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Stan J Griffin - Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa's premier community newspaper.
Stan J Griffin

Stan J Griffin

I am a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I currently reside and work. I am doing regular sports and feature writing for the Tuscaloosa-based Druid City Living and also am the Alabama beat writer for Crimson Magazine. I am a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama, where I wrote for The Crimson White. I have an extensive background in newspaper journalism, having served as a sports editor and reporter for the Delta Democrat Times, St. Clair News-Aegis, Andalusia Star-News and the St. Clair County News.

I also have my own sports blog site, The Sports Connection, which I partner on with a friend of mine, and we began this site in November of 2012. I write blog on a variety of sports subject, and have also had guest contributors write their own blogs for the site. I have interviewed prominent sports figures for the site, including Paul Finebaum of the new SEC Network.

With the 2016-2017 season in full gear for Kristy Curry’s University of Alabama women’s basketball team, it is obviously a hectic time for Curry and her staff, as well as Tide players such as juniors Meo Knight, Hannah Cook and Ashley Williams.   

But it is also a busy time for a group of around 30 students who assist the Crimson Tide in their daily practice sessions, helping with very drills and game-like simulations.  

Recently, a distinguished institution in the Tuscaloosa banking industry was the subject of an emotional and well-deserved celebration and farewell.  

It was not a particular building that was being heralded, nor was it a specific banking company, but instead it was a special lady who is a friend to many, and who was a fixture in the banking field for over five decades.  

It is the defining contest and the 60-minute crown jewel in a state often defined by its excessive appetite for college football and its many decades of dominance relative to the sport.  

It is "Punt, Bama, Punt," "The Kick," "Wrong Way Bo," "The Reverse," and of course "The Kick.”  

It is the monumental game that has made heroes and legends of young men such as Van Tiffin, David Langner, Lawyer Tillman, Tre Smith, Chris Davis, Rory Turner, Linnie Patrick and Dennis Riddle, among many others.  

It is simply the Iron Bowl, Alabama vs. Auburn, still arguably the nation's transcendent college football rivalry.  And it's happening right here in Tuscaloosa this Saturday.

The University of Alabama football team's fall camp is down to a short polish-up session set for Thursday, and then it's officially time for the No. 1 Crimson Tide to take the field for the first time on Saturday as it opens the 2016 season against Southern Cal at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The college football magazines have all been read, the various polls and watch lists have all been announced and a long, dry summer of waiting for the sport to return is finally, mercifully, over.  

Most importantly for Nick Saban's University of Alabama football team, a fall camp which Saban, the 10th-year Crimson Tide head coach, has called a very productive one is now complete, and game time has arrived for the defending Southeastern Conference champions and the reigning College Football Playoff national champs.  

It is now two weeks before Nick Saban's Alabama football team, the reigning SEC and College Football Playoff national champions, opens up the 2016 season against the Southern Cal Trojans in Arlington, Texas.

Since its opening in 2000, John and Ann Rhoads Stadium, also known as the home of the tradition-rich University of Alabama softball team, has served as a true mecca for the continuously growing fast pitch game.

For fans of Nick Saban's University of Alabama football team, preseason hype has already translated into good news, as many scribes and gridiron seers are already forecasting the Crimson Tide to repeat as Southeastern Conference champs and successfully defend its 2015 national championship.  

The following five items, however, will be key areas to watch as Alabama seeks to reign supreme as champions of the SEC once again, and to also gain its 17th national title in 2016.  

With proceeds benefiting the Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance, in an effort to support both children and adults relative to the challenges associated with mental illness, the ever-growing cycling event known as the Hot Hundred enjoyed another huge response in 2015 in terms of participation and support from volunteers and various businesses and organizations.  

And now, the planning stage is continuing for what should be yet another “epic ride” in 2016.  

The legend of the late former University of Alabama football coach Paul William "Bear" Bryant is an enduring force, especially in the men that he coached, mentored, and motivated to be extraordinary, not only on the field but also in life.  

Alberta Baptist Church co-pastor Keith Pugh, a 58-year-old native of Evergreen, is one of those men personally impacted by the coaching icon, as he attended UA from 1975-1980 and played on Alabama teams that won national championships in 1978 and 1979 while also capturing three Southeastern Conference titles from 1977-79.  

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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