When you think of the University of Alabama, if football doesn’t come to your mind something is up. Nick Saban (pictured above) is probably the most recognizable figure in the state, A.J. McCarron is inspiring parents day by day to name their kids A.J., and even strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran is more known for his antics on a jumbotron than Alabama governor Robert Bentley is known for his governing.
But that’s not all. That is certainly not all that comes with the U of A. The magnified stories from fraternities and sororities have been greatly publicized over the years, the law school at ‘Bama is the only one of its kind in the state, and even the rivalry between that orange and blue school down the road define Alabama; well, I guess that comes back to football.
You’re right, it’s hard to think of anything else besides football when it comes to sports at Alabama. A few fans might talk about basketball, but with the failure of the teams in this state over the last few years, people have gravitated to the sport that brings in the most revenue, owns the most fans, and has the most TV time.
That’s why golf isn’t what football is. Or at least college golf.
Alabama has the #1 golf team in the country. They won the national championship last year and will have a chance to do so again, today. But you didn’t know that, even if you’re as die hard a ‘Bama fan as there is.
You can name off the quarterback’s name, the running back’s name, and even the third string kicker’s name, but certainly nobody on the golf team. Not even the #1 player on the team, the player-of-the-year in the SEC, and the freshman that is Robby Shelton.
What about Bobby Wyatt? Did you hear about the 57 — Fifty-Seven — he shot a year or two ago? Of course not. Or maybe even Dru Love? His dad you’ve heard of though. Maybe: Davis Love III. That’s why TV can ruin stories and omit success, because the journey that this Alabama Men’s Golf team has road on is has been more dominant than — And you won’t believe I’m going to say it — Alabama football.
Out of the last 14 years, Alabama has made the NCAA tournament 12 times. Over the past eight years, the Crimson Tide has had seven All-America honors by five players, and even eight All-Region selections and with 15 All-SEC honors, including 9 first-team choices. But that’s certainly not all. This team repeated as SEC Champions with a win this year at Sea Island, and just yesterday this team was able to garner their second national championships in two years giving the golf team a chance to do something that the football team couldn’t: three-peat.
Jay Seawell asked about a three-peat next year; “Saban would punch you in the nose on that one.” @AlabamaMGolf
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) May 29, 2014
But, again, you wouldn’t have known that before reading this article, would you have? You don’t see The Golf Channel advertising an event the day before but you do see ESPN advertising college football months before. That’s the difference between golf and football and that’s why the addition that is television is so big to the sport and college athletics.