So Much for the ‘Game of the Century’

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Can We Focus on Public Policy Now?

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The Big Picture
by Glynn Wilson

So much for the “game of the century.”

Maybe if the LSU-Alabama game had gone into four or five more excruciating overtimes it might deserve that distinction. No game without a single touchdown deserves the label, however, although it was an epic battle of two great defenses.

Alabama should have won the game. The Tide offense got into a position to score points far more times than the Tigers. But with two missed touchdown passes in the end zone and four missed field goals, and that one bad call on the goal line, Alabama did not deserve to win.

But hey, it’s not the end of the world. At least not yet.


The silver lining? With Alabama’s national title talk and Heisman Trophy speculation out of the way for this year in my home state, is it possible that we can talk about the connection between politics and economics for a change?

After all, run amok corporate capitalism and anti-tax, anti-government sentiment has ruined the city of Tuscaloosa, along with one great big tornado that knocked down all the trees. Traffic is out of control. There’s no place to park. The rural campus I came to know and love as an undergrad in the early 1980s is no longer there. It is now just another example of suburban sprawl hell.

Frustrated by many years of lackadaisical state funding for the University of Alabama, the Board of Trustees caved into the money pressure a few years back and just decided to explode the student population and triple tuition, and to get into the real estate business in a big way. Greed has ruined a lot of things in this country. Now it has ruined my alma mater too.

I hope parents and students are happy with the price of college tuition and student housing these days. Some of that expense could have been prevented with a little tax money, or maybe a state lottery.

But NO! The Baptists would have none of that, so now their kids have to borrow to the hilt to get a student ticket to a Nick Saban Alabama game.

Then, forget it if you are of Latin descent. Alabama would not allow black students in the 1960s until the feds stepped in. Now the leadership in this state is blaming all our problems on the Mexicans, when they should be looking at the corporations that pay not one penny of taxes.

The Republicans now control all three branches of government. They can’t blame the Democrats anymore for record high unemployment and our crumbling roads and bridges. President Barack Obama has offered a jobs bill in Congress that would have put a lot of people to work fixing our roads and spurred the economy too.

But NO! Neither one of Alabama’s Senators and only one House member voted with the president on that, so I hope you like all the traffic delays in every direction out of the state. Every time I travel around Alabama I wish I had picked up Richard Scrushy’s helicopter at auction. I remember a time when Alabama was known for its good roads. Not anymore.

Now that the tea party Republicans are patting themselves in the back for running all the Mexicans out of the state with the controversial immigration law, pundits are wondering what the Super Majority will go after next year when the legislature gets back together in February?

Our new goober for a governor has already tried to put the Alabama Education Association out of business. It didn’t exactly work, but could it be the other unions will be in the crosshairs of this administration next year? Will we see another Wisconsin right here in the old Heart of Dixie?

Stay tuned. The Locust Fork News-Journal is about to open a Montgomery bureau so we can pull up the Chevy van with the canoe on top in front of that historic capitol in Montgomery and scare the powers that be. Just the knowledge that a real reporter is in town with a big Web spotlight to shine on them might prevent some of the worst abuses from happening in Montgomery Town. We will see.

© 2011, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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