STEREOTYPES GOING SOUTH RACE TAKES DECREASED ROLE IN SELECTING STARTING ALABAMA QUARTERBACK.Byline: Billy Witz Staff Writer
In Alabama, Rosa Parks Noun 1. Rosa Parks - United States civil rights leader who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery (Alabama) and so triggered the national Civil Rights movement (born in 1913)
Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus. George Wallace This article is about the American politician, former governor of Alabama and former presidential candidate. For other uses, see George Wallace (disambiguation).
George Corley Wallace Jr. practiced his politics of division and Shoal Creek Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club, located in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, is an invitation-only private golf club which opened in 1976. The course was designed by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus and is rated as the top golf course in the state. Country Club played host to the PGA Championship The PGA Championship (often referred to as the U.S. PGA Championship outside of North America) is an annual golf tournament conducted by the Professional Golfers Association of America as part of the PGA Tour. before it played host to an African-American member. It is not hard to find issues there that can be simply defined in black and white.
The quarterback debate at the University of Alabama The University of Alabama (also known as Alabama, UA or colloquially as 'Bama) is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. Founded in 1831, UA is the flagship campus of the University of Alabama System. - where unheralded Andrew Zow, a junior who is black, has held off hometown hero Tyler Watts, a sophomore who is white - merely seems to be the latest.
Except that it is neither black nor white. It's a story with varying shades of Noun 1. shades of - something that reminds you of someone or something; "aren't there shades of 1948 here?"
reminder - an experience that causes you to remember something gray.
When Watts, a four-year starting quarterback at Birmingham's Pelham Noun 1. Pelham - a bit with a bar mouthpiece that is designed to combine a curb and snaffle
bit - piece of metal held in horse's mouth by reins and used to control the horse while riding; "the horse was not accustomed to a bit" High, decided to attend Alabama three years ago, he was hailed as the messiah of a struggling program.
Watts was, by most accounts, the most hyped quarterback to ever come out of a state that has produced a Heisman Trophy Heisman Trophy
Annual award given to the outstanding college gridiron football player in the U.S. The trophy was instituted in 1935 by New York City's Downtown Athletic Club and was officially named the following year for the club's first athletic director, the player-coach winner in Pat Sullivan Pat Sullivan may be:
National Football League
NFL (US) n abbr (= National Football League) → Fußball-Nationalliga quarterbacks Kenny Stabler and Richard Todd
Richard Todd (born June 11, 1919) is a British actor. Biography
Born Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd .
The only problem is that Watts hasn't been able to beat out Zow, a little-known recruit from Florida whose only other scholarship offer to play quarterback came from Central Florida
Central Florida is the central region of the United States state of Florida, on the East Coast. , the school most known for producing Minnesota Vikings
Zow, who won the job for the second consecutive season, will start for No. 3-ranked Alabama on Saturday at the Rose Bowl against UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX , though Watts is also expected to play.
In football-mad Alabama, it's a story that's never far off the radar of fans or the front pages of the six newspapers that regularly cover the Crimson Tide.
``It's an interesting situation,'' said Clyde Bolton, a columnist for the Birmingham News who has covered Alabama football since 1961, 10 years before its first African-American player.
``You have this kid who came out of nowhere who wins the job from probably the most highly publicized recruit in the history of the state. That's a dramatic situation, the kind of story that captures people's imagination. People still read Cinderella after hundreds of years. I think it would be just as interesting if both were white or both were black.''
Bolton says this is the mainstream view, also. Alabama fans don't care if their quarterback is white, black, blue or green - as long as the team wins.
``I haven't heard anybody say one guy ought to play because he's black or white,'' Bolton said. ``You do hear the code words sometimes on the talk shows and I can't speak for every guy who's got time to pick up the phone and call (a talk show) before he goes to cook hamburgers on the night shift, but I don't think generally that it's an issue.''
It was an issue, however, with some factions within the team last season.
It was no secret that former star tailback Shaun Alexander, who is black, privately lobbied for Zow. However, later in the season, most players agreed that Watts - who led the team to victories over LSU LSU Louisiana State University
LSU Large Subunit
LSU La Salle University (Philadelphia, PA)
LSU La Sierra University
LSU Link State Update (OSPF)
LSU Learning Support Unit and Auburn while Zow was hobbled by an ankle injury - deserved to start.
Managing such a predicament will be particularly dicey this season. Zow and Watts are the only two quarterbacks on scholarship and Alabama can't afford to have either one leave.
``At such a school as Alabama, if you don't play 'em, they don't stay very long,'' said Alabama quarterbacks coach Charlie Stubbs, who came from UNLV UNLV University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1998 to open up the offense. ``It's not just quarterback, but other positions. We want them both to be leaders of this team on offense, but the toughest thing for me is to keep 'em happy. I can't rotate 'em in like receivers.''
Of course, it wasn't supposed to be like this.
Zow, who quarterbacked Lake Butler (Fla.) Union County High to back-to-back state titles, originally committed to Auburn, which recruited him to play linebacker or defensive back, as most schools did. When Alabama said it would give him a shot to play quarterback, he jumped at it.
When Watts signed, Zow wondered if he'd get the chance.
``No doubt I did,'' Zow said. ``I wondered and kind of worried at first. But as I evaluated myself, I felt like if I got a fair shot I could show I could play.''
Zow, as a redshirt freshman, took over from ineffective senior John David Phillips because the Tide weren't going to sacrifice Watts. At the time, Watts was a freshman behind a young line in what appeared - at 2-2 - was going to be a disappointing season.
But Zow performed spectacularly, leading Alabama to five wins - including a victory over rival Auburn - in its final seven regular-season games.
``The expectations were so high that Tyler would take it over,'' Stubbs said. ``Andrew was recruited as an athlete, but all of a sudden he comes in and grasps the offense pretty well and kind of took off.''
While Watts looked better at the end of the season and through the spring, Zow had an outstanding fall camp and was awarded the job early last week. Watts, who declined an interview request, acknowledged that Zow deserved the job but vowed to continue competing.
``I know (Watts) is there,'' Zow said. ``I don't worry about political things. Hopefully that won't have any impact on it. I know some people might not like it that I'm black and the quarterback, but that's their opinion. I just have to keep playing like I'm capable of and I don't have anything to worry about.''
Dr. Amilcar Shabazz, an American Studies professor at Alabama and the chair of the African-American studies program, says he is pleased that both players have been dismissive of race baiting.
``I have to salute them for the maturity they've both demonstrated,'' Shabazz said. ``They actually poo-poo any racial edge or tension. That's not to say that they're Pollyannish. . . . I just see it as a promising sign that they're not feeding whatever (division) may exist.''
Zow says he laughed last year when a TV commentator remarked that Zow was the better athlete and Watts was the better passer. In fact, they do not fit the black/white quarterback stereotype.
``I'm not saying we're completely opposite,'' Zow said. ``But Tyler's able to use his legs to get himself out of trouble, while I try to sit back and wait on things and let my arm help me out.
``There's still misconceptions, but I think it's changing. Hopefully, people in the college world will see a black quarterback in high school who has some ability and give him a chance at what he's been doing instead of just moving him to another position. I think we're moving beyond that.''
The same could be said for much of the rest of the Deep South.
``I think we're finally getting to a point, in the 21st century, where the idea of Alabama as the worst place on earth for race relations is finally becoming passe pas·sé
1. No longer current or in fashion; out-of-date.
2. Past the prime; faded or aged.
[French, past participle of passer, to pass, from Old French; see ,'' Shabazz said. ``The most gruesome racially-motivated murder of the late 1990s wasn't in Mississippi, it was in Jasper, Texas. The beatings of blacks by police are in Philly, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and L.A., not Alabama or Mississippi. Those of us in Alabama definitely have our problems, but they're problems that have resonance all over the U.S.''
Photo: (1 -- color) Tyler Watts
(2 -- color) Andrew Zow
(3) Alabama quarterbacks Tyler Watts, left, and Andrew Zow warm up during a recent practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Dave Martin/Associated Press