Alabama v Auburn

Tide’s Chapman scoffs in general direction of torn ACL


Somehow we missed this earlier in the week — temporarily blinded by genitals to the face? — but it’s more than worth being late to the party for and mentioning.

During Alabama’s run to a second BcS title in three years, Josh Chapman was an unsung stalwart in the middle of the Tide’s stifling defense.  The senior played in 12 of 13 games — the only one he missed was a Nov. 19 win over Georgia Southern — and, amazingly, played two-thirds of the season with an injury that would’ve knocked mere mortals out for six months or so.

On Tuesday, Chapman underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee.  Chapman suffered the injury in an Oct. 1 win over Florida, but decided to delay the surgery for more than three months after an MRI revealed the severity of the issue.

“Normally I can deal with pain pretty well, but after three days I needed an MRI,” Chapman said according to the Birmingham News. “Dr. (LyleCain said he’s never seen a guy that can have a torn ACL and still stay that stable. …

I didn’t really want to give up like that. I enjoyed playing. As long as it stayed right, I could play.”

While Chapman’s ability to tolerate the pain and manage the injury was certainly a boon for the Tide’s top-ranked defense, it did come with a downside for the lineman personally.  Because of the surgery, Chapman will miss the Senior Bowl as well as all miss everything but the bench press and player interviews at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine next month.

If I’m an NFL general manager, though, I don’t hold that against him.  Those eight games on one good knee would’ve proven enough to me.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.