Kennedy kicks off Quarterback Club season

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Randy Kennedy helped the Selma Quarterback Club kick off its 2007 season Monday night.

He had a somewhat roundabout homecoming when he visited Selma as the club’s first guest speaker of the year.

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“The first time I saw my name in print was in The Selma Times-Journal,” said Kennedy, who is the sports editor of the Press-Register. “I was a football player for Chelsea High School, and that kind of gave me the bug for the newspaper business.”

Kennedy recalled his days starting out working for the Shelby County Reporter and driving pages to be printed on the Times-Journal’s press.

He has gone on to bigger things since then, including producing what many people consider one of the best sports sections in the state. He is a regular on the Paul Finebaum radio show and is also the host of his own sports talk show in Mobile.

During his speech to the club’s members, Kennedy talked about why the Press-Register is able to consistently put out a paper people across the state enjoy reading.

“We’ve bucked the trend in the industry,” Kennedy said. “The trend is to spend less money and respond to stockholders to make the bottom line look better. Of course, that has the opposite effect, and people can see the reduction in the quality of the product.”

Kennedy also touched on what most of the club’s members came to hear – a detailed breakdown of the SEC football season.

He picked Florida to win the SEC East, although he did so with reservation because of all the questions in that part of league. Still, it’s hard to go against a defending national champion and a team loaded with talent and confidence.

LSU was his pick to win the West and the conference championship. The Tigers’ depth on the field and on the bench made them overwhelming favorites in Kennedy’s eyes.

Alabama is probably a year away from being a championship contender, Kennedy said, although Saban’s stamp on the Crimson Tide will be evident right away.

Kennedy was impressed with Auburn’s 11-win season in 2006, despite a banged up Brandon Cox. With a healthy quarterback and a versatile offense, Kennedy believes the Tigers are a threat again this year.

Overall, he gives the slight edge to Auburn over Alabama because of experience.

“You take a guy like (offensive lineman) Tyronne Green, who’s been sitting behind other guys for two years and now he’s starting,” Kennedy said. “Those are the type of players Auburn has. It’s not that their athletes are that much better, but their depth is much better.”