The Tuscaloosa Bearometer SHIP EDITION: Winning Through Extraordinary Circumstance

(Bear Bear Bryant by Robert Gobel III; BBQ Nachos by Big Bad Wolves; Smiling Saban by Someone Doing a Remote Task Correctly For the 100th Time)

HAPPY 2016 Y’ALL

I hope everyone enjoyed watching the STAR WARS FANFICTION that was the College Football Playoff Semi-Final where the STAR KILLER BASE was a completely sound & perfectly executed tactical planet destroying machine that eviscerated entire Spartan armies with the power of the sun & by the sun I mean the Black Hole Sun that is Jarran Reed because doesn’t Jarran Reed sound like a Star Wars character name? It’s an even better Star Wars name than JoJo Freshwater! Alabama Football is like if Star Wars ended after Empire Strikes Back & was just like ‘welp that’s the end of all of that, hope you enjoyed this incredibly depressing space tale!’ & to be honest we might all be a lot better off because our culture’s obsession with ‘trilogies’ is going to give us an 8-team playoff one of these days

Yes indeed that was a mauling, except we won’t use the word mauling because that seems to bring forward images of giant jungle cats & that is NOT something that we are ON BOARD with right now or ever because Tigers are stupid animals that are never up to anything good because they’re always peddling frosted cereal as if it is actually good for you claiming that “oh yes, this sugar bomb is actually revolutionizing breakfast all of these shifts in the food pyramid are actually evolving the sport of breakfast” whereas elephants are motherfucking TRIED & TRUUU bacon & eggs smashmouth first meals of the day.

Instead we will use the word DRUBBING because that is a fun word that we don’t use nearly enough or we could be like we BASED them because that seems a little bit more medieval but sorry Sparty I guess if this game was the measuring stick that stick was broken in half & then stabbed directly into your collective spleens have fun winning the Big 10 again next year

(Santa Bear by Robert Gobel III)

Yes, Santa Bear Bryant was good to us even though he was a little bit late in his gift giving, but there’s a good chance that Santa Bear Bryant is more like WISE MAN SANTA BEAR BRYANT & like all good hispanics is celebrating Reyes & A’Shawn was a good boy this year & put out his ass-kicking shoes on his front porch which El Oso put small little oranges in even though we went to the Cotton Bowl this year

I am not going to harp on the past because the past is the past even though I am incredibly susceptible to EXTREME ANALYTICS & noticing trends in previous games which gives me VALUABLE INSIGHT into games which makes me look really smart when I am talking to someone who thinks that I am just a DUMB WRITER who just thinks about birds and villanelles all day & that game was LITERALLY LAST YEAR (lol dad joke) & we really really need to focus up because it is

THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

LET’S GOOOOOOOO

If you would’ve told me in August that we would be playing the second week of January I would’ve been like ‘wow what horrible disaster hit our country causing us to postpone (but never cancel) these football games so that we had a JANUARY IRON BOWL (oh god terrifying)’ because I am an Alabama football fan that has very tempered expectations the majority of the time except every once in a while I have delusional moments of mania where I’m like WE’RE GONNA KILL THEM WE ARE THE GREATEST

Anyway, I don’t mean to sound like Jay-Z where he’s like ‘I just released this new album which is my favorite & best album I’ve ever done’ & we’re like ‘yeah yeah sure Jay-Z this is better than Reasonable Doubt ha ha ok’ but this Bama team is full of a bunch of beautiful & delightful & terrifying men who simultaneously are perfect Saban robots but every once in a while show tiny little flourishes of personality which make you go ‘aww’ (except for Cyrus Jones who is the football equivalent of Hakeem Lyon from EMPIRE). It’s very Saban-esque, where the entire team is a tower of london guard who stands their in their silly hat (or tasteful sweater) & then some woman flashes her boobs at the guy & he smiles & everyone is like OH SHIT DUDE SMILED THIS IS THE BEST BRITISH VACATION EVER LET’S GO BUY SOME FISH AND CHIPS DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY CALL FRENCH FRIES CHIPS AND CHIPS CRISPS AND MILKYWAYS ARE THREE MUSKATEERS AND MARS BARS ARE MILKWAYS ENGLAND IS AWESOUME

But seriously last year we were a little too “Saban is a cute grandpa now he’s soft!” but now that shine has come off & we’re back to just straight up murdering people & every once in a while dancing like the VHS tracking on our copy of Nosferatu fucked up

This is good because we are most definitely playing our role perfectly considering THE CLOWN PRINCE OF FUN Dabo Sweeney is opposite us! Look how fun Clemson is! They play the game the right way! They are having fun out there! Look at them dancing! They threw a pizza party!

Nick Saban does not eat pizza. Every second spent watching the Domino’s Pizza Tracker is a second that a recruit is thinking about staying closer to home & going to UGA. Nick Saban does not believe in parties. He prefers smaller intimate social gatherings. Sometimes he calls them “mandatory practices”.

Dabo is an insane man. Do not let the happy-go-lucky fun time hypeness fool you. He is the type of guy who will dance & dab & sing along to Migos but thinks that Tamir Rice would still be alive if he was at church like he was supposed to be instead of hanging around in a park in broad daylight. All I want in life is for someone to be like “Dabo what do you think about your team” “OUR TEAM PLAYED THEIR BUTTS OFF LIKE WE WERE AN EPISODE OF BOTCHED AND THEY GOT CONCRETE BUTTS THAT NEEDED TO BE REMOVED BY DOCTOR TERRY AND NOW THEY HAVE NO BUTTS BECAUSE THEY DID GREAT I AM SO PROUD” “Dabo what do you think about these fans” “THESE FANS LET ME TELL YOU THEY ARE THE EQUIVALENT OF DIRTY SPRITE 2 YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN DIRTY SPRITE BUT THEY WENT AND DID IT AGAIN” “Dabo what do you think about DeShaun Watson’s leadership skills” “I THINK THAT DESHAUN WAS AN INCREDIBLE LEADER MUCH LIKE OUR FUTURE PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP BECAUSE HE BELIEVES THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS A HORRIBLE SIN AND AN ABOMINATION AGAINST THE LORD OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST BUT YEAH DESHAUN PLAYED GREAT LET’S GO DANCE WOOO”

There have been rumors of Chip Kelly coming to Tuscaloosa & THE SARK coming to Tuscaloosa but if I hear rumblings about Saban’s ascension to the AD position (watch ur back bill battle here comes seven emails titled THE PROCESS POST-TRIBUNE) & I hear that Dabo is eating at Zoe’s Kitchen I’m self-immolating in the Publix parking lot.

Yes, Clemson is the worst. Granted, every team that plays us is the worst, but they are the new worst. Their color scheme is purple & orange, which is fitting because they are some bizarre hybrid of LSU & Auburn, having the beautiful benefit of having a handful of swamp people fans, a little brother complex, a bunch of guys in the NFL, & a wacky offense designed to make you throw chicken wing bones at the television. Their uniforms look like the evil high school in every single sports movie that the lovable band of losers has to play in the semi-finals with their flashy uniforms & liberal use of the word ‘swag’. God the ACC makes me so mad

FINAL VERDICT BIG LOCK OF THE WEEK SPONSORED BY BIG LOTS

A lot of conversation leading up to this game has been how Clemson is the type of team that gives Alabama fits, & this is definitely based in truth: they run a variation of the spread, they have an excellent defensive line, & an excellent & mobile quarterback. If you go back & see the teams that have beat us over the Saban regime, these are the common trends that you will run into.

What they don’t tell you is that we have also beaten plenty of teams that run the same offense that Clemson does — especially this year. Clemson is scary, but isn’t necessarily anything that we haven’t seen before, despite what the narrative might tell you otherwise.

There’s a lot to be nervous about, but there’s a lot to be excited about: for all of the talk of Clemson’s defense, this is a group that gave up 41 points to NC State, 37 to North Carolina, & 32 to South Carolina (though that late TD was in garbage time, sorry Perry Orth, you still have the most hilarious name in the SEC East).

Their most telling stat, however, is that they gave up 194 yards rushing to Dalvin Cook, who, is a superb running back, & well, we have one of those too.

Clemson starts fast, yet fades a bit down the stretch due to the fact that they don’t have a ton of depth on defense & this is one of the natures of the hurry-up spread. Alabama operates the exact opposite way, which is what you want — you want to gain momentum as the game continues on. This is to say, that all of our Alabama “slow starts where everyone panics because we’re only up 10–0” might be one of those “slow starts where everyone panics because we’re down 13–7”.

If we get Jake Coker (i’m sorry, Jay Coker) Final Redemption ACC Revenge George Strait Efficient Robot, we will be more than fine. If we get Future Billionaire Reggie Ragland tormenting Watson, we will be more than fine. If we get Derrick Henry infused with the spirit of grandma, we will be more than fine. If we get the least sexy human Mario Kart 64 Thwomp Brigade offensive line, we will be more than fine. We should expect these things, because we trust the process.

This is where I ask all of y’all to trust your own process. Make sure you get your lucky shirt washed. Be nice to people — put a lot of good & positive karma out in the world in hopes of getting it back Monday night. If you know any Clemson fans, tell them that you’re excited for the game & don’t say anything else. Realize that we are lucky as hell to be alive, not just, you know, because the alternative is morbid, but because you’ve had the pleasure of following Alabama football through some of the most dominant times ever. Be happy that you get to watch this 2015 team of student athletes come together to attempt to obliterate the competition one last time.

This is a friendly reminder to nurse those drinks early, because here’s hoping when the shots start pouring late, they’ll be of the celebratory nature. James Brown will never sound so sweet.

Alabama 34-Clemson 24

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