role model for “what not to do.”

On any given Saturday in Tuscaloosa there will be 90,000 plus in the stands. I would say (very conservatively) about ten percent of those people will be in extra “high spirits” if you know what I mean.

Stabler can say on the radio, with some authority, “Look folks, don’t make the same mistake I made.”

Most cowboy-type outlaw heroes have a dual persona. They like little warm puppies and children and ladies of the night. They like smoky old poolrooms and clear mountain mornings.

Stabler likes the high life, but he also has a reputation for lending his talents to community service and charitable causes.

The song says that cowboys aren’t wrong, they’re just different, and their pride won’t let them do the things to make you think they’re right.

Stabler will have to swallow some pride. This is his third arrest for DUI. Although he may not be convicted, he still has to admit he was wrong simply to have been in a position to get arrested.

But if he handles this situation the way he handled defenses during his playing days, he won’t have to limp off into the sunset just yet.

In the meantime…Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Or is that, don’t let your cowboys grow up to be babies?


Add Yours
  1. 2
    Coma guy

    I remember when Pat Dye got caught drunk. They policeman who arrested him got fired and then the Auburn Alumni gave Pat Dye a raise and named a street after him.

  2. 3
    Coma guy

    And as I recall, Phillip Marshall’s headline was “Pat Dye volunteers for Independent Drunk Driving Study”

  3. 4

    I have changed my mind. Kenny’s job is not important anymore because the Radio don’t jive with the T.V. Kenny and the rest of the Bastards do not live in the real world. All of us working Drones know the deal when the poop hits the fan.

  4. 6

    Ken Stabler’s not a bad radio commentator. His only problem is it’s hard to understand him at certain times because of that old-school, Mobile drawl.

    But the University should take some sort of serious action. His job defines him and he defines his job.

  5. 7
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    ComaGuy, how do you know? You’re in a coma.

    tmc1, yes take him out and “Deliverance” him, Tuskaloser style. It’s rolling Baby it’s rolling! It’s Snake’s “Destinty”.

  6. 8

    Seriously?!?! REALLY?!>?!! Dude gets caught DRIVING DRUNK and you guys wanna bring up PAT DYE guys really cant
    find any fodder huh? to make up for his drunk ass driving you throw up Auburn..

  7. 9

    I think Kenny is a good guy. He is fair on the radio during games. When Auburn was kicking bama’s ass.. he said.. Auburn is kicking our butts all over the field. Eli Gold on the other hand… is horrible. I think Kenny made a hugh mistake driving drunk for the third time but you knew how he was when he was hired to be on the radio.. let the man stay.. he is the only good thing bammers have going for them… As far as bringing up Pat Dye and drinking.. while you are living in the past once again.. why not bring up Bear and his drinking problem… oooooohhhhhhh

  8. 10

    Yes Bear had a drinking problem. It started primarily as a yearly celebration for Iron Bowl victories, SEC championships and the occasional National champiionship, and it grew from there…..So I guess Auburn is partly to blame.
    Damn you Auburn University!

    P.S. Just kidding.

  9. 11

    That’s one long pile of excuses for Stabler and any other (and we know there are many) drunk bammers driving home from football games.

    I wonder if you want to tell Siran Stacy that his family died just because, well, some good ole’ boy had a few too many before he got behind the wheel? That ain’t no harm done, right?

    I personally don’t care if Stabler just found the cure for cancer — it’s shameful the way you people just keep enabling him. Eventually, he WILL kill someone.

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