‘It’s been amazing’

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 22, 2012

Paul Finebaum, well-known radio broadcaster speaks Thursday night at LBWCC’s Foundation event at the Kiwanis Community Center. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Finebaum speaks at LBWCC Foundation event

For the past three college football seasons, the BCS National Championship trophy has been brought back to Alabama.

The University of Alabama won the title in 2009 and 2011, and Auburn University won the title in 2010.

Right there reporting on the games was Paul Finebaum.

Finebaum was the guest speaker at LBWCC’s Foundation event Thursday night at the Kiwanis Community Center, and he said the sports world in the state has been unbelievable.

“You kind of think you’ve seen everything you’ve possibly even seen,” Finebaum said. “Even covering (Alabama) as a young reporter, and the end of coach (Paul ‘Bear’) Bryant — nothing compares to what we’re going through right now.

“It’s just amazing,” he said.

Finebaum is a well-known, syndicated radio broadcaster, and writes columns for the Press Register, and www.al.com.

On Thursday night, Finebaum talked about the April 27th tornadoes, the Harvey Updyke story, him covering UA as a young reporter and writing about Bryant’s death. At the time of Bryant’s death, Finebaum had just started working for the Birmingham Post-Herald before it became The Birmingham News.

Last year, ESPN aired a documentary “Roll Tide/War Eagle,” where Finebaum was a central figure. In the film, Finebaum said the focused on the events that have occurred in the state.

“Of all the things I’ve seen, what happened on April 27 — I’ve never seen anything quite like that,” he said.

When Alabama won the 2011 championship over LSW with a dominating 21-0 win, Finebaum said he felt that the Crimson Tide got it’s “due” after falling to the Tigers 6-3 on Nov. 4, 2011.

“To me, you just felt like this team didn’t get it’s due until it finally won (against LSU),” he said. “The LSU game was so haunting with the way it ended, and I felt like that night in New Orleans, that Alabama got its due.”

Commissioners from each athletic conference have met recently and are close to formulating a new playoff system for college football.

Finebaum said he thinks it’s a good idea.

“I think it’s — like everyone else — it’s about time, maybe 10 years too late,” he said. “I think it’s going to be real dramatic.”

Finebaum said his visit to Andalusia for the event was memorable.

“You go to many different places, and every place is different,” Finebaum said. “This has been one of the most special places I’ve visited because it’s so appreciative and hospitable. It sounds like a cliché, but you know you know real people when you see them.

“It’s just been an amazing time being in Andalusia,” he said.

Proceeds from the foundation event will go to fund scholarships to the community college.