The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

21 hours ago

Coming in Hot with Rick Karle: On Tua’s injury, Auburn traveling to Death Valley

(Alabama Football/Facebook, YHN)

Now it’s getting interesting! It’s that time of year when every college football game counts.

When you’re the Auburn Tigers ready to play in Death Valley, you are a hot topic.

And when you are an Alabama quarterback facing the same injury that you suffered last season but on the other ankle?

It’s déjà vu all over again!

Will Tua Tagovailoa be back in time for the LSU game following Sunday’s surgery? And can a 19-year-old freshman quarterback jog into Baton Rouge and upset LSU this weekend? I’m coming in hot with your weekly Tide and Tiger takes!

Watch:

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Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

4 days ago

The Alabama-Tennessee rivalry is no more and Nick Saban killed it

(YHN)

Where did the good old days go? You know, like a third Saturday in October back in 2005…

Back then, we didn’t know which way an Alabama-Tennessee football game would go.

These days?

Bama fans simply grab some nachos and a drink, take a seat and watch the game, with their only unanswered question being what the win margin might be.

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How rocky has it been for the folks in Rocky Top? The Crimson Tide have won 12 straight in the series, with seven of those games seeing Nick Saban’s bunch scoring at least 41 points.

I’m here to tell you that Saban has killed the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry.

Why?

Because in 2019, it’s not one anymore.

Do the Vols have a chance on Saturday night? Consider this: As the Alabama football coach, Saban is 12-0 against Tennessee, and he’s 18-0 against his former assistants who have become head coaches.

If you are an Alabama fan, enjoy yet another win on Saturday. And my message this week to Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt? Bless your heart.

Watch:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

6 days ago

Heaven to hell and back again: How faith, Nick Saban helped Tyrone Prothro get his life back

(University of Alabama/Contributed, YHN)

Three weeks. Just three weeks. That was the time between the greatest high of his life and the greatest low.

Today, 14 years later, the memories of two college football Saturdays please him, yet haunt him. From heaven to hell in a span of three weeks, and to this day, both places remain with him.

The greatest catch in the history of college football. A career-ending, gruesome injury just three weeks later: Tyrone Prothro is known worldwide for both, and the lessons he’s learned from the fall of 2005 have shaped the man that he has become.

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Man, was he speedy — a shifty offensive threat at Cleburne County High School, Prothro was listed at 5-foot-9-inches tall.

Most snickered when they saw his height listed as 5’9”, but it didn’t matter, because, in Heflin, Tyrone Protho was a giant — an unstoppable athlete who seemingly scored at will. And, a few years later when his signature football moment arrived on September 10, 2005, the then-Crimson Tide receiver was ready.

It was just before the half, and Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle was looking to send a message to Southern Miss as the home crowd smelled blood. Prothro smelled a big play, and boy, did he deliver.

As Croyle spotted a streaking Prothro down the field, Prothro spotted an opportunity. Up for the football Prothro went, collecting the football along with Southern Miss defensive back Jasper Faulk. As the pair tumbled to the turf, Prothro hung on as Faulk’s helmet was caught between the football and Prothro’s jersey. Tyrone squeezed the football like he had never squeezed a football before as he held onto the ball which was pinned against his opponent’s helmet.

In that moment, “The Catch” was born.

In the weeks that followed, Tyrone Prothro was not only the big man on campus, but rather the biggest story in America. Six months after The Catch, Twitter was born- –and oh, how that play would have gone viral if it had arrived a few months earlier. How big was that play? Prothro found himself in Hollywood the following July accepting the ESPY Award for “Best Play.” An ESPY for the kid from Heflin, Alabama? It was all so surreal.

October 1, 2005, brought to Tuscaloosa one of the biggest football games in recent memory. Three Saturdays after “The Catch,” Prothro was enjoying a performance for the ages. A first quarter 87-yard touchdown catch from Brodie Croyle? Why not? Prothro and crew led the Gators 7-0. Fast forward to the third quarter: Another Prothro TD catch from 16 yards and the Crimson Tide led 31-3. He believed that his life-changing season would continue.

Prothro’s life would indeed change, but it was not the change that he expected.

Late in the Florida game, Prothro went high into the air as he attempted to make another one of his circus catches. This time, as he landed awkwardly, his dream of playing in the NFL would be over. Prothro’s left leg snapped in half. A hush fell over the crowd as never before had Bama fans witnessed such horror, such sadness, such empathy. Through his pain, Prothro managed a thumbs up as he was carted off the field.

Yet just like that, football had left his life.

“Now what?” he asked himself. After all, Prothro had big dreams — but instead of preparing for the NFL Draft, Prothro found himself preparing for surgery.

And then another. And then another.

Prothro underwent a total of 12 surgeries, as he wasn’t concerned with playing football again, but rather walking again. And at the moment when Prothro felt as if all was lost in his life? In the midst of him questioning God?

More confusion arose, as that Alabama coaching carousel had his mind spinning: Dennis Franchione. Mike Price. Mike Shula. Joe Kines. Nick Saban. What in the world was happening in Tuscaloosa?

His football career was over — yet as his mind strained, his competitiveness kicked in: Tyrone Prothro continued working toward his degree.

The problem?

Focusing on his studies was not his strong suit. And as he looks back today, Prothro told the Huts And Nuts podcast that it was a man named Nick Saban who came to his rescue. Yes, the same coach for whom Prothro never played, the same coach who was forced to officially take Prothro off the Bama roster on August 3, 2007.

Said Prothro on the podcast, “My grades were falling and I was in the dumps. I had a meeting with Coach Saban and he told me that the best thing I could do was to get my degree. He then chewed me out in a second meeting and he helped me realize that it was the best thing I could do for myself.”

In August 2008, Tyrone Prothro graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Human Environmental Sciences.

It’s been 14 years since Prothro felt elation, 14 years since he felt despair. Yet today, he is a happy camper.

At the time of this writing, Prothro and his wife, Sidnie, were expecting the arrival of daughter Laila — she will enter the world as brother London welcomes her with open arms.

After taking a few days off, Prothro will head back to work as an offensive assistant coach with the Jasper High School football team.

Prothro advised, “If I can help one of these kids through my story, I feel it’s why I’m here. I’m going to help as many kids as I can.”

And of his shattered dream of playing in the NFL?

“I was projected to be a first-round pick. I’m not one to sit back and dwell on what wasn’t. All I can do is move forward and work like the next man, taking care of my family.”

Years after feeling an ultimate high and a heartbreaking low, the Alabama football family feels for Tyrone Prothro, as Bama fans are proud of how one of their own has handled adversity.

Prothro’s football life may not have been completed, but thanks to family, faith and a drive possessed by few others, he is now content.

“You just have to take the bull by the horns and keep plugging along. It will be then that it will all pay off,” he explained

Wise words indeed from a “Hero of the Game” and a man who will never forget those three weeks in 2005.

Listen to the full interview:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

6 days ago

Rick Karle: Mark Ingram shows that Bama blood runs deep

(Sam Greene/Twitter)

I was really touched by the scene I saw Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals faced the Baltimore Ravens in a key NFL matchup.

Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick suffered a knee injury early in the game. As medics and trainers attended to the Gadsden native, it was not a Bengals teammate that knelt by Dre’s side, but rather a former University of Alabama teammate who plays for the Ravens.

Yes, Baltimore running back Mark Ingram knelt by Dre’s side to comfort his friend.

It was a great reminder that football brotherhood — and Crimson Tide camaraderie — runs deep, as even in the NFL players can love and respect those on an opposing team.

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Dre has since had a MRI, which showed a hyperextended knee. He is expected to miss a month of playing time.

In the period between the injury occurring and his MRI results, Mark and thousands of others were standing behind Dre after he suffered what could have been a very serious injury.

To Mark Ingram I say, “Job well done, sir. We know that Dre loves you and appreciated your support.”

And to Dre, I say, “Hang in there, friend — we’re praying for you.”

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

7 days ago

This video of former Auburn QB Brandon Cox’s son meeting his new baby brother will make your day

(R. Karle/Facebook)

Oh, my heart!

Former Auburn University quarterback Brandon Cox sent me this video of his son, Peyton, meeting his baby brother for the first time.

Parker Cox was born just a few days ago, and when Peyton first met his baby ‘bro? So sweet!

Watch:

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Congrats to Brandon, Carla and the entire family.

I can tell by looking at this video that the brothers are living in a loving home. It doesn’t get any better than this!

As Auburn’s starting quarterback from 2005 – 2007, Brandon Cox guided the Tigers to an impressive 29-9 record. In fact, he was a member of the winningest senior class in Auburn history, winning 50 total games during their time on the Plains. Cox had a record history in the Iron Bowl, going 3-0 against the Crimson Tide as Auburn’s starting quarterback.

An Alabama native, Cox attended Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

1 week ago

Rick Karle: Saban has a point about ‘rat poison’; Let’s start calling Bama players mediocre

(Nick's Kids Foundation/Facebook, YHN)

There’s no need to tell you that the Alabama Crimson Tide are playing great football — and one of the best ways to tell that coach Nick Saban knows it as well?

He uttered those two familiar words: “Rat poison.”

It was two years ago when these words went viral, as Saban attempted to squelch the rave reviews about his players that were coming from the media.

His message?

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If his players kept hearing that they were great, they’d believe it — and those words could act as rat poison to his team.

A few days ago, Saban brought up the words again, this time after his team beat the Aggies 47-28.

What does this all mean? Allow me to explain as I’m coming in hot, giving you my take!

Watch:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Watch: Rick Karle’s ‘The Road Ahead’ (Oct. 11, 2019)

(YHN)

If you’re like me, you sometimes get caught up in what lies ahead rather than what’s in the moment — and while I know that I should enjoy today rather than concerning myself with tomorrow, I can’t help myself.

I’m here to tell you that I am almost beside myself with excitement as I think about a college football game that could take place a number of weeks from now.

The Alabama-LSU game? The Auburn-Georgia game? The Iron Bowl?

Oh, I’m excited about seeing those games, but I’m over the moon with excitement about watching another game that could top them all!

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I’m getting behind the wheel of my car and thinking of the road ahead, and I want to share my excitement with you.

Watch:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

This Alabama second-grader honored a true American hero on his school’s ‘Super Hero Day’

(Rick Karle/Facebook)

I’d like to bring you a beautiful story sent to me by Holly Whitt Sutherland.

Last week, Haleyville City Schools held “Super Hero Day.” While many students dressed up as Superman, Batman and others, a second-grader named Paxton Robertson dressed up as Mark Forester.

Who was Mark Forester?

Raised in Haleyville, Forester was shocked by what he saw back in 2001 on 9/11.

After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2006 with a degree in finance, Forester wanted to do more — so he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and insisted that he be sent to the front lines of Afghanistan.

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In September 2010, while trying to save a fallen comrade, USAF combat controller Forester was killed by enemy fire.

Today, just over nine years to the day that Forester made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, Paxton made “Super Hero Day” one to remember.

The patriotism exhibited by Forester, a true super hero (who was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star as well as the Purple Heart) will never be forgotten by those in Haleyville and across America, while the patriotism shown by Paxton Robertson should be admired and commended.

Both remind me of how proud I am to be an American.

You can learn more about Forester’s legacy here.

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Rick Karle: ‘Walt Gary was a hero’ — Why can’t we all #BeLikeWalt?

(R. Karle/Twitter, YHN)

As I drifted off to sleep on Sunday night, I was suddenly filled with thoughts of a hero.

He wasn’t a strapping football player, nor was he a winner of a Super Bowl, a World Series or an Olympic medal.

Instead, Walt Gary enriched the lives of Alabama football players, family and friends; and he enriched those lives with a daily smile and an attitude that we can all envy.

As I thought of the late Crimson Tide super fan, I realized that it was four months to the day that Walt had passed. He fought the fight at UAB Hospital but went to heaven on June 6 at the age of 36.

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How could it be that a young man with Down syndrome was a hero?

If heroes change our lives for the better, Walt was the poster boy for the true meaning of the word — each day helping us laugh, cry and love.

It was back in the mid-1990s when Walt befriended former Bama coach Gene Stallings and become great friends with John Mark Stallings, the coach’s son.

Walt suddenly found himself being a fixture at football practice and some time ago started a routine that would make even Nick Saban smile: Each Thursday night, Walt would write down his game prediction for the upcoming game, proudly show that prediction to the players and then hand the piece of paper to Coach Saban.

The result?

Smiling coaches and players, hugs and a brief respite from a grueling week of practice.

Shortly after Walt passed, I got to thinking: Why can’t we honor Walt by being more like him?

Why can’t we love like Walt or be like Walt? For decades he brought joy to others. Why can’t we do the same?

Walt did not judge, Walt did not gossip and Walt never talked ill of anyone.

Walt loved and respected everyone he met. Walt was never without a smile and never without a hug.

Maybe Walt really was an angel. Why can’t we all be like Walt?

Social media can actually be a wonderful thing, I thought as I took to Facebook and Twitter sharing my thoughts, including the hashtag #BeLikeWalt.

A movement was born — and while Walt is no longer with us, his memory is helping a young student find success. As the #BeLikeWalt hashtag caught fire, so too did sales of Alabama t-shirts, hats and other merchandise featuring the hashtag #BeLikeWalt. All proceeds from merchandise sales go to the Walt Gary Scholarship In Special Education. The money will be used to provide a scholarship to a UA student majoring in special ed. The university impressively jumped on board by featuring the merchandise on their social media and digital platforms, and the Supe Store even constructed a beautiful display just inside the store’s doors.

The moral of this story? Walt Gary changed lives, and now it’s our turn to #BeLikeWalt.

You can purchase the powerful merchandise at the Supe Store or at SupeStore.ua.edu. You can also donate directly to the scholarship fund online at Give.ua.edu.

Walt Gary’s relationship with the Bama players and coaches was one to behold, and Walt’s mom Betsy shared Walt’s life story on our Huts and Nuts podcast.

From Walt’s special relationship with Jalen Hurts, to the surprising and funny things Walt would say, Betsy was gracious in talking about the wonderful life of her special son.

You can listen to the full interview below:

Walt Gary does not own an NBA championship ring. He’s never won The Masters, and he never ran in or won the Boston Marathon.

Yet, Walt Gary was a hero — a person who changed lives for the better.

Let’s never forget Walt’s contributions and his positive impact on others. And while we’re at it, let’s go about our day trying our very best to #BeLikeWalt.

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Samford football player changes last name to honor stepfather — ‘He’s always been my dad to me’

(Samford Football/Twitter)

There’s just one thing I ask of you before you read — and watch — this post: grab some tissues.

I’m honored to bring you the story of Samford offensive lineman George Musto, whose loving gesture has made my week.

The big Samford football lineman grew up in Miami as George Grimwade.

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In second grade, George’s mom, Michelle, was remarried to a man named Michael Musto. Since then, George’s mom and stepfather were there for George every step of the way as he grew into a fine young man.

Just days ago, George made a decision that would bring Michael and Michelle to tears, as he legally changed his name to George Musto.

The reason?

George said that Michael has no other sons or family to carry on the Musto name, which he wants to live on. George also wanted to honor the man who raised him.

The Samford lineman not only made the name change official, but he now proudly wears the name Musto on the back of his football jersey.

And the emotional part of the story?

George surprised Michael and Michelle with the news at Family Weekend on the Samford campus this past weekend.

Watch:

Kudos to Samford’s Christian Demuth for producing such an impactful piece, and my best to the Musto family. You have quite a son!

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Coming in Hot with Rick Karle: In defense of Bo Nix

(R. Karle, Auburn Football/Facebook, PIxabay, YHN)

Can you do me a favor? Close your eyes and think back to when you were 19-years-old.

Think about everything that you were learning, the life lessons that you were absorbing.

Now imagine being a 19-year-old kid who is playing quarterback at Auburn, preparing to take a snap as you stare at four mean, drooling defensive linemen as thousands of fans were making so much noise your head wants to explode.

Welcome, my friend, to the life of one Bo Nix.

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There’s no doubt that college quarterbacks need thick skin — however, they also need to remember that when they lead a game-winning drive (see Auburn vs. Oregon) they don’t suddenly become Tom Brady, and when they have a poor outing (see Auburn vs. Florida) they don’t suddenly become Marsha Brady.

The key for college quarterbacks is to ignore the cheers and the boos, and always remember that it’s never as great or never as bad as it seems.

On Saturday, things were indeed bad for the Auburn quarterback, as he overthrew receivers, tossed three interceptions and experienced his freshman moment as the Tigers failed to drain The Swamp, falling to the Gators 24-13.

And immediately after the game?

While Bo headed to the visitor’s locker room, “Bo Nix” was trending on Twitter, and it wasn’t because he had just posted Heisman numbers.

Mean tweets came flooding in, as cowards hiding behind their keyboards and iPhones blasted Nix, calling him names that I’ll refrain from sharing.

Many of the social media warriors’ comments were crude and rude, as a freshman quarterback with much to learn became the target of what I feel was classless criticism.

What are my full thoughts on Bo, what do I think of those mean tweeters and what’s ahead for the Tigers?

I’m Coming In Hot behind the wheel!

Watch:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Overheard: When Big Al and Aubie did lunch

(Wikicommons, Auburn Football/Facebook, PIxabay, YHN)

Let’s be honest: Big Al and Aubie are animals of few words. But what if the Alabama and Auburn mascots could really talk?

You know, like Toy Story?

Have these two been fooling us all along? I can only imagine their conversation if they met for Sunday lunch:

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Aubie: Nice to see you, Al — you’re looking good. Have you dropped a few pounds?

Big Al: As a matter of fact, I have. Thanks for noticing.

Aubie: Of course when YOU lose a few pounds, it’s like throwing two suitcases off the Titanic. Nobody notices.

Big Al: I see you’re already laying on the weight jokes. It’s all good. I wanted you to know that I talked with Albert and Alberta Gator last night. They send you their condolences from Gainesville.

Aubie: Touche, big guy! What did you do Saturday while your team was off?

Big Al: I needed some laughs, so I watched the Auburn offense. It reminded me of a possum.

Aubie: How’s that?

Big Al: It got killed on the road — hahahaha!

Aubie: That’s a cheap shot, Al. Would you like to order?

Big Al: You first.

Aubie: OK, just give me a second to check the menu. Get it? Give me second?

Big Al: Still living in the past, huh dude? All I have to say is your fans haven’t spent much on toilet paper since that game.

Aubie: I’m going to order the biggest steak on the menu.

Big Al: I’ll just have a peanut butter sandwich.

Aubie: C’mon, Al, branch out a bit, try something new!

Big Al: Why should I try something new when the same meals keep working? It’s called tradition, something that you might not know about.

Auburn: Yes, you folks have some great traditions. Like students leaving your games at halftime.

Big Al: You’re so funny I forgot to laugh. But what I’m really laughing at is your upcoming schedule.

Aubie: And who do you play next, Spanish Fort High School?

Big Al: I’m rolling with laughter. By the way, my friends Mike The Tiger and UGA send their condolences, and their teams haven’t played you yet.

Aubie: At least we’re facing real teams.

Big Al: I feel for ya, ‘bro, but it looks as if you might be looking at a stretch that would scare a groundhog: Six more weeks of bad football.

Aubie: At least we can do one thing your team can’t.

Big Al: What is that?

Aubie: Make a field goal.

Big Al: Who needs a kicking game when you average 52 points a game?

Aubie: Yeah, Yeah … Hey, maybe I’ll come visit you when the Crimson Tide plays Western Carolina. Your fans will be handing out tickets right and left that weekend.

Big Al: I’m looking forward to Iron Bowl weekend. Perhaps you can give me a campus tour. I’m anxious to see all of those coloring books in the Auburn library.

Aubie: Here we go, that Bama cockiness is coming out again! Need I remind you about the last time your team visited Auburn? Certainly you remember that game, right? I mean, elephants never forget.

Big Al: You mean the season we lost to you, still made the playoffs and won the national championship? 2nd and 26, baby — I’ll never forget that!. You’re cracking me up!

Aubie: Go ahead and laugh. By the time the Iron Bowl rolls around, Bo will be ready and we will win big.

Big Al: I’m sorry to break the news to you Aubie, but Bo Jackson no longer plays for your team.

Aubie: But we have speed everywhere: Schwartz, Igbinoghene, Stove, I mean those guys can fly.

Big Al: And Jeudy, Ruggs, Waddle and Smitty are turtles? And leave it to Auburn to have a player named “Boobee.”

Aubie: Leave it to Bama to have a player named “Tua.”

Big Al: Like I always say, you can’t spell Tuscaloosa without Tua. Oh, and I’ll text you from Manhattan in December from the Heisman dinner.

Aubie: I hope you do, because that will be the week we will be celebrating our SEC Championship.

Big Al: That’s almost as funny as this check. I didn’t know lunch could be so expensive.

Aubie: The way you eat? Two words for you, my friend: “Salad Bar.”

Big Al: No worries, I’ll expense this lunch. Coach Saban can afford it.

Aubie: I’m sure he can. He’s the same man who has been hanging out in his office showing off his championship rings to a duck. Does the coach really need the extra cash?

Big Al: He may be hanging out with a duck, but that’s what a GOAT does.

Aubie: It’s been nice catching up with you, Al. Give my best to Big Alice — she really needs to get out more.

Big Al: Will do, and give my best to Aurea and Spirit, and I hope Nova is doing well.

Aubie: Thanks Al, you’re a good elephant, regardless of what your friends say.

Big Al: Remember to keep this conversation between us.

Aubie: That’s right, because neither of us can talk.

Big Al: My trunk is sealed … hahaha!

Aubie: Be careful going back to Tuscaloosa.

Big Al: You be careful, too, Aubie. Give me a call if your tractor breaks.

Aubie: And call me if you trip over your ego.

Big Al: See you November 30.

Aubie: Where I’ll be in the student section celebrating a beat down. Man, I can’t wait.

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 weeks ago

Rick Karle: Best quote of the football weekend goes to ex-Bama star Jalen Hurts

(University of Oklahoma)

I’ve looked over the top quotes of the weekend and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts gets my vote as the best.

Asked about the prospects of playing in a huge game such as the Red River Rivalry next weekend, when his Sooners will face the Texas Longhorns, Hurts responded, “I played in the Iron Bowl … I think I’ll be alright.”

I know that he has moved on to OU from Tuscaloosa, but I still love this #BuiltByBama guy.

Do you?

Watch:

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RELATED: Shaun Alexander on life, love and loss — ‘We will see her again, worshiping God together’

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

3 weeks ago

Shaun Alexander on life, love and loss — ‘We will see her again, worshiping God together’

(S. Alexander/Twitter, YHN)

Every once in a while we get lucky. We get lucky because someone comes into our lives who makes us feel good — makes us feel re-energized.

I’ve known former Alabama running back Shaun Alexander for over twenty years, and while we don’t run into one another often, my mood improves every time we speak. And when Shaun joined the Huts And Nuts podcast for over thirty minutes to talk about life, love and loss, I was left nearly speechless — while feeling grateful and blessed.

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Who can forget #37 running wild for the Crimson Tide football team in the late nineties?

The native of Florence, Kentucky ran with an attitude on every level at which he played: He was the 1994 “Mister Football” in the state of Kentucky, a 1999 first team All-American at Alabama (he left UA with 15 school records) and the 2005 NFL Most Valuable Player as he suited up for the Seattle Seahawks.

Yet, while Alexander is admired for his athletic exploits, what he has accomplished since leaving the sports arena is what turns my head.

Shaun Alexander, a born again Christian, met the woman who would be his wife shortly after arriving in Seattle. After a two year courtship, Shaun and Valerie were married in 2002 and kissed for the first time on their wedding day. “From there,” Shaun explained on the Huts And Nuts Podcast, “we made up for lost time.”

The couple soon welcomed their first child, a daughter who is now sixteen. Then came another child and then another. And today? “We are expecting our eleventh child,” Shaun noted, as he joked, “Yep, 11 kids, all with the same woman.”

As we all know, true tests of strength and faith come during dark times, and the Alexander family copes to this day with a tragedy that unfolded on May 24, 2017.

That is the day when Shaun and Valerie lost their then-youngest child, Torah, who was found unresponsive when Valerie tried to wake her from a nap.

Valerie, in a beautifully-written tribute the following month, said, “Our hearts ache and hurt with the deepest of pain we have ever felt. There have been moments, minutes and hours of pure agony, tears that seemingly flood our eyes without ceasing. Shaun and I hurt for each other and for each one of our children. We are clinging to God for strength and comfort.”

And Shaun?

While the story of Torah’s passing is not widely known, the former Bama star wanted to speak out about his loss and the many lessons learned.

As Shaun told me, “I tell my kids that this pain will not last forever. We will see her again, worshiping God together, walking hand in hand. It’s going to be awesome, and when you know that, nothing moves you off of that. Pain passes, and being in heaven forever? It’s worth going for. It’s not like, ‘Man, we lost her after 70 days,’ it’s more like, ‘We were blessed to have 70 days with her. Those days were awesome.’”

Shaun Alexander starts his day at 5:30 a.m.

Breakfast, Bible study and classes take up many hours of the day, as Shaun and Valerie home school their kids. Shaun stays busy working with his Shaun Alexander Foundation. He also partakes in his “Finish The Game” podcast while contributing to his website and continuing to offer up motivational speeches.

And when all the kids are asleep just after 9:00 p.m., Shaun and Valerie have a whopping 30 minutes of alone time before they turn in.

Every once in a while we get lucky.

Shaun Alexander’s strength, resilience and character should be envied. And the moral of this story? Our world is a better place with Shaun Alexander in it, and for that, I’m blessed.

Listen to the full podcast interview:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

3 weeks ago

Watch: Rick Karle’s ‘The Road Ahead’ (Oct. 4, 2019)

(R. Karle/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

I have to tell you that the college football road ahead is going to be wild — and that road for the Alabama and Auburn teams will come to an intersection come November 30.

Yes, the Iron Bowl has all the makings of a classic, as the Tide and the Tigers are, for now, unbeaten. If you are like me, you love seeing both teams unbeaten when the big day arrives, but there’s lots of work to do by both teams before we see a battle of the unbeatens at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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The near future for the Tigers will be a true stress test, as the Gus Bus will go toe-to-toe with the likes of Florida, LSU, Georgia and Alabama (yikes). While the Crimson Tide are off this weekend (who’s getting hitched on Saturday?), Saban’s bunch will see that schedule become more difficult in a hurry.

I do ask you to do one thing: Before we look too far into the future, let me remind you to step back and enjoy what we are seeing in Auburn and Tuscaloosa.

Case in point? Think about what we are seeing from Bama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Crimson Tide football program has been around for, oh, only 127 years — and Tua is now responsible for more touchdowns in one season than any signal caller in Alabama football history.

Think about it: Not Starr or Stabler, Shealy or Trammell, Sloan or Hunter, Lewis or Rutledge, Todd or Barker, Kitchens or Croyle, Zow or Watts, McElroy or McCarron, Wilson or Coker, Sims or Hurts have led the Crimson Tide to more career scores (86) than Tua, who has accomplished the feat in a mere twenty games.

So, as we look forward to a road ahead that will bring us superb SEC football, a classic Iron Bowl and broken records, let’s look ahead to this weekend, as the Tigers and the Gators begin an important stretch of big boy football.

And if you are a Bama fan who will be attending a wedding: Save me a piece of cake, will ya?

Watch this week’s episode of ‘The Road Ahead’:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

3 weeks ago

Watch: Rick Karle hosts a game of ‘Who Knows Nick?’ in Washington, D.C.

(Rick Karle/Facebook)

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is considered by many to be the greatest coach in the history of college football — he is one of the biggest names in sports. But what happened when I walked around our nation’s capital just a few days ago?

I quickly found out that even Coach Saban can be humbled.

How well-known is the Bama coach in Washington, D.C.? Do the folks who do know him think that he would make a great senator or even president?

It’s time to take two minutes to play, “Who Knows Nick?”

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Watch:

The important thing?

Bama and SEC fans everywhere know him well, and the coach is certainly having the last laugh. He owns six more national titles than anyone up there!

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.