Quarterback Club kicking off soon

Published 8:35 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To continue with last week’s theme, other ways to know fall and cooler weather is on the way include college football.

Alabama and Auburn.

Not necessarily in that order, so don’t start the complaint letters yet. They are listed alphabetically to avoid discrimination.

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If they were listed according to national ranking … wait, don’t send those e-mails either.

Another indicator that football is in the air is the annual start of the Selma Quarterback Club. The weekly gathering of Auburn and Alabama supporters (notice how the teams can be switched) begins Sept. 14.

Beau Boyd, who is this year’s captain, got a late start with the list of speakers and mailing out the membership requests. The annual rite, however, is gaining momentum.

“Considering how late we got started, we’re doing pretty well,” said Boyd, who added the memberships keep rolling in. “They are coming in steadily every day.”

Because of the Selma Quarterback Club membership drive, Friday is important for more than high school football games and the day before Alabama and Auburn (switch) openers. Auburn opens with Louisiana Tech at home, while Alabama plays Virginia Tech in Atlanta.

Selma Quarterback Club members who postmark their enrollment papers (and check) by Friday will get an “Early Bird” prize — one free guest ticket worth $25 for one dinner.

Boyd said members can invite a guest to see, for example, newly added Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn and Ole Miss head football coach who is a native of nearby Camden.

But don’t mark the calendar yet. Tuberville has a certain scheduling obstacle.

“His son plays on Monday nights,” Boyd said. “So he will probably be scheduled for a Thursday.”

The other speakers — a stellar crowd — will come from Alabama, Auburn and sports aficionados from the outside looking in at football.

The Selma Quarterback Club, yes, kicks off with former quarterbacks on Sept. 14. They are Ben Leard of Auburn and Tyler Watts of Alabama.

Watts is now a color analyst on CSS after being a Crimson Tide captain for two years (2001-2002) and four-time Academic All-SEC.

Leard was a three-year starter at Auburn from 1997-2000, where he ranks fifth on the school’s career-record list with 359 completions in 592 passing attempts for 28 touchdowns. His completion percentage is second only to Jeff Burger.

Other program highlights will be (Sept. 21) Scott Moore, host of weekday radio show “Southern Sports Tonight;” (Sept. 28) Lance Taylor, the host of the Roundtable on WJOX in Birmingham, and Frank Sanders, a former Auburn wide receiver who played in nine NFL seasons from 1995-2003 and is Roundtable co-host.

Then there’s a break, before Max Howell speaks on Oct. 12. Howell worked as an administrator and a coach in several Division-I football programs around the South (Florida State, Ole Miss, and Troy University) after playing at Auburn and Troy.

On Oct. 19, Hank Nichols, retired NCAA overseer of men’s basketball officials, will address the club. Then Rob Pate, who was a four-year football starter at Auburn and won the Pat Dye Leadership Award, visits on Nov. 2.

The loudest end of the crescendo finishes on Nov. 16 when R.C. Slocum comes to Selma. Slocum was the winningest coach in Texas A&M history who coached 30 of his 31 years at College Station.

The annual dues in the Quarterback Club are $175. Make checks payable to the Selma Quarterback Club and send to Beau Boyd, P.O. Box 1663, Selma, Ala. 36702-1288.

Beyond the football stories and the obvious entertainment, the Quarterback Club offers an education of sorts into SEC football, the qualities of winning programs and a look at some of college football’s true icons.