Q&A With David Wasson of AlabamaFB.com


One of our earliest supporters in the traditional media was David Wasson. Formerly Executive Sports Editor of the Tuscaloosa News, he now is Managing Editor of AlabamaFB.com, a site dedicated to both college and high school football in Alabama. David spoke with us about the site, the Tide, and this very special football season.

AG: Your new venture into sports media has really taken off, hasn’t it?
David Wasson: It really has. We went from about 15,000 page views in September to over 130,000 in October – and are on pace for even more in November. It obviously helps that Alabama is doing so well, but we keep adding more and more features to the site to keep people wanting to come back and visit.

AG: The redesign looks great, by the way.
DW: Thank you. We had a really compressed site-design time before the high school and college seasons started, so JumpTV – the folks that do all the “hard” work on it – gave us a temporary site design while they built the permanent one. We love this one; it’s got additions like a news scroll, a bigger video player, “Around The State” news links and more goodies.

AG: And really nifty blog links, I might add.
DW: We literally just built those today, the new ones, and naturally had to put AlabamaGameday.net at the top!

AG: Well, of course. Any other cool stuff in store for the site you wanna reveal?
DW: We’re about to launch a news scroll that will continually pop in cool stats and rankings and stuff at the top of the site. We also added the ESPNU Insider feature at the bottom left, which refreshes with up-to-the-minute college football news. Also on the site is a “virtual” edition of our magazine. When you click the graphic, it launches a page-by-page flippable, readable magazine!

How can I forget, too, our thriving forums. We have almost 300 members now, and that community is growing stronger every day. A one-stop place to talk about all kinds of things – football or otherwise. And, best of all, it is all FREE!

AG: You’re not about throw in a set of steak knives are you?
DW:We give away shirts and fleeces and stuff on the forums, whenever I feel generous.

AG: Heard it here first, folks. Stuff. Free.
DW: I can also say we are very close to announcing a totally awesome postseason publication highlighting Alabama’s season. Nothing set in stone yet, but it has been a major source of emphasis for weeks now.

AG: There’s a lot of focus on high school ball on the site. Interest in recruiting seems to be exploding.
DW: It truly is amazing, Tony. Our goal when we started out building the magazine and website concepts were to wrap our arms, so to speak, around all levels of football in Alabama. And that means covering the heck out of the high schools; all 428 of them.

When you figure that the vast majority of players Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Troy and the state colleges sign each year come from right here in Alabama – getting the jump on knowing the best via high school and recruiting coverage is natural.

AG: It just amazes me that a high school top 25 poll would even exist, but in this day and age, it makes sense.
DW: Heck yes. The best teams in the state actively go play beyond their classifications to get better competition, and doing a Top 25 is a natural discussion piece. My goal is to have those rankings be just one step below the BCS on the discussion-meter in Alabama!

AG: Should we assume Saban’s lights-out recruiting had something to do with the interest, or was it already growing?
DW: Saban’s recruiting has brought national attention to Alabama, no doubt. But recruiting attention seems to ratchet up exponentially each year.

AG: Hey, so that Alabama tackle football club is doing pretty well, huh?
DW: You know, they are pretty decent. Talk about the perfect storm, really. All that preseason stuff about not being able to go on the road and beat those tough teams sounded pretty stupid, eh? It has helped, of course, that neither Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee nor LSU has exactly lived up to their individual preseason hype.

AG: They’re dropping like flies, arent they?
DW: I wasn’t all that surprised by Fulmer, but was by Tommy Bowden.

AG: And the season ain’t over yet.
DW: If I were Sylvester Croom, I would be telling recruits more about that winning streak against Alabama instead of what is fixin’ to happen this weekend.

AG: And then Alabama has one more bit of unfinished business the Saturday after Thanksgiving…
DW: Talk about a game there. Saban will need to have his team focused more on the task at hand – and not on the peripheral stuff, past and future – than in any game I can ever remember.

AG: Prediction: loudest the stadium has ever been.
DW: Hard to top Florida in 2005. That was the second-loudest stadium I had ever been in. I had to shout into Chris Walsh’s ear sitting right next to me. We ended up instant messaging each other just to communicate.

AG: Okay, so what was the loudest?
DW: I was on the sidelines of Florida Field for the 1997 Florida-FSU game at the end – when No. 1 FSU had the ball trying to take back the lead.

AG: So Alabama is undefeated in the SEC and rolling toward Atlanta for the title game. How do you like Alabama’s D line against St. Tim?
DW: I like Alabama’s chances in that game a lot, because they seem to match up better with a spread-tastic team like Florida. Saban is by far the best nickel coach in America, and they will be in it all game. Playing that way allows wide gaps for Greenwood and Washington on the ends, and for Cody to envelop another ZIP code or two.

AG: Given the way Bama plays the spread, it’d be nice to see them against Texas Tech.
DW: I really don’t think Tech will get there. Oklahoma will expose them, I think. Then again, I thought The Man and Okie State would last week.

But yes, that would be a cool game to see. I think Mike Leach still gets cold chills thinking about what Joe Kines did to his offense back at the Cotton Bowl.

AG: Either way, its just stunning that Alabama is playing for the national title this late in the year.
DW: It really is – and I’m not sure how many Crimson Tide fans realize how stunning it is. Everyone – including the coaching staff – pretty much understood that they were a young team that had a chance a year or two down the road. But the combination of beating over-valued teams at the right time, playing great defense pretty much all the time, and competing in a strong conference is a recipe to be in this position. Make no mistake – luck is always involved, and will be to win it all. But they aren’t winning lucky. There is a difference.

AG: It’s been said before, but its almost creepy how much this team resembles the 1992 edition.
DW: I disagree, slightly. Yes, they play great defense (though not as great as 1992). And I love Jay Barker to death (well, his current wife …), but John Parker Wilson is a way better quarterback than was the 1992 version of Baltimore’s Trent Dilfer. One similarity is that they seem to go all-in for their coach and their teammates on every play. That, my friends, is how you win championships.

As the saying goes, “It’s about the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.” For Alabama, it is about the color scheme. 

AG: That would be the money quote, if not for the Dilfer reference. Come back on soon?
DW: I will be in Atlanta, also, Thursday-Sunday, that week … so maybe a Championship edition?

AG: You’ve got a deal.