While the A-Day Game is considered by some to be “just anothert practice,” there is something on the line for the players. The winning team will have a dinner next week with steak and potatoes. In the same room, the members of the losing team will have “beans and weenies.”
Punter JK Scott and placekicker Adam Griffith played for both teams and will eat steak.
For most of Saturday’s game, finally won by the White, 7-3, there was a suspicion that the entire team would be dining together – perhaps on steak, but possibly not.
The A-Day Game was the 15th and final practice of Alabama’s 2016 Spring football practice. Thee were two serious injuries in the spring, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Petitbon suffering a knee injury in the Tide’s first scrimmage and running back Ronnie Clark suffering an Achilles injury late in the Spring.
Although the weather was poor in Tuscaloosa early Saturday with drizzle and cool temperatures, it did not deter attendance as 76,212 – eighth largest in Bama spring game history – showed up. They were rewarded with sunny skies if not a great game.
Spring practice started with four Alabama players in black (no contact) jerseys as they recuperated from previous injuries. They were wide receiver Robert Foster, safety Eddie Jackson, defensive end Jonathan Allen, and offensive tackle Cam Robinson. Foster and Jackson returned to practice midway through the spring.
Although not an official anniversary, Saturday’s A-Day Game was Alabama’s 10th under Coach Nick Saban.
In his nine years at Alabama, Saban has a record of 105-18 (85.4 per cent winning), not including five wins that were vacated in a curious NCAA ruling. He has coached Crimson Tide teams to four national championships (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015), four Southeastern Conference titles.
Including his stint as head coach at LSU, 2000-04, where he won a national championship in 2003, Saban has coached five national title teams, second only in the poll era to legendary Bama Coach Paul Bryant, who won six for the Tide – 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979.
At halftime, Jerry Duncan, former Alabama great (1964-66) and president of the A-Club, presented a check to The University for the A-Club’s latest endowed scholarship, this one named for Saban. Previous honorees of A-Club endowed scholarships have included Mal Moore and Sarah Patterson. This year marks the 100th year of the A-Club, former Crimson Tide lettermen in all sports.
Prior to Saturday’s A-Day Game, the captains of the 2015 national championship Crimson Tide took part in the annual ceremony at Denny Chimes in which their handprints and footprints were placed in the concrete plaza. Captains were Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, Blake Sims, Ryan Kelly, and Reggie Ragland.
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Captains for the A-Day Game were tight end O.J. Howard and offensive left tackle Cam Robinson for the Crimson and linebacker Ryan Anderson and defensive back Eddie Jackson for lthe White.