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“They got a name for the winners in the world…”

So Georgia and Alabama are playing in the college football national championship tonight, I guess? (Sorry—I can’t even feign interest in the NFL, let alone its farm system. The fact that these half-wits get full-ride scholarships at elite universities to…play games…is, not to put too fine a point on it, insane.)


I only bring this up because it’s an excuse to mention one of my favorite bands—Steely Dan—and how they’ve been trolling Crimson Tide fans for 45 years. You know the line, right? It’s from “Deacon Blues”:

They got a name for the winners in the world 
I want a name when I lose 
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide 
Call me Deacon Blues

Only thing is, it’s not a compliment. In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, co-founder, lead singer, and keyboardist Donald Fagen comes clean:

Walter [Becker] and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said. “You mean it’s like, ‘They call these cracker assholes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I’m this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?”‘ And I said, “Yeah!” He said, “Cool! Let’s finish it!”

I suppose this is the part where I should make a joke about how you can’t expect an Alabama grad to get the sarcasm. But honestly, I didn’t either. And it makes me love Steely Dan even more.

Now let’s enjoy a live version of Deacon Blues from 1993:



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