Happy New Year

Have you ever noticed that on the New Year, there are experts who are making predictions about what will happen to others? There are also those making resolutions, most of which will be broken before the first robin is in the yard.

Maybe the secret is to make resolutions for others. I've resolved to lose weight, but maybe I'd be better off if I resolved that YOU lose weight (whether you need to or not; the chances are better that you will than I will since I'm on about a 25-year run of being bigger in the New Year than I was on the previous January 1).

Perhaps I should resolve that Alabama Football Coach Mike Shula and his staff continue to have good recruiting so that eventually the Crimson Tide will reach the point where there is depth up and down the lineup. There is no doubt that Shula and staff are good recruiters, but the task continues to be daunting.

The unconscionable action by an incompetent (at best) or corrupt NCAA infractions committee that gave unprecedented and unmatched schoolarship cuts to Alabama's football program will continue to be felt in 2006 and beyond. It seems to have just begun to dawn on many that seven defensive starters will not be a part of future Bama teams.

It's not good to sing "Auld Lang Zyne" to DeMeco Ryans, Mark Anderson, Freddie Roach, Rudy Griffin, Roman Harper, Charlie Peprah and Anthony Madison. They represent a lot of starts and a lot of tackles, interceptions, etc.

On offense it's not quite as severe insofar as numbers. The primary offensive lineman to be lost– center J.B. Closner –was lost earlier in the season. The primary skill position player to be lost is quarterback Brodie Croyle.

Fortunately, at Alabama, everyone knows that the back-up quarterback is better than the starter. Unfortunately, now John Parker Wilson (probably) will be the starter and we don't know who the back-up will be.

Hoepfully, halfback Kenneth Darby will resolve to return and set the all-time Alabama career rushing record.

The Tide must also replace punter Jeremy Schatz, snapper Drew Lane, and holder Matt Miller.

In addition to resolutions, there are predictions. So I'll predict that Alabama starts 2006 with a nerve-wracking, hang-on-for-dear-life win over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

Finally, January 1 is a time to wish "Happy New Year" to you.


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