McElroy Etches Name Into Alabama Lore

Jeremy EnglandContributor IDecember 6, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 5:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after Mark Ingram #22 scored a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators during the SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Pop quiz; Who are the most memorable Alabama quarterbacks?  Former greats like Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler come to mind.  Younger people remember Jay Barker and Andrew Zow. 

Now what do all these quarterbacks have in common?  They all won championships at the University of Alabama.  Greg McElroy joined that elite fraternity last night in Atlanta after beating Florida for the SEC Championship.

McElroy came into the 2009 season after sitting the bench for 3 years, patiently waiting for his time to shine. 

Alabama fans did not have high expectations of McElroy.  After all, if he were any good he would have been starting sooner.  Right?  So McElroy came in with the label of "game manager" and someone who "doesn't have to win the game, just not lose the game".  A label that looked fitting about mid way through the season.

That seems like a lifetime ago now.  The Texas native has since led a come from behind victory over Auburn and then methodically destroyed Florida, the defending national champions. 

So, now that McElroy and Alabama are headed to Pasadena to play for a BCS National Championship, what are his critics doing?  Washing down all the crow with a nice cup of shut the hell up.