James Jones column: Eli Gold always keeps it real

Published 4:50 am Saturday, September 30, 2023

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On the subject of Alabama football, Crimson Tide Radio announcer Eli Gold always keeps it real. Gold spoke at the Selma Quarterback Club on Tuesday and gave his opinion on the Crimson Tide football team of 2023. Alabama is currently 3-1 and ranked 11th in the country after opening with a No. 3 ranking.

“Is this the best Alabama football team? Probably not,” Gold said. “But Alabama is still a better team than most.”

I will buy that. Before the season, I predicted the Crimson Tide would win 11 games. I still stand by my statement.

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Gold, who only calls home games for Alabama, said he thought the Crimson Tide’s only loss to Texas and sub-par performance against South Florida earlier this month were overreactions by fans and media.

“People were ready to jump off the roof,” Gold said. “You’re talking about Nick Saban, arguably the greatest college football coach of all time.”

Okay, I confess. I had a heavy dose of ‘What is going on here?’ I’m not used to seeing the Crimson Tide play this way.

Gold, 69, said that he wasn’t surprised that Alabama easily handled Ole Miss last week at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“Ole Miss had their chances, but Alabama stopped them,” Gold said. “Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin thought he had a shot to beat Alabama. This Ole Miss team is going to win a lot of games this season.”

Gold pointed out why he thought Alabama doesn’t appear as previous standout Crimson Tide teams.

“Alabama has stockpiled the National Football League,” Gold said. “As of last week, 57 former Alabama players are on NFL rosters. You can’t replace that talent, even with great recruiting.”

Gold said the other reason is the expectations of going unbeaten are unrealistic.

“You’re not going win every game every single season,” Gold said. “LSU won the national championship a few years ago with two losses. You can win a national championship with one loss and Alabama has.”

Gold said that Jalen Milroe is the right quarterback for the Crimson Tide.

I agree, considering what else is on the Crimson Tide roster at quarterback.

For Gold, he appreciates getting a chance to announce Alabama games again. He missed the 2022 season recovering from stage 3 esophageal cancer and regaining the use of his legs.

“Win, lose or draw, that’s the [best] medicine I could have had,” Gold said.

I’ve always enjoyed hearing Gold announce Alabama football games. I’m sure Crimson Tide fans in Dallas County and across the state feel the same way.