One of the most sure-handed teams in all the land, the Alabama Crimson Tide coughed up a mere four fumbles during the 2011 season. The mark — which tied them with Wake Forest for fewest in the country — typified a team that valued ball possession as it marched to a second national championship in three years.
But the value of ball security which helped make the Crimson Tide the best team in college football was never passed along from players to their families — and the result was quite costly.
The Waterford Crystal trophy Alabama won for beating LSU in the BCS championship game in January shattered when the father of a current player stumbled on a rug that was under the display, knocking the trophy onto the floor.
The trophy, valued at $30,000 was on display in the Mal Moore Athletic Facility as part of the school’s A-Day festivities for Saturday's spring game in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“In 2009 and again this season, Alabama did a great job showing the trophy off to fans even after we turned it over to them,” Charley Green, manager of the coaches’ trophy told the Associated Press. “Unfortunately it is fragile, and accidents can happen.”
Alabama athletic department spokesman Jeff Purinton said the school is working with the American Football Coaches Association on getting a new one.
This it not the first time this has happened, though. In 2008, a Florida recruit smashed the Gators’ 2006 national championship trophy when he knocked it off a pedestal. Four years prior, Florida State had two of its trophies stolen.
“We use a temporary adhesive called museum gel to keep the crystal from falling off its pegs,” Green said. “We do provide that substance to winning schools, along with a page of assembly instructions. But we have no way of knowing whether the schools use the gel.”
Note to future BCS-winning schools: Use the gel. Or put the ball inside a case when it’s on display in public. Or have one of your glass-blowing graduate students make a replica and put that on display.
But whatever you do, don’t take your trophy out on your parade route. As Real Madrid can attest, that can only end in disaster.
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