Rue's Rant on College Sports in Alabama

August 26, 2009 3:43 PM

College Sports Rule in Alabama

Pardon me for forgetting my Southern manners the other day. What was I thinking? I just started ranting without introducing myself or telling you what I'll be ranting about.

An introduction indeed is in order.

I am a lifelong Alabamian from Montgomery, a University of Alabama graduate (Class of 1979) and I've been writing about sports in this state for more than 30 years.

Without any major professional sports teams (we've tried and failed on numerous occasions to make that happen, becoming instead the minor league capital of the South with four Double-A baseball teams in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery), college sports rule.

College football is king thanks to Alabama and Auburn, but we have some other programs that bear watching, given the talent they have sent to the NFL in recent years.

Did you know that Troy has produced the likes of linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys), defensive end Osi Umenyiora (New York Giants), placekicker Lawrence Tynes (Giants), and defensive back Leodis McKelvin (Buffalo Bills)?

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White hails from UAB, Tennessee Titans defensive back Cortland Finnegan is from Samford in Birmingham, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis is from Alabama &M and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is from Alabama State, although I'm not sure how long he remain with the Vikings now that Brett Favre has come out of retirement.

These are just a few of the more prominent non-Alabama and non-Auburn players in the league.

I'll be blogging plenty about college football, but the other college sports also need mentioning, considering Alabama just hired its first African-American basketball coach (Anthony Grant, no relation), Auburn has produced its share of major league baseball players, such as Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, Alabama is a national power in gymnastics and Auburn keeps winning NCAA swimming titles.

So, even though we don't have any teams from those alphabet leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), I'll still have lots for you to read.

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