SEC Honors Late Legendary Columnist Cecil Hurt at Championship With Empty Seat

by Michael Freeman

We sadly learned a little over a week ago legendary columnist Cecil Hurt passed away at 62 years old. Upon hearing the news, the SEC decided to honor him at the championship game with an empty seat.

Hurt passed away after being hospitalized for nearly two weeks with pneumonia complications. Though he sadly wasn’t able to attend the game yesterday, the SEC honored him nonetheless. Sports columnist Scott Rabalais tweeted a picture about the tribute: an empty seat saved for him.

“The seat for the late Tuscaloosa News sports columnist Cecil Hurt is right below me in the M-B Stadium press box. Very nice tribute by the SEC folks to one of the greats in our business,” the tweet reads.

Beginning as a sports writer for Tuscaloosa News, they promoted him to a columnist and the outlet’s sports editor. If you’re an avid reader of the publication, you’re likely familiar with his extensive coverage of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Speaking of the Crimson Tide, Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban, released a statement about Hurt’s passing. “He was a man of integrity and a fair-minded journalist blessed with wit, wisdom and an ability to paint a picture with his words that few have possessed,” Saban told Sports Illustrated. “Cecil was loved throughout this community and state as an old-school journalist who covered the Alabama beat with class and professionalism.”

Continuing, Saban stated “He was a role model for young writers and the most trusted source of news for Alabama fans everywhere. He leaves a wonderful legacy as one of sports journalism’s best. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as well as Alabama fans everywhere who loved Cecil as much as we did.”

Arkansas Restaurant Bans SEC Officials Until They Beat Alabama

The rivalry between fans of certain sports teams can get intense, even out of hand, rather quickly. In this case, an Arkansas BBQ restaurant banned SEC officials until the Razorbacks beat Alabama.

Wright’s Barbecue, a BBQ restaurant in northwestern Arkansas, has apparently had enough of Arkansas losing to Alabama. After their narrow loss to Alabama last Saturday, the eatery tweeted it would no longer allow SEC officials into their establishment. “These @SECOfficiating reviews have been an absolute joke, no one from the SEC office is allowed at Wrights until we beat bama in football,” they bluntly stated.

Razorback fans have the restaurant’s back. “I wish I could like this more than once,” one fan replied. Another stated “The two guys calling the game are obsessed with Alabama. When Alabama played LSU they didn’t have one good thing to say about LSU. It was all about Alabama and the same thing happened today vs Arkansas.”

For the uninitiated, Alabama hasn’t lost to Arkansas since 2006. I guess SEC officials will have to go somewhere else for barbecue food. The real question is how long will they have to do that though?