Nov. 25, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team wrapped up a short week with a 90-minute practice in shells Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility as preparations wind down for Friday’s annual contest with arch-rival Auburn.
“I think from a practice standpoint and a player standpoint, everybody needs to understand this game doesn’t get won or lost based on reputation, but certainly by action,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Our players need to be ready to play a very physical game because in this game, most of the time, the team that is the most physical will win the game. I think that will be a real key to being successful. The mindset and focus and all those things will be determined and I think that’s the most important part of this game.”
Alabama players who live within a two-hour drive from campus were allowed to go home Wednesday night to spend Thanksgiving with their families. The remainder of the players had dinner with members of the coaching staff. The team will reconvene on Thursday at noon for a Thanksgiving meal, a meeting and walk-thru before traveling to the game.
Coach Saban also wished the many loyal Crimson Tide supporters a happy holiday on Wednesday.
“I’d like to wish everybody out there a happy holiday, a happy Thanksgiving,” Saban said. “I think this holiday sometimes gets overlooked, but it is a time to have gratitude for all that we have. I know sometimes we all tend to think about the things that we don’t have. I know that we all have a lot to be grateful for. I think this is a time to give thanks for that. I know that I certainly give thanks to all of those that have supported us, the program and the team this year, as well as all the people out there who have such compassion for others and help others.
“I think this is a great holiday and a great time for everybody to give thanks for all the good things that we have and we should be grateful for. I certainly want to again, thank our fans and wish them a happy Thanksgiving as well.”
Alabama and Auburn will meet on Friday, Nov. 27, at 1:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. The game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports, with Craig Bolerjack and Steve Beuerlien calling the action. The game will also be carried on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold, Phil Savage and Barry Krauss. The game can be heard locally in Tuscaloosa on WFNN-FM (95.3).
ARENAS HONORED: Senior cornerback and kick return specialist Javier Arenas was named to the 2009 SEC Football Good Works Team on Wednesday.
The Tampa, Fla., native has logged more than 50 community services hours throughout the Tuscaloosa community. He has spent time in the local school systems, speaking to children about the dangers of bullying and the positive effects of team work. He has also attended birthday parties of physically challenged children and reached out with phone calls to children battling cancer. He is also involved with Project Angel Tree.
Arenas was honored along with Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams, Auburn defensive back Walter McFadden, Florida wide receiver David Nelson, Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens, Kentucky tailback Alfonso Smith, LSU offensive lineman Lyle Hitt, Mississippi wide receiver Dexter McCluster, Mississippi State quarterback Tyson Lee, South Carolina wide receiver Moe Brown, Tennessee defensive end Ben Martin and Vanderbilt cornerback Myron Lewis.