Mr. Sports: The game to remember

By Bob Labbe

The game to remember: Alabama vs. Georgia for the SEC Championship. Almost a week later and I’m still reeling from the dramatics of the greatest SEC Championship game ever.

With the heart-stopping (I think I had three heart attacks in the fourth quarter alone) 32-28 victory by Alabama, the Crimson Tide now gets a much needed rest before facing No. 1 ranked Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship scheduled for Jan. 7 in Miami.

I truly believe there is no way the BCS game can match the unbelievable gutsy play in the SEC title game.

From opening kickoff to the final play of the hard-fought game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the SEC Championship had all of the dramatics any game could have. My prediction of a 2-point victory for the No.2 Crimson Tide over the No. 3 Bulldogs was right on the money and the Bama victory was certainly won on the Tide’s offensive line. The group of linemen, regarded as the best in the country, took control of the game in the second half, especially the fourth quarter and battered and bruised the Bulldogs up and down the artificial turf to a tune of 350-yards, 198 of that coming in the second half when the Tide needed ball control.

Alabama’s All-American center, Barrett Jones, injured his foot in the first quarter, but never gave up and played the remainder of the game basically on one leg. After the game, he left the Georgia Dome on crutches, unable to walk. That is determination and a never give up attitude.
The more physical team won the battle. It was one game for the ages. I’m glad I had a friend nearby who knew CPR!

Bowl Season

The 2012-2013 bowl season begins in Albuquerque, N.M. on Dec. 15 and ends in Miami at the Discover BCS Championship on Jan. 7 in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. There are 35 games in all scheduled.

Besides the Alabama-Notre Dame match up in the BCS Championship, other games that catch my fancy in this year’s bowl season include Oregon-Kansas State (Tostitos Fiesta), Northern Illinois-Florida State (Discover Orange), and Baylor-UCLA (Bridgepoint Education Holiday).
ESPN has all but three of the bowl games. Enjoy the month.

Rolando McClain

What the heck is going on with Rolando McClain? The product of Decatur High School and Alabama Crimson Tide has been suspended for two games by the Oakland Raiders for what has been called a “team-related issue”.

McClain certainly has personal problems as he recently settled out of court with an old friend of his after McClain was charged with a couple different offenses from an incident that occurred in McClain’s old Decatur “hood” a year ago. McClain, who now lives in Madison, looks to be fired by the Raiders very soon and with his lackluster play and sour attitude, I’m not sure any other NFL team will touch him…at least until he gets help first.

It’s sad, because he was a first round draft choice and was regarded as the cream of the crop at linebackers when he joined the NFL three years ago. Let’s hope he matures and becomes a man young people can look up to. As of now, let him spin in his own self-pity. Grow up Rolando!

Top Selling Jersey

There has been a change at the top of the best selling NFL jerseys…just in time for Christmas.

Washington Redskins’ rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III now has the top selling jersey replacing Peyton Manning. Manning of the Denver Broncos had been in the top spot in sales. Manning is now second followed by Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, Eli Manning of the Giants and Tom Brady of the Patriots as the top five jerseys sold. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck of the Colts makes a presence in the top selling list at No. 6.

Rocket City Marathon

The annual Rocket City Marathon is this Saturday in Huntsville. The 26.2-mile race through the streets of the Rocket City will feature 1,500 runners from all across the country, including as many as 100 from Madison. The race begins at 8 a.m. so travel through many parts of Huntsville may be delayed as race officials have local police hold up traffic in several locations to allow safety for those participating in the grueling physical test of endurance.