Saturday readings

It has been a crazy week—and I’m not talking football. On Wednesday, just a few days over three months since my mom had an intracerebral hemorrhage (the worst kind of stroke) she returned home. She’s still functionally dependent. She can’t move or use her left side, but she’s alive and is glad to be home. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and notes—I appreciate it greatly.

On to the readings to kill time before the games begin.

One of my favorite blogs, Eight in the Box reports Alabama fans aren’t buying enough stuff. The Tide ranks eighth in sales of college licensed merchandise placing it below big programs like Texas, Georgia and Florida. Auburn ranks 12th just above Wisconsin.

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Alabama linebacker Prince Hall could be available for action tonight. Saban revealed the information Thursday evening. Hall’s pending availability shows another example of Saban’s philosophy on discipline—he’s willing to show some level of mercy when a player does what he needs to be doing. It seems like a carrot added to the stick.

Apparently, Nick Saban has decided he’s tired of players not having the right attitude. He delivered a strongly worded commentary during his radio program. The Rap Sheet has the details.

One blog takes Saban’s comments from the radio program and explores a deeper meaning. Any blog that can plumb the depths of French defeat in World War 2 and apply those lessons to football should be read. The University of Alabama Football Report does a remarkable job talking about the attitudes behind the sport.

No, the problem of the Line was not a problem of ammunition or design or manpower, but of vision. The army still fighting the last war usually loses the next one. With the Line in place, France’s leaders had little incentive to ready their forces for the forthcoming assaults and little recourse when the Line, as stalwart in defeat as ever, proved useless.

Pride, not mortar or shells or firing pins, was the faulty component, and that’s a lesson applicable to endeavors less brutal than warfare.

Pride is usually the problem in any organization. When we rest on our laurels at work we are just as guilty of pride as football players who are satisfied with a victory over Clemson.

The Football Report also mentions a few good things about Alabama’s young season. One of the good things would be John Parker Wilson.

For the fans, there is progress on display. In seasons past, last week’s performance against the Green Wave was exactly the type of thing that would lead to an Alabama loss. This time, the Crimson Tide still won by two touchdowns.

Much of that is attributable to Javier Arenas, but an unknown—but welcome—factor is John Parker Wilson’s lack of miscues. Yes, he was pressured all night and even took a few sacks, but he did not turn the ball over or repeat any of his previously maddening improvisations.

The Crimson and White Roundtable is hosted this week by the Bama Sports Report. I haven’t participated in the roundtable the last couple of weeks. I promise I’ll jump in again soon.

For you basketball fans, the schedule is beginning to take shape. Who will be in Maui to enjoy the Tide’s basketball in this new season?