It's been a year and a half since Tyrone Prothro's epically disgusting leg injury, which the receiver's former high school coach recently described to Dennis Dodd as "like a field injury in the war." Dodd wrote Tuesday that the Alabama star's athletic future remains uncertain, along with the scholarship that is keeping Prothro a member of the team and in school during his lengthy rehabilitation. He still will likely not play this fall, and would have to earn a special exemption for a sixth year of eligibility to have any chance of return in 2008.
Who, exactly, can say whether Prothro has any opportunity to see the field again at Alabama? His rehab continues, but doctors haven't issued any possible dates for return.They also haven't ruled out a possible return. Saban has made no move to secure or withdraw Prothro's scholarship. Prothro himself wants to play, but remains in a brace. According to the compound sentence-averse Dodd, it's only that old coach from back home, Michael Shortt, who has any insight regarding a potential comeback:
No matter what it takes.
"If God wants him to play," Shortt said. "He'll play."
Shortt is correct that divine interest in the outcome and individual participation and performance in college football is well documented. So to delve deeper into the future of one of college football's brightest fallen stars, SMQ sat down recently with an old favorite, the traditional Judeo-Christian God of Western Christendom, to discuss Prothro, prayer's role in healing and Daniel Moore.
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SMQ: You oversee the world, God, but to what extent -
God: Who dares question Almighty Jehovah?!!
SMQ: This is, um, I mean, your humble, uh...
God: Ha! I'm kidding, of course! I do many interviews. I'm glad to be with you, My child, and I would like to say first that I had nothing to do with that one catch. Though it was pretty righteous. That's the kind of thing I would have taken credit for 4,000 years ago, whether it was really guided by My hand or not. I am secure enough now though to admit that was all Tyrone.
SMQ: What about the leg?
God: No comment.
SMQ: You can't say whether you had anything to do with it, or, like, Satan or whatever?
God: I can't speak for Satan, you will have to talk to him, but it's My policy not to discuss any supernatural element - or lack thereof - in random tragedies. Good things, I'll give credit where it's due, but I can neither confirm nor deny the extent to which I or any other divine entity may or may not have intervened in painful human events. Because then you could ask, "Well, what about the Holocaust?" and I deny having any part in that, and then you go down the list and you're like "What about this or that?" and I deny and deny until you come to something else and I suddenly say "no comment," well, then you know. So: no comment.
Now, as far as Tyrone's rehabilitation, to be honest, this is not an issue I've considered closely. My attention is always pulled in more and more directions these days, and the older I get, the more difficult it is to keep up with all the players. I generally know who's good and most of the coaches who stay somewhere for more than a couple years, but it's not like it used to be. So I don't have all the facts on Tyrone. I mean, I do, but they're not here in front of me. The investigation is, uh, ongoing. Many factors come into play in a situation like this.
SMQ: Like what?
God: Well, sin, for instance. Obviously sin. This is pretty good for Tyrone, personally. He is a good kid. Now, of course, all of my children are sinners in their frail human flesh and will be called to account at the appointed hour for their transgressions against Me, etc. I love them all but I have put my foot down and it's not really possible to go back on the brimstone and sulfur at this point. I wish I could, but...anyway, Tyrone is no exception to that. There are some pretty wretched souls out there, though, and he's relatively pretty good. Not a great tither, but, hey, he's in college. I know how it is.
SMQ: So it sounds like you're leaning towards granting him another year of eligibility.
God: I have not said that. I have not spoken. I am still torn on the matter. People today expect the loving God of the New Testament, who bestows blessings or cruel scorn upon My individual children according to their personal righteousness, and I have to admit I have grown softer in that regard over time. But I've never really been about the individual, which is probably why I like football so much more than, say, golf, which I can frankly do without. People say "Whoa, miracle shot from the bunker" or something, but I've probably fallen asleep at that point, so it's not me. It's very difficult to do anything exclusively concerning just one of My children. Who has time for that? My roots are in random, collective, tribe-based smiting, and as a tribe, I think I've been pretty good to Alabama fans. I've blessed them with dozens of championships of all varieties, bowl victories, all these achievements the clan claims for itself, and I've smitten their enemies - I mean, it's subtler than it used to be, you can't go around sending plagues and striking down the first-born these days, but who do you think kept Auburn out of the Mythical Championship Game in 2004? Jeff Sagarin?
At the same time, just about the entire state of Alabama has bowed down at the feet of a false idol and his graven images for more than two generations, and that's the first commandment right there. They're up in arms about putting up My commandments in courthouses down there, which I have nothing to do with, honestly, and yet they fail the very first one. They turn their backs to Me. I could see if they were coveting their neighbor's ass - again, everybody does this, because I paradoxically created humans to be that way. Even I pretty much can't follow this one, because I'm a jealous God who covets the attention given to rival deities, false or otherwise. Let your mind wrap around that during your a.m. bong hit - but the graven image thing, it's at the top of the list, and still they create statues, make paintings, reverently study books of the teachings of a blatantly mortal idol. And an unethical recruiter with alcohol problems at that.
SMQ: Are you saying Alabama football is due to wander in the desert?
'Bama's new Decider.
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God: Clearly they've done their share of wandering there. Probation and Mike DuBose, you know, I'm not saying I orchestrated any of that - free will, etc. - but these things are not necessarily random. With Mike Price, I felt the penance had been paid, they were "even," if you will, so I've stayed out of `Bama's affairs since then. I really have not been paying much attention to them. I have issued no judgment for hiring Nick Saban, though I was suspicious about his salary ("It is easier for a camel," etc.) and there are some early signs people will be starting the "messiah" allusions. I can tell you now, never, ever do that. They are on thin ice. Saban himself, though, he was pretty good at LSU. I like his style, very business-like. He seems to understand you can't rely on emotion every time, or yell and scream every day and try to scare people into following you (something I learned a long time ago). He actually is currying My favor with his recent generosity, though admittedly there is a suspicious lack of sourcing in this story, so I will have to do a little more research to verify the facts. Again, the relevant information and motivations behind it are truths I know already, obviously, but I don't have the specific files in front of my face. That is, if I had a face, which I don't, because I am an abstract concept of intelligent energy that has no physical form.
SMQ: I have to ask you while I have you, point-blank: Will Tyrone Prothro play football again for the University of Alabama?
God: I can't answer that at this time. I can't get into specifics. As I said, My investigation into this matter is ongoing. This is an unfortunate situation and we are doing everything we can to bring it to a timely resolution that serves everyone's best interest. We will have to weigh the facts and listen to prayers from both sides before any decision can be made. All I'm allowed to say at this point is, "Righteous catch."
SMQ: That was against my alma mater, you know. We would have won that game.
God: Yeah. Sorry. I'll get your back next time.
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God is the creative and structural force behind this and any possible universe.