Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Birmingham News' Kevin Scarbinsky reported earlier today about the circumstances surrounding the two brief instances where Alabama tailback (and reigning Heisman Trophy winner) Mark Ingram has lost his cool recently. Both were reactions to pretty low behavior from his opponents, and that's made perfectly clear in Scarbinsky's writeup:
On the fourth-down quarterback sneak that iced the game, Ingram rushed into the pile and gave Greg McElroy a gentle shove. When he bounced out of the pile, Ingram was close to fighting mad.
"They were being a little dirty, you know," Ingram said. "Pushing, grabbing, things like that. Competitive spirit comes out. [...] Sportsmanship was great throughout the whole game," he said. "I think they were just a little angry at the end or whatever because I saw a few guys punching the quarterback when he was under the pile. I was trying to get him up, and the dude snatched me up, also. You know? It is what it is."
And as for the other instance, Ingram head-butted a Duke player who had yanked Ingram's leg after Ingram scored a touchdown. Footage of Ingram's headbutt is here*.
At any rate, they're both unfortunate incidents, but ones without lasting repercussions or anything. So Ingram's had his say, coach Nick Saban's not publicly disciplining Ingram, case closed, right?
Well, no: this is the state of Alabama we're talking about, where football fans are whipped into such a lather about the sport that literally any mention of a player that isn't accompanied by effusive praise is regarded as some mix of bias, treason, and communism. Again, consider: Scarbinsky's column functioned primarily to provide context for something that, to Ingram, is aberrant behavior. Alabamans' response: YOU'RE KILLING EVERYTHING AND YOU'RE HORRIBLE:
So....what's the point of this article, Scarbuttski? Shouldn't you be talking about the rest of the SEC that is playing dirty or, are you trying to say that Ingram is a hothead?
I have heard that Scarb was diss'd by the Alabama staff and he took it personal now has a vendetta...regardless though he writing [sic] is pretty bad. I guess the best thing we can do is stop reading and commenting.
Kevin , that was uncalled for. People who follow your columns (both of the people who currently read you) know what you just did. You took a shot at someone while pretending objectivity. Sad. When the "Birmingham News" goes under - and it is, as we all know - you were a major cause.
That's right: reporting about things that actually happened will bankrupt the newspaper. Well, then.
This is all ludicrous, of course. There's a difference between reporting and cheerleading, and these readers appear to be angry at Scarbinsky for knowing that difference. And besides, if he really wanted to impugn Ingram's integrity with a cheap shot, he could have done it by saying "If Mark Ingram got into a fight he'd need Trent Richardson to finish it for him."
*Note: this may not be an accurate portrayal of the event.