30 December 2009
On Wednesday afternoon the Alabama football team held its ninth practice for the BCS Championship Game. Due to rain in Tuscaloosa, the team worked inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. The full pads practice was the penultimate one in Tuscaloosa, and the final one that will have a media viewing period.
Here's what you need to know:
The injury/health situation appears to be very good. James Carpenter practiced for the second consecutive day after missing Monday's practice with the flu. Alfred McCullough continues to work as his backup, futher signifying that the coaching staff doesn't view this as a potential problem for next Thursday.
Marquis Johnson did more work today than he had done in each of the previous two days. He is still wearing a wrap on his left hand because of a thumb injury, but it is not limiting him in practice. At this point it looks like it will be a matter of pain management... if Marquis can deal with the pain, then he'll be able to play. And if you think a senior is going to succumb to pain and miss the national championship game, then you haven't paid much attention to this team.
Otherwise, things are very quiet. Everyone's grades are in order. Everyone appears to be relatively healthy. Everyone appears to be focused. It's pretty much exactly how you would want things two days prior to leaving for the west coast.
Bama will practice again on Thursday, though the practice will be closed to the media. The Tide will then fly to Los Angeles on Friday, where it will hold five practices before next Thursday's game.
If you are making the trip to California, and are looking for something Bama related to do while you are out there, there will be at least one official function for Tide fans. On Tuesday night, the 5th, there will be a special bowl edition of "Hey Coach! The Nick Saban Show". Held at the Costa Mesa Hilton, the show will begin at 5:00 p.m. local time and will feature the entire CTSN crew - Eli Gold, Phil Savage, Barry Krauss, and Tom Roberts, as well as an extended visit from Coach Saban.
The event will be free to attend, and there will be door prizes given, including tickets to 2010 home games... and not the small games, either. Fans will have a chance to win tickets to the Penn State, Florida, and Auburn games. Other prizes include game used football jerseys, hats, t-shirts, and signed copies of Eli Gold's latest book.
There will be food and drinks available for purchase - including a cash bar. The two hour show will be available on CTSN radio affiliates for those not making the trip to California.
We'll have coverage of all of the events that happen in southern California in the days leading up to the game. I'll be heading out to the L.A. area on Monday, and Ell will follow on Wed.
So stay tuned here for any news that might come up.
And, because I've sadly forgotten to remind you in the last few days... I hate orange. The fact that Bama could close this season with wins over three consecutive teams wearing that horrid color makes me happy in a way that I can't put into words.
Happy New Year! Roll Tide!