By Bill O'Reilly
Well, a new football season is nearly upon us, and fans of the Memo know that can only mean one thing: Get ready for another round of unfair media attacks on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
You'd think that after 12 national titles and 25 Southeastern Conference crowns, people would have a little respect for the Tide. But no, as is so often the case in American society today, the more successful you are, the more the mainstream media wants to take you down. Liberal news outlets like ESPN and the sports blogosphere just can't bear to see Alabama hire a superstar like Nick Saban or mop up in recruiting, so what do they do? They get their sharp knives out and start aiming them at Tuscaloosa.
And I can sympathize with a guy like Nick Saban. Just like him, I've overcome major disadvantages to reach the pinnacle of my career, winning two Peabody Awards and a Pulitzer. And that's only made the haters out there increase their attacks against me. That's fine; doesn't bother me a bit, and I doubt it bothers Saban.
But that doesn't make these criticisms any less fair. Take the recent arrest of linebacker Jimmy Johns for cocaine distribution, and his subsequent suspension from the team. Now, I'm the last person who's going to defend Johns for his behavior. But the media has been going to town on him while giving other teams a pass -- like, for instance, the Georgia Bulldogs. Jeremy Lomax gets pulled over for speeding and carrying a concealed weapon, and hardly a peep from anyone. Michael Lemon assaults someone at a party, and neither ESPN nor the Atlanta paper run word one about it.
Or let's ignore the off-the-field infractions and focus on Xs and Os. All we've been hearing all year long is how much trouble the Alabama defense is going to be in since they lose two of their top three tacklers and have only four guys returning from last year's front seven, and now that Johns has been suspended, it's even worse.
But what the media isn't telling you is that Georgia has plenty of weaknesses of their own. That offensive line that Alabama's supposedly depleted front seven is going to be replacing? Only two guys are coming back, and they're having to start four sophomores up there. And while Knowshon Moreno is certainly talented, that quarterback they've got back there behind that offensive line didn't even complete 50 percent of his passes last year. The media's making Georgia out to be this juggernaut in 2008, but take it from someone who's analyzed the situation, folks, the numbers just don't back that up.
So what does this mean for the Tide? Take it from someone who was a four-year starter on his college football team, folks, Alabama's going to be just fine. When they welcome the Bulldogs to Tuscaloosa in September, they're going to have a senior QB, all of their top tailbacks returning, and they're going to do some damage to that Georgia defense. Last year, with a lot less talent than they have now, they came back from a 10-nothing halftime deficit to score 20 straight points, and would've had a great shot at winning if Georgia hadn't scored on a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game. Congratulations, Bulldogs, you got lucky once -- not gonna happen again.
When you get past all the spin and the bias from the mainstream media outlets, you can see that Alabama's going to have a terrific year. So all the people going crazy and wondering if the sky's about to fall just need to shut up and have some faith in Saban. He's got a game plan for beating the Dawgs, and whether this season ends in another Peach Bowl or another SEC title, only a complete idiot would think things aren't headed in the right direction.
And that's tonight's Memo.
-- In addition to the multiple awards Bill O'Reilly won as host of "Inside Edition" and, subsequently, "The O'Reilly Factor," he was a four-year letterman at Marist College from 1968 to 1971, setting several Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference passing records. Between his stints as an athlete and a broadcaster, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star as a sergeant major with the Fourth Infantry Division.
Next: He's been described as the world's most dangerous man -- and in our next preview, he offers some ominous words about the 2008 Tennessee Volunteers. Don't miss it.