People have been underestimating U.S. Senate candidate and former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville all of his professional life. It’s strange, for a man whom people have said is no more than an above-average football coach, that he’s only ever really been fired from one head coaching gig. (If you want to get technical, he’s been fired from two. However, the other one took seven years to stick and by that point it was a mutual souring of the relationship.) These same naysayers are doing it again now that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.
When he first got in the race, everybody said that he didn’t stand a chance due to his record as an Auburn head football coach and the fact that he beat Alabama six straight times before Nick Saban became the head football coach at the University. They said that because he ‘rubbed those victories in the faces of Alabama fans’ that they would never forgive him for that. Therefore, they wouldn’t vote for him. Either that was not the case or there are a lot more Auburn fans in the state than people realized.
They said that Coach Tuberville didn’t stand a chance once former U.S. Attorney General and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions jumped into the race. Tuberville was going to be running against two career politicians that had deep pockets, large war chests, and institutional ground games when it came to campaigns. Yet Coach Tuberville secured more votes in the Republican primary than any other candidate in the field. They didn’t realize that Coach Tuberville had an ace in his sleeve. He has built up so many contacts with sports media and sports radio in the state of Alabama that he was able to effectively utilize those connections to raise awareness of his campaign and get his message out.
They are underestimating Coach Tuberville again in the runoff. In a story on al.com asking if there would be a debate between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville in the runoff, long-time Alabama reporter, columnist, and political observer Quin Hillyer was quoted as saying that Coach Tuberville was the candidate with any chance to lose to Doug Jones in the general election. I know Quin, I consider him a friend, and I think he’s wrong in this case. I think it is unwise of him to underestimate Coach Tuberville in this race.
When people underestimate Tommy Tuberville, that is when he is at his best and gets results. If you’re a fan of the Coach and want to see him be the next U.S. Senator from Alabama, then you are hoping that they will continue to underestimate him. If you don’t support the Coach or you’re a supporter of Jeff Sessions, then it’ll be to your detriment if you continue to see him as less than a creditable candidate. Auburn trustees underestimated him, internet and social media sports and political pundits underestimated him, and now National professional pundits are underestimating him. Does the Rivverboat Gambler have everybody exactly where he wants them?