For the past week, Carol of No Sheeples Here and I have been exchanging deep thoughts about the dubious quality of Crimson Tide football in preparation for their S.E.C. Championship game against the Florida Gators. Even The TrogloPundit struggled to decide for whom to root.
Alabama won the championship easily, so congratulations to them. Winning the S.E.C. championship is like winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics; a great and honorable achievement, but not exactly a world conquering development.
I did tell Carol in an e-mail that I was actually rooting for the Crimson Tide, but did not tell her why. Lance didn't mention it in his post, but there is really a strong connection between Alabama and Wisconsin in the area of sports. Good ol' boys from Alabama come to Wisconsin to become great men.
One good example of a Crimson Tide* coming to Wisconsin to become a man is Don Hutson. After attending the University of Alabama, Hutson was thought by most pro scouts to be too skinny to make it the big time. But Green Bay's Curly Lambeau realized that he could make this skinny college kid into a real man. And so he did. After 11 years as a Packer, Don Hutson still holds many NFL records for receiving, now mostly in the 'leading the league' category. Some consider him the greatest receiver ever. Hutson was also a three-way player and at times lead the league in interceptions as well as kicking field goals and 172 extra points.
Another example of Wisconsin's Man Up Factory products is quarterback Bart Starr. After graduating from Alabama, Starr wasn't even considered by the pros as a decent prospect. The Packers drafted him in the 17th, yes, the 17th, round because they knew that Wisconsin could make a great man out of him. In any discussion about the greatest NFL quarterbacks Starr is seldom highly regarded. As I've heard one expert say, "Setting aside his 5 NFL Championships, his League MVP, his two Super Bowl victories and two Super Bowl MVP's, Bart Starr really wasn't that great of a quarterback." Who could argue that logic?
Today's final example of an Alabaman learning greatness in Wisconsin is my all time favorite sports hero- Hank Aaron. He blossomed into greatness in Milwaukee. To this day, he still credits his success to Wisconsin cheese.
(* Is a single member of the Crimson Tide team called a Crimson Drip?)