As the Hawg Squeals

I know some of you may have been expecting Mike the Redneck to weigh in on tomorrow’s Alabama-Arkansas match-up. Sorry to disappoint, but he went to the dentist yesterday (he actually still has two teeth left) and got one of those numbing shots and just isn’t able to talk very well right now. Nevertheless, he sends his “REE-guards.”

I spent four years of my life dwelling in The Natural State and have more readers there than in any other state besides Alabama. I hold no grudge against the Hogs. In fact, I rather like the Razorback Nation.

Why, you ask? It’s really very simple. You see, just when we thought we might buckle under the scrutiny and scorn of ESPN in the wake of Shula’s firing and the subsequent coaching search, along came the Razorback Nation with their own little soap opera– “As the Hawg Squeals.” Oh sure, our hopeless infatuation with The Bear borders on necrophilia, and we even hocked his statue in order to pay Saban, but you guys broke new ground.

Yes, we monitored flight plans, tracked flight paths, and staked out small, private airports all over the country, but you guys, oh my, you guys used the Freedom of Information Act to peer into Houston Nutt’s cell phone records. That’s so, so, very far out there. We doff our houndstooth fedoras to you. The Crimson Nation owes you all a debt that we will never be able to repay.

As to the game, we all remember what happened in Fayetteville last year. Alabama was poised to win, only to offer the game to the Hogs on a silver platter with the worse place-kicking meltdown in Crimson Tide history, one so bad that it even got Jesus’ attention. That game was a season-breaker for the Tide and was the start of an impressive run to Atlanta for the Hogs. I maintain to this day that had the Tide pulled that one out, and had Tyrone Prothro not suffered a career-ending injury the season before in that shellacking of the Gators, Mike Shula would still be the Head Coach at The Capstone.

But, in many ways, that day seems like ancient history. Alabama will lose this year–several times–but there is a strong feeling that there will be no more 4th quarter meltdowns, no more gift-wrapped games handed over to the opposing team in the closing minutes. No, if you beat Bama this year it will be because you outplayed them, fair and square. Shula was the “deer caught in the headlamps.” Saban is The Hunter.

These are two very closely-matched teams, and this one will be a close one, folks. We all know what Jones and DMac can do, and they’ll for sure get their licks in before the day is done. But they won’t run completely roughshod over a Tide defense anchored by senior corner Simeon Castille and true freshman middle linebacker Rolando McClain, a bona fide future All-American and NFL headhunter if there ever was one. Nor will the Hog secondary, which by all accounts was a leaky sieve against Troy, be riddled to bits by Tide QB John Parker Wilson who has yet to dial it in from long distance.

No, this one will be a relatively low-scoring affair, dominated by the dynamic duo from Arkansas and the artful dodging Bama tailback Terry Grant. In the end, it will come down to–and it pains me to say it–kicking. But the sports psychologists at Bama have been working overtime to rid Tiffin of that painful nightmare, and rumor has it that his Daddy and Granddaddy had him aligning those Allegros over at the plant in Red Bay this past summer just to drive home the point.

This time, late on Saturday night under the Tuscaloosa lights, with the heat on and surrounded by a undulating sea of Crimson, Tiffin comes through, just like his father before him.

Final Score: Bama 27, Arkansas 24.

Of course, it could just as easily go the other way. Just remember: You heard it hear first.

And a word to my expatriate Bama brethren languishing in The Natural State: Stay strong and be of good courage. Keep a low profile today, and let them do all the talking. Come Saturday night, be ready to make your move. Listen for the signal: The sound of a hawg squealing.

Roll Tide, Roll.

  1. Mike the Redneck

    He’s a lyin’ dawg! I didn’t go ta no dent..hey..mmmph…mmmph…MMMPH!

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Like I said, those numbing shots shots can last a really long time…

  3. mmlace

    Dr. Eyeguy/Redneck, you guys crack me up! Oh and “Bama 27, Arkansas 24”??? Just last post, I was telling you what a good writer you are…I didn’t know you were so good at fiction as well!!!

    AR 27, Bama 24…

    Yeah, that looks right…I think I like that better!

    At the credit union at which I am employed, on our casual Fridays, we get to wear jeans and a credit union T-shirt. But during football season, on Fridays we get to wear jeans and a Razorback T-shirt…so I must go don my Razorback apparell and finish getting ready for work!

    Enjoy the game tomorrow, if possible…GO HOGS!!! PIG SOOEY!!!!!

  4. Terri

    I’ll be there as a hog escort but I’ll just be scouting for the Tigers. I think I’ll watch for Amanda.

    I expect to see a good game but I’m saying Arkansas 21 Bama 17.

    What do I know – I’m just a girl!

  5. greg

    I heard on the news over here last night that Tiffen was 4-8 on FG’s this year. Is that true? And if so, is he the only kicker on the roster?

    We actually have a kicker for the first time in years. A freshmen who was 4-4 against Troy. I don’t think we’ve had a kicker make 4 in a row in the Nutt era.

    I’d give Arkansas the edge except for the fact that this is Satan’s first home conference game, as well as the bad taste AL still has from last year’s game, which they basically won. Mitch won’t be there to throw 3 interceptions this year, but I’ll still give AL the edge at home.

  6. Mike the Eyeguy

    I’m not sure of that, but I believe only one of those misses was a gimmee like last year, the rest were from long range and very close to good. In fact, one miss was a poor snap and handle–hardly his fault. I have a strong feeling that this is going to be his breakout game. And yes, Jamie Christensen is still around and has a track-record of game winners in case Tiffen starts spacing out again.

    Your kicker will find it challenging there, particularly when he’s in the south end of the stadium. The student section will be directly to his left and they are VERY LOUD. The Greek section will be directly behind the goal post, and the fumes from all that Jim Beam in flasks can make even the best of kickers a little wobbly in the knees.

    Hey, at least Tiffen has been close, unlike South Florida’s Alvarez who sent one flying past two ushers and into one of the tunnels!

  7. bryan

    As a Bama expatriate living in the Natural State, thank you for your words of encouragement and guidance. As someone who does not like to eat their words, I almost always do my talking after we win. All my friends were the ones talking last week in Sunday School. I hope that I will be the one talking this Sunday.


  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey Bryan!

    Ah yes, Sunday morning quarterbacking, a fine, time-honored Southern tradition if there ever was one! At our church we have Tiders, Barners, Bulldogs, Vols and even some Gators (there may be a Razorback somewhere in there, but if so they sure keep quiet). College football tests the bonds of fellowship, it does, but someday we’ll all be playing on the same team when we get to that great gridiron in the sky!

    But until then, “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer” and let the Tide roll on like mighty rivers of righteousness!


  9. Alan gable

    Insider Info = Load the box with 10. One Alabama corner can cover all the Hog wideouts at once. Still won’t be enough. Darren McFadden can throw the ball downfield and catch his own pass while knitting you a little sweater. Or would you prefer a nice scarf?

  10. Mike the Eyeguy

    Ah yes, here we go, finally.

    First let me say that I’m glad someone on your coaching staff finally renamed the Wildcat package to the Wild Hog. How embarrassing to go a whole year (or was it two?) with that oversight hanging out there for the whole world to see. But I can understand that with all the time and energy that the staff no doubt put into fending off FOIA requests how that one could have been overlooked.

    As to the effectiveness of the Wildcat Wild Hog package, it presupposes two things:

    1) That DMac has not been properly introduced to Rolando McClain and/or Wallace Gilberry yet and is thus still able to walk
    2) Closely related to #1, that he still has the use of both his arms

  11. Mike the Redneck


  12. Mike the Eyeguy

    I’ve got it under control, MTRN. Don’t worry, you can sit this one out.

  13. Alan gable


    McFadden doesn’t need arms. He could throw a tight spiral by putting the ball in his mouth and biting down. He’s also skilled at crossword puzzles…

    Besides, the Hogs will have the ball all night because they just have to stand still and wait for John Parker “Interception” Wilson to throw them the ball. Hey-ooooo!

  14. Mike the Eyeguy

    Okay, point granted. But who’s going to put the ball in his mouth? The center can’t hike the ball to himself, Alan.

    Saban called out JPW after the Vandy game in the same way he called out the D the week before–give me more now. JPW will respond, or else there are two on the bench ready and rarin’ to go. What The Man wants, The Man gets.

  15. bpb

    WHY do so many people hate the Alabama football team?? I haven’t noticed as much on your blog as others – they seem to hate Alabama as much as Alabama hates Tennessee and Auburn. My husband’s theory – jealousy. He quotes a t-shirt from Texas: Hated by many, loved by few, respected by all. It sure would be nice to have a winning season wouldn’t it?

    Oh, another FYI: hubby says some former Alabama player named “Kraft” paid Saban’s salary – not the university.

  16. Mike the Eyeguy

    Well, I don’t know that we’re hated more than anyone else, but if that’s true, it may have something to do with twelve, COUNT ‘EM, twelve national championships…

    …Not to mention that a very small, itsy bitsy percentage of our fans can get under the skin.

    …And there’s also the fact that The Bear did pile on the points at times.

    …Oh, and let’s not forget The Klan and fire hoses in Birmingham. No matter how much progress is made, some people in other parts of the country will never get past their own prejudices, forgive and move on.

    As to the salary, Bama makes more than enough from athletic revenues and contributions every year, even during losing seasons, to easily cover Saban’s salary. I don’t think that any one person foots the bill. But it doesn’t come out of state or university coffers, that’s for sure.

  17. David U

    Mike, being in the Natural State……….this is ALWAYS the toughtest week for me. The fans over here LOVE their Hogs!
    But, they have a chip on their shoulder and they love to talk smack BEFORE the game. It’s been fun to watch the soap-opera around here this past year. It beats all I have ever seen. Several bad losses, and the implosion will begin……..again.

    Thanks for having my back! I’m glad we both support a classy program.


    P.S. You are wrong about one thing you wrote……and you are almost NEVER wrong about anything. Bear Bryant never ran the score up on anybody, and he despised anybody that did run the score up. Steve Spurrier changed the ground rules on running up the score, and I doubt we will ever see the day where coaches put a value on that kind of sportsmanship again. Sad, huh?

  18. Mike the Eyeguy

    DU, not to quibble too much, but I do remember The Bear drumming Charlie Coffey’s VT Hokies 77-6 in Blacksburg back in ’73. I know he apologized after the game and all, but still, that one stuck with Hokies fans for a long time. Not sure what happened there, I mean the other team does have to show up and what not, but can’t you throw a few incomplete passes and take a knee or two in that situation?

    Oh well, the past is, well, the past. Pressing forward, Roll Tide!

  19. Alan Gable

    The BCS rewards “style points” now so running up the score is not only acceptable but encouraged. Yet another fault of this unfair, non-competetive, non-playoff championship rubbish.

    Regardless, I’m sure it will be a good game. I’m looking forward to seeing this Grant that I’ve heard so much about.

  20. Mike the Eyeguy

    Headed down to Ft. Rucker for a soccer match today (match tomorrow afternoon, actually). Will spend the afternoon watching UT-Gators game with diehard Vol fans lil’ sis and B.I.L. Will be a polite guest and root for UT. And then, the main event…

  21. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey Terri–if you haven’t left for the game yet–if you see Amanda, tell her I said, “YOU GO, GIRL!” and “Roll Tide!”

    I know that last part might be to difficult for you to say, but maybe you can pantomime it or use sign language or some such.

  22. mmlace

    Uh-oh…this is looking disastrous already!

  23. Mike the Eyeguy

    To my Bama expatriate brethren:

    The Hawg is squealing. I repeat, THE HAWG IS SQUEALING!

  24. greg

    People say it all the time – “Houston Nutt is an idiot.” And he proves it yet again. You just don’t give a team an extra 20-30 seconds by throwing the ball on 3rd down when the other team is out of timeouts. It wouldn’t necessarily have won the game, but it certainly helps the other team.

    Nevertheless, that was a good one.

    And all the folks around here constantly calling for Nutt to be fired will be as loud as ever. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll be heard…

  25. greg

    on a better note, I feel better each week about our chances of beating Auburn…

  26. Mike the Eyeguy

    To my Razorback brethren:

    Hey, nice game. That was an incredible comeback, and DMac is prime time in the extreme. And that Crown Vic of his is one SUHWEET ride!

    As for Nutt: What’s wrong with you people?! The guy is a veritable genius. I would have never thought of that little ploy of keeping DMac on the sideline during crucial moments like that. And to think, it almost worked…

    Word of advice: Sign him to a lifetime contact ASAP. Do it now, before Michigan grabs him up at the end of the season.

    Roll Tide, Roll.

  27. Mike the Eyeguy

    Greg, Auburn is already looking forward to basketball season–that’s how bad things are in The Plains tonight.

  28. mmlace

    Yeah, I figured you would enjoy the Auburn loss.

    WHAT A GAME!!! It wasn’t as disastrous as it looked like it would be…just think what we coulda done if our offense had decided to play sometime BEFORE the third quarter!

    Your Tide played a good game…and much like last year (in which Tiffin gift-wrapped a win for the HOGS) we decided to return the favor and gift-wrap for you all a couple of first downs in your last drive with our penalties.

    But as I told my dad, when you’re clappin’ and screamin’ and jumpin’ up and down in front of the TV (Lord help the people that live in the apt under me!) with 8 seconds left on the clock, it doesn’t much matter to me who wins at that point! I just love a good ballgame!!!

    Much love to you, my crimson brother!


  29. bryan


    My personal opinion is that we just saw the difference between Shula and Saban. As much as I like Shula personally (and he brings back some great memories as a quarterback), he would have lost this game.

    Man, that was an exciting game!

  30. Mike the Eyeguy

    mmlace–I really don’t relish an Auburn loss like the more hard core. But that whole thing where Tuberville marched down into the south end zone last year and wagged his thumb at the Bama student section…well, that did leave a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. There’s only one thing that will wash that out, and I think we all know what that is.

    It was an instant classic, and both teams played well enough to win tonight. Roll Tide and Woo Pigg Sooey.

  31. Mike the Eyeguy


    I, along with the rest of the Bama Nation, say amen.

    We got some breaks on those two interference calls, but one had the feeling that they knew exactly what they were doing with that 2-minute offense. That’s coaching, and that’s the difference between Shula and Saban.

    Enjoy Sunday School tomorrow! Roll Tide!

  32. Mike the Eyeguy

    Okay, so I”m reading the paper this morning and they’re saying that DMac had a concussion on those last two offensive series, so of course he shouldn’t have been on the field. Still, there was a lot of weirdness going on over on the Arkansas sideline. If it helps, Razorback fans, we can relate and know exactly how you feel.

    Speaking of concussions, I hope Justin Britt is doing okay this morning after getting coldcocked with his own helmet by #90…

    And how about DJ Hall! He passes Ozzie Newsome and becomes Bama’s all time leading receiver, pulls a quad, then begs to come back in on that last drive. They use him as a decoy and hit a senior Matt Caddell who only has 3 TD catches in his career for the game winner.

    You get what you pay for folks. Better start passing the hat, my Razorback brethren…

  33. Terri

    Well… I, I – Well so? Your point is?

  34. Mike the Eyeguy

    Well, my point is Carpe Diem–seize the day! You never know when things are going to go south in a hurry. Right?

  35. mmlace

    Amen, brother Mike! AMEN!!!

  36. Donna

    Just home from Dothan…but I saw the game at Jakes on a big screen and screamed my head off….what a game!!

    Roll Tide!!!

  37. Mike the Eyeguy

    Donna, I was just up the road from you in Ozark. MSU finished off Auburn somewhere around Sikes and Kohn’s shoes on the way down. We then watched the UT-Gators game at my sister’s house. They’re big UT fans so that didn’t go so well, but then, man oh man, what a game! We finished off the weekend with a win over the Enterprise Wings in soccer this afternoon and just got back a little while ago, exhausted but elated. Roll Tide!

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