The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Budd McLaughlin

January 9, 2013

Commentary: AJ’s hot girl and other apathetic BCS observations

— I was nestled in the comfort of my recliner Monday night when I heard several loud clatters.

Needless to say, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

The explosions were actually fireworks, set off by an overzealous Crimson Tide fan, reveling over his or her team’s lopsided victory in Monday night’s BCS title game.

“It’s after 11,” I told my wife. I also pointed out that such a grand display of Chinese-made explosives were not evident on New Year’s Eve, a night when fireworks are perfectly acceptable.

After each explosion and cascading flare of stars, I’d hear “Roll Tide!” in the distance.

“It’s just a game,” I said, causing my wife — a University of Alabama graduate — to bristle at such an accusation.

“Yeah, but it’s a way of life, here,” she countered.

And so it is a way of life. And thusly, the Crimson Tide team is to be congratulated over its 42-14 rout of Notre Dame on Monday night. Uncle Nick Saban is also to be congratulated on his sizeable bonus.

According to USA Today, Saban picked up $200,000 for Monday’s win. His previous bonuses for winning the SEC Championship and qualifying for the BCS game was worth an additional $325,000. So, all told, Uncle Nick picked up $525,000 in bonuses, on top of his near $5.5 million salary.

Considering his vast riches, I’m working to establish some sort of familial bloodline, hence why he will be known to me as “Uncle” Nick.

I watched most of Monday’s game, but became bored after a while because it looked less like a football game and more like an Alabama A-Day game. Needless to say, it was all Tide, all the time.

Lensey, who was thoroughly excited about the game and our corresponding chili dogs, fell into a deep slumber on the couch. In her deep sleep, she was slightly more energetic than Notre Dame’s offense.

The game, though boring, wasn’t without its highlights, however. At one point, the bored ESPN broadcasters Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger decided to salivate over Tide quarterback AJ McCarron’s model girlfriend, Katherine Webb.

“Wow, I’m telling ya, you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women!” Musburger said.

Other men apparently agreed. Prior to Monday’s game, Webb had about 900 followers on Twitter. As of this writing, she has 165,000 and counting.

Musburger’s 73-year-old salivating was apparently so creepy that ESPN issued an apology on Tuesday, which makes what he said seem even creepier.

To her credit, Webb reportedly told celebrity gossip outlet TMZ that she was flattered by Musburger’s comments, and didn’t find them creepy at all.

My other favorite highlight was the on-field spat between McCarron and center Barrett Jones over when to snap the ball. What better place to have an argument than on live TV, in front of millions of bored spectators?

All in all, I was happy a team from Alabama won the whole ball of wax. It’s plain to see that my alma mater, Jacksonville State University, will never rise above its mediocrity on the gridiron and be considered in the same elite class as any team in the SEC. That goes double when compared to the mighty UA.

Lensey once pointed out that I would be a bigger college football fan had I attended a school that was also a football powerhouse. Maybe she’s right.

Maybe I’d be an even bigger fan if I had an Uncle Nick.

— Managing editor and baseball fan Adam Smith can be reached at

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Budd McLaughlin


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