Sunday, January 8, 2017

Playing the disrespect card

You are right, Ryan Anderson. We do not respect Alabama.

We think you are overrated.

We think Clemson is going to beat you.

We think you are the scrappy underdog in this College Football Championship tale, the team no one believes in, the team that all of those media people are talking about as if Clemson could beat it.

We don't respect you.

Mainly, that's because you're saying all or most of the above, and it's so absurd that, yes, we are laughing at you.

It was media day for the CFP title game yesterday, see, and that was the takeaway from the Alabama camp. Anderson, the linebacker who has 17 sacks this year for the nation's top-ranked defense, led the way, saying they don't feel they're the favorite in this rematch with Clemson.

"We do feel like we're underdogs right now," Anderson said, joined by several other players who say they're annoyed by all the speculation in the media about how Clemson could beat the Crimson Tide this time.

And now we interrupt this lavish pity party for a few inconvenient facts.

Fact: Alabama is 14-0 and has won its last 26 games.

Fact: Except for a 48-43 win over Ole Miss and a 10-0 win over LSU, it's barely been challenged this season.

Fact: It dispatched Washington 24-7 in the national semifinals and looked as if it never got out of second gear.

And last but not least ...

Fact: It's actually a touchdown favorite over the Tigers.

But just as some folks never the let the facts get in the way of a good story -- I'm looking at you, Mr. President-elect -- the Tide isn't going to let the fact they're a hefty favorite get in the way of playing the aforementioned scrappy underdog. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book, playing the disrespect card. And in this case, it's one of the most ludicrous.

Listen. No one, and I mean no one, is disrespecting Alabama. Trying to claim otherwise is simply a keep-it-humble ploy that has Nick Saban's fingerprints all over it. He's renowned for laying into his team as it roams the landscape crushing everything in its path. Don't get a big head. You guys aren't that good. Wait we will be play the Patriots!

The truth, of course, is that the Tide clearly knows how good it is. It wouldn't be putting on this ridiculous disrespect charade if it didn't. It's like the practical joke you struggle to keep a straight face about.

But, see, we're onto them. We're onto them, because, even as they say they don't feel like favorites, they also get annoyed when analysts talk about how Clemson could beat them. And whydo they get annoyed about that?

Because they actually believe there's no damn way Clemson can beat them.


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