CFB National championship diaries - Pt 3
By George Somerville
George chronicles the week building up to the biggest game in the college football calendar – the National Championship in Indianapolis.
Arriving in Indianapolis
Now It's Serious
As the teams arrived in Indianapolis, the atmosphere got a lot more intense. Or did it? There was still room for some humour as we are about to hear. But certainly now that the teams are in town, we are in the final countdown to the National Championship game.
Nick Saban's Jacket
As the teams arrived in Indianapolis both head coaches stopped to say a few words for the waiting press.
With the temperature in the North close to freezing, both coaches came wrapped up for the weather. Except Nick Saban appeared in a style many had not seen before. In fact, Saban appeared as if he had flown the plane from Tuscaloosa. Wearing a leather jacket, Nick Saban had gone full Top Gun. And it did not go unnoticed. Twitter exploded and it became a recurring question for the players who met the media later.
Jordan Battle said,
“His jacket was very cool. I haven’t seen Coach Saban in style like that. And to see that he has a little swag, it kind of brings joy to my heart”.
Bryce Young too was asked his thoughts on his Head Coach’s styling,
“Coach’s jacket was fine. Coach is always going to step into something we haven’t seen before as a team. So that’s to be expected”.
Brian Robinson suggested that Coach Saban’s choice of jacket was more function than style,
“That was probably my first time seeing Coach wear that jacket. But we was coming up here to Indianapolis. We knew it was going to be real cold outside. He told us to grab a coat.
We reacted to — that was the coat he grabbed to keep him so warm for that time being down here”.
The question really is whether Mrs Terry had much, if anything to do with the choice of jacket.
But really who would have thought that Nick Saban would be stealing the headlines with his jacket!
There is no doubt that twitter and all other social media platforms is going to have a lot of fun with this for a long time….
The Gingerbread Man
There is no question that the Georgia football defense is still smarting from the SEC Championship game where they recorded zero sacks against Alabama QB, Bryce Young.
Defensive tackle and all round man mountain Jordan Davis “tackled” the Bryce Young issue face on. And in doing so let slip the nickname they have created for the diminutive Crimson Tide QB.
“Bryce is an extremely talented athlete. He’s slippery”
Said Davis, before continuing,
“And I forgot, we were watching, I think “Hard Knocks” with the Colts, and they were talking about the gingerbread man and how Kyler Murray was running around like a gingerbread man. That’s what we’ve been calling him all week. Just seeing him run around our defense in the SEC Championship game, you have to tighten up.
That’s one of the things we’ve been trying to do. I’ve been going against like wide receivers in our quarterback rodeo drill in practice, so trying to track down a wide receiver who is shifty, and I’m a defensive lineman, it takes a lot of skill and a lot of practice. And it teaches you to track the hips. We’ve just been tracking hips all practice. And definitely this go-around we’ll try to contain him and get him”.
In a poignant but also hilarious moment, Jordan was asked about playing his last game for Georgia before entering the Draft. Davis said this of his last game,
“It’s definitely a bittersweet moment. Grateful to be in this position playing for a national championship. But it’s also sad that it’s my last go-around. But at the end of the day, you just have to leave the nest. I can’t be here forever. I’m grateful for the time I had here. The University of Georgia has been so great to me and my family. I thank them”.
Jordan Davis then explained the traditions carried out for Seniors,
“As for senior traditions, the D line had to carry the seniors off on the field yesterday at practice. So it was me, Vonte and Julian Rochester – we had about like four people each trying to carry us off the field. Each position group, they had to carry the seniors off. So that’s kind of like the tradition that the seniors have each year”.
The press corps was as surprised as you probably are right now that anyone could carry Jordan Davis anywhere, let alone off the filed so the next question was “they actually found someone to carry you?”,
To which Davis somewhat defiantly said,
“It had to be like three or four people – i’s like two people grabbed my legs, one got my back. It was pretty — I would say it was pretty easy for them. They didn’t have a hard time, from what I saw”.
They don’t call him the Big Man for nothing.
Talking Of Seniors - Brian Robinson III, Alabama Running Back
As Jordan Davis said, it is a bittersweet moment for these seniors who are playing their final games of their college careers.
Alabama running back, Brian Robinson Jr was asked about lacing up for the final time as a member of the Crimson Tide. Robinson who is about as laid back s they come, found some emotional words to say about his final appearance for Alabama. Robinson left anyone in any doubt what playing for Alabama means to him.
“My mentality is just I want to lay it all on the line for my team, for my school, with this being my last time suiting up for Alabama, I just want to leave no doubt that this university is like truly in my heart, and I love it. And I’ll do anything to see us come out on top one more last time before I have to leave”.
Dawg, Tide Bitesize Quotes...
On Alabama missing wide receiver John Metchie, Bryce Young:
“I mean, Metchie is someone that you just can’t replace. Losing Metchie was huge for us; that definitely hurt. It’s really tough.
But as Coach is always saying, that creates opportunity for other people. And we had people step in the wake of that. We’ve had a little bit of time to adjust. And people have stepped up in games. Second half, SEC Championship and in the Cincinnati game”
Will Anderson on the Alabama “Gump” twitter phenomenon:
“I’ve been scrolling Twitter and that’s all I’ve been seeing. And I saw something like Gumpster [phonetic], something like that. I don’t know the backstory of it. But I saw it on my TL — I think it’s really cool especially for something you do in a game and the fans take after it and they support you behind it”.
Georgia QB Stetson Bennett on his flip-phone ownership:
“No, so they actually still sell them at Verizon stores. Apparently a lot of old people still use them. I guess in June or July, I went — I had a bunch of school coming up the next semester, I had football, I was, like, I spend, whatever, an hour on my smartphone a day doing what? Doing nothing, nothing that’s going to help me. I don’t even remember what I did”.
Georgia’s Nakobe Dean wasn’t mucking around when asked about the mental preparation for the National Championship game:
“I mean it’s the national championship. You should be prepared mentally. You should be prepared to give your best on the field. You should expect your opponent to also be prepared to give their best on the field.
So the mental and physical preparation for it I feel like should be second to none”.
College football writer
A GLASWEGIAN LIVING IN LONDON, GEORGE IS A COLLEGE FOOTBALL FAN WHO FOLLOWS THE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE. HE PROVIDES CFB CONTENT FOR THE TOUCHDOWN AND IS ONE THIRD OF THE COLLEGE CHAPS PODCAST.