The funniest thing to come out of Alabama having to visit a hate-farting sack of old OTB slips and half-eaten petrified McDoubles in the White House: the pictures of Alabama football players clearly not feeling the whole experience. For reasons. For very, very good reasons.
The second funniest thing: They lost a signed football. Ball security is a priority in a well-oiled machine like a Nick Saban operation. It is something they teach, emphasize, and then emphasize again.
There are probably five former head coaches making $35k a year wandering around the campus at this very moment, looking for stray players holding footballs carelessly. Is this what Butch Jones is doing at this very moment? And is he going to mistakenly pull a small, adorable puppy from the hands of a football player, start running away with it, and then realize too late that he is holding an adorable and confused mastiff puppy before getting caught from behind easily, and then beaten mercilessly by three huge linemen? Yes, all of this is going to happen. Possibly today, even.
It’s serious to fumble at Alabama. When a Crimson Tide player fumbles, they get to go to North Alabama for the remainder of their career. It is serious business for serious teams, which is one reason why someone in the White House “lost” a signed Alabama football. They are clearly more the “Houston Nutt Ole Miss” of political operations, both in that they occasionally pull off huge upsets, but also in that no one is really in charge and it will all end poorly.
We even hesitate to say “lost” here, really. This has to be intentional, either on the Alabama side or on the White House side.
It can’t be Alabama’s problem. Our theory remains that all memorabilia from this trip was either a.) burned immediately or b.) handled with biohazard-standard gloves and tongs, kept in sealed bags, and transported to sealed containers at the Bryant Museum for carefully controlled display. Nick Saban knows a curse when he sees one, because Nick Saban watches film and prepares for every opponent. He probably used a fake hand to touch the President, and then immediately had one of the program’s 450 assistant incinerate it. The President, a germaphobe with no friends, would either never notice the difference, or prefer the rubbery, cold touch of a mannequin in the first place.
The other reason the ball was lost: It was signed in the first place thanks to a White House staffer, who insisted it was for the current governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey. Ivey is an Auburn grad who wants nothing to do with that ball, and who will never see it because the staffer in question obviously just took it. Some jobs you walk out the door with office supplies; Others, you leave with a football signed by the President that you will definitely sell later for badly needed legal defense cash.
That staffer left a month later and took another job. We’re going to see that thing on eBay in six weeks, and literally the only thing that will matter is that it fetches more than the Hillary Clinton signed Alabama jersey currently floating around $1600 on eBay. That’s $1600, a number which is pinging some alarm bells in our head for some reason, why, why could that be—-
Oh, it’s a #16 jersey, in case you didn’t think whatever monster got this signed and made didn’t have the dubious Alabama championship numerology angle ready and waiting.
As for the safety of the nuclear football: it’s fine. Isiah Buggs did as he was taught and stripped it away from a Marine about two minutes into the visit. The White House will get it back when the Alabama offense says they can have it back.