Bob Baumhower played for two of the greatest football coaches: Bear Bryant at Alabama and Don Shula with the Miami Dolphins.
The former standout defensive lineman expects Alabama coach Nick Saban to cement his place as the top coach in this era of college football. A victory in Monday’s BCS National Championship would give the Crimson Tide their third title in four years and Saban’s fourth overall.
“Alabama is probably in a lot better shape physically than they were at the end of the year. With the offensive line they’ve got and the experience they’ve got. If they can establish the running game they ought to be able to win the game,” Baumhower said during a pre-BCS seafood fest he co-hosted with former teammate and fellow restaurateur Kim Bokamper at Bokamper’s in Miramar.
“But this is a special Notre Dame team. It’s good to have Notre Dame back in college football where they are. Obviously, I’m pulling for Alabama to get it done with their running game and be able to wear these guys down.”
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Rudy Ruettiger knows all about underdogs. The poplar movie “Rudy” depicted how he overcame limitations and long odds to realize his dream of playing for Notre Dame.
Ruettiger is in South Florida to watch his alma mater face Alabama in Monday’s BCS National Championship, and he likes the Fighting Irish’s chances.
“It comes down to one thing, Notre Dame is hungry, [more than] 20 years they haven’t been here. So they’ve got that heart, and they’re the underdog,” Ruettiger said Saturday at Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill in Miramar.
“I think the underdog has the edge. He’s got that extra fight.”
Ruettiger says the 1993 film, in which he was portrayed by Sean Astin, endures because of its inspirational message. He talked about how he helped lift the spirits of the family of a Sandy Hook shooting victim.
“The mother got on the phone and she said it gave us the strength and courage to move on. Those are why the movie is worth it, those moments,” Ruettiger said.
He noted another cinematic angle to the BCS showdown.
“When I arrived at the airport a guy says, ‘Hey, it’s Rudy vs. Forrest Gump.’ Remember, Forrest Gump played for Alabama. It’s funny how people connect all that. It’s fun,” Ruettiger said.