The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

An Inauspicious New Year

Posted on | January 2, 2024 | Comments Off on An Inauspicious New Year

My brother and I saw it happen — on national TV!

The FBI needs to investigate the crime that happened Monday night in Pasadena, California — a case of identity theft, in which a group of young men claiming to be the University of Alabama football team perpetrated an implausible impersonation of the Crimson Tide. The fraudulent “football team” that took the field at the Rose Bowl looked nothing like the mighty Crimson Tide, which had defeated the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs 27-24 to win the SEC title.

Let us stipulate that Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe had been inconsistent all season long. His miraculous game-winning TD pass against Auburn — on fourth-and-goal from the 31 — was perhaps divine intervention, or else the Crimson Tide never would have gotten to the national championship playoffs. But the only reason the Auburn game was close enough to require such a last-minute miracle was because Alabama’s offense had been so listless and mistake-prone, committing 72 yards of penalties and converting only six of 16 third downs.

Nevertheless, having survived that scare, the Crimson Tide were more impressive against Georgia in the SEC title game, mounting two lengthy first-half drives to take a 17-7 lead at halftime, and then holding off the Bulldogs in the second half. While I wasn’t confident about Milroe and the offense going into Monday night’s game, I felt like ’Bama could rely on its defense, which had proved itself sturdy.

My brother Kirby and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the playoff game against Michigan, and were ecstatic when a muffed punt return by the Wolverines set up a touchdown that gave the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead.

Alas, the Alabama defense — or I should say, the identity thieves impersonating the Alabama defense — let Michigan march right down the field to tie the game, and I began to fret, which required me to order another Yuengling (for medicinal reasons, a treatment prescribed by my Samoan attorney as the cure for fretting). Michigan had a 13-10 lead at halftime, and I ordered the All-American Cheeseburger (which isn’t prescribed treatment for anything, but Bert the Samoan attorney assures me it’s still a tax-deductible business expense). During the third quarter, Alabama kept Michigan pinned down deep in their own end of the field, and then mounted a 55-yard drive that ended in a touchdown that gave the Crimson Tide a 14-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Alabama later added a field to go up 20-13 with 4:41 left to play and I thought to myself, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” Surely now the Alabama defense would choke the life out of the Wolverines, and we’d be onto the national championship game. But as I say, the “Alabama defense” were obviously a crew of impostors, who had somehow sneaked onto the team bus in an elaborate conspiracy. For all we know, the real Alabama defense is still being held hostage somewhere in Pasadena. Why isn’t the FBI investigating this crime? Or is the FBI part of the cover-up? Probably the CIA’s in on it, too, not to mention the Bavarian Illuminati.

The criminal conspiracy resulted in Michigan scoring a touchdown that tied the game at 20, requiring overtime (and also requiring me to order another Yuengling, on advice from my Samoan attorney) during which the San Andreas Fault suddenly erupted in a cataclysmic earthquake and the entire state of California collapsed into the Pacific Ocean.

Wait a minute. Let me check my notes . . .

No, the cataclysmic earthquake was what I wished would have happened, instead of what actually did happen, which is a permanent stain on the hitherto honorable reputation of the state of Alabama.

So, 2023 was a bad year — R.I.P., John Hoge — and 2024 has gotten off to an inauspicious start, which I now intend to forget ever happened. (“Game? What game? Why are you asking me these questions?”)

It’s been three whole years since the last time Alabama won a national championship. I blame Joe Biden. And also the Bavarian Illuminati.

My brother picked up the tab at Buffalo Wild Wings, which somehow makes me feel even worse. The only thing that can cheer me up is if you’ll remember The Five Most Important Words in the English Language:




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