The job of being Crimson Tide coach means getting second-guessed on your choice of paper or plastic at the Piggly Wiggly. It also means you’re supposed to win every game. That’s why he’ll get almost $8 million over the life of his seven-year deal after working miracles at hopeless causes like TCU and New Mexico. And winning is possible this year, as the SEC West lacks a dominant team.
One of the biggest first steps to that end took place in the offseason, when the weight program was overhauled. To culminate the winter work, Franchione introduced a “Night of Champions,” which he held at previous coaching stops. More than 1,000 people attended the event inside Coleman Coliseum to watch the Tide players show off their new strength. Twenty players competed in four lifting categories: bench, squat, hang clean and incline bench. Seven records were broken. Saleem Rasheed set a bench standard for linebackers with a 475 press. Tyler Watts set the squat record for quarterbacks at 515. It was a testosterone fest.
The extent of change is such that even players’ Friday night routines are different. One example: no more movies. The night before a game is to be devoted …
There were plenty of sceptics when the reborn Jensen Motors proudly displayed a prototype of its proposed S-V8 roadster at the 1998 motor show in Birmingham. The car looked the part, but critical questions about financial backing and the existence of a factory in which to make it remained unanswered.
Three years later, the first production cars are about to be delivered to their new owners — a remarkable achievement. Jensen has engineered the car, sourced the components, recruited and trained a small workforce, and rented an industrial unit at Speke, Liverpool, in which to make them.
For Jensen, that required tremendous vision, energy and determination on the part of the two entrepreneurs behind the project, Keith Rauer and Robin Bowyer. With careers spent in the motor industry’s component and supply sectors, they knew how to get the job done technically. The real hurdle they faced was finance.
As with any start-up, cash flows only one way until revenue from sales begins to come in. That produced some tense times. The …