Alabama Blows Late Lead to Texas A&M, The Funeral Procession Continues

Ingram WorleyCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2008

Right now, while you have a second, go to your closet.

Pull that black suit out of the back.  Try it on, see if it still fits.

You are going to need it.

Saturday night, Alabama's basketball team continued it's decent into oblivion, blowing a five point lead with 15 seconds left, at home against Texas A&M.

You might have missed it.  It did not make the front page of the sports section.  You could find the blurb about it on page 11. 

You might have chosen to read about the Tide's Sugar Bowl preparation for Utah.  You might have read about man-child defensive tackle commit D.J. Fluker in his practice for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star High School football game.  You might have even read about the "Days of Our Lives" saga that was the Auburn football coach search.

In these good football days, it's easy to pretend that the basketball program is not sinking to a Hobbsian level.

But it is.  And quickly.

Don't get me wrong.  Basketball is very much on my back-burner right now. 

But I can't help but to think about January, when SEC play begins and we are forced to watch the team with nothing else to distract us.

As I watched the game Saturday night, something bothered me.  Alabama was competitive.  In a lot of ways, it was their most complete game of the year.  But my eyes were on Mark Gottfried.

Something was wrong.  He reminded me of someone.  At first, I couldn't put my finger on it.  But then it hit me.  In a "Sopranos" style dream sequence, I looked up and saw (gasp), Mike DuBose coaching my basketball team. 

I nearly spit up.  Gottfried had that same lost, overwhelmed look on his face that I watched for four years from Big Mike. 

Alabama managed to take control of the game, and hit two late free throws to capture a five point lead with thirty seconds to go. 

Now, I'm no John Wooden.  But I do know that if you have a five point lead with under 30 seconds to play, you need to at least attempt to have some defense on the perimeter. 

Did that happen? No.  A&M came down, hit a three, and called time out.  My stomach began to churn.

During the timeout, Dubose, I mean Gottfried, did his patented clap and fist shake.  This did not add confidence. 

Alabama managed to get the ball in bounds and draw a foul.  Eight seconds to go.  Two free throws would seal it.  Did we make the two?  No. 

Like clockwork, Alabama gave A&M possession back, up by three with just a few ticks remaining. 

Full-tilt, carnival-style nausea had kicked in.

Surely, we could contest the shot to tie the game.  Did that happen? No.

A&M drained the three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

Dubose, I mean Gottfried, smiled.

I wanted to get up, turn the game off, but I was afraid the motion would bring about an unenjoyable bout of vomiting.

So I watched, as Alabama folded.  I watched the confused Dubose face become frozen atop Gottfried's neck.

Gottfried's reign as Alabama's coach is coming to a close.  Mal Moore will not do anything during the season, not that it would matter, so we've got three more months of this misery to endure.

Memorial services will be held sometime in March, most likely during an opening-round NIT game that we will not be playing in.  Burial services to follow.

So dust off that black suit.  Prepare a eulogy if you feel so inclined. 

Let us hope that the powers that be have already started a search for a replacement.  Because, judging by the performance Saturday night, rigor mortis has already set in. 


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