Like Ricky Roma, I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion... or at least the law of contrary Paul Finebaum opinion. Basically, I assume that everything Finebaum says is garbage, and that the complete and total opposite should be immediately embraced and adopted.
Therefore, when Finebaum says Tennessee-Alabama is no longer must-see (HT: CFR), I take solace in the fact that the Third Saturday in October is in fact every bit as important as ever. Finebaum sez:
Saban looked totally bored with the question and struggled to say anything about the storied rivalry, other than the usual boiler-plate. In a way, it was embarrassing to hear how little Saban seemed to care about this once relevant rivalry. He might as well have been talking about Alabama playing UT-Martin or Chattanooga.
So what happened to this rivalry?
[Aside: I fully believe Finebaum knows this, I believe Finebaum is artificially trying to create discussion as he so often does -- why else would he state that this game is meaningless and then spend 1,000 words on it, were it truly meaningless, he'd let that stand on its own -- and I feel a little sheepish about the fact that I've fallen for it. For all that I hate about Finebaum, he is a master at two things: pacifying and irritating an audience, sometimes simultaneously. I should suffer this fool no longer and move on to something else, but I've been drawn in... and so I beat on, boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the present.]
Where was I? Oh, yeah, the next stupid thing Finebaum says is this:
Two years ago, there were still issues for Fulmer as he was making his first appearance in Bryant-Denny since it was revealed he had ratted out Alabama to the NCAA.
This time, I think Fulmer could walk into the busiest restaurant in Tuscaloosa the night before the game and nobody would care.
I need two tickets for the Tennessee game, says a guy in front of the stadium. Will you take four?
StubHub tracks and ranks college football rivalries by the average price of tickets being sold on their site. At the time of this posting, Tennessee-Alabama tickets are going for $255 on average (about $75 more than the average price last season), making it the fifth most sought-after college football ticket of the year. Next.
Finebaum ends his article by asking for an alarm clock so he doesn't miss kickoff. Me, I'm leaving my house at 6:30 Saturday morning headed to Tuscaloosa. But I'd be happy to give you a wake-up call, Paul, and we can discuss just why this game is so special a little further.