This much is clear none of the six players plan o


first_imgThis much is clear, none of the six players plan on missing any of the action on Monday.“It’s my alma mater,” Ellington said.  “There’s not too many times you get to the National Championship and your alma mater gets to play for it.” TEMPE – For a half dozen Arizona Cardinals players, preparations for their divisional round opponent will be put on hold for a few hours on Monday night.There’s a bigger, more important game — at least on that day — that will have their attention.“I’m going to see the Tigers play and whoop up on Alabama, so it’s going to be a good day,” wide receiver Jaron Brown said, smiling.The Tigers would be the Clemson Tigers.  They play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. University of Phoenix Stadium is decorated Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz., for the college football championship game Monday between Clemson and Alabama. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP) Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Clemson (14-0) is the No. 1 team in the country and has been for much of the season.  Alabama (13-1) enters the matchup ranked No. 2.It’s been over 30 years since Clemson last won the national championship; their only title came in 1981.  Meanwhile, Alabama claims 15 national championships, most recently in 2012, ending a run of three titles in four years.As you can imagine, the trash talk inside the Cardinals locker room has been loud and often.“And then you got a bunch of guys that’s just joining the (Alabama) bandwagon like D.J. Swearinger,” Brown said.  “But it’s all good.  I told those guys I got a cap and a nice little orange shirt for them.  There’s still time to join the (Clemson) bandwagon.”Aside from pride and in-house bragging rights, there’s got to be something on the line between the two factions, right?Apparently nothing as of yet.“They’re scared.  They’re scared, man,” Ellington joked.  “No, we haven’t talked about (a bet), yet.  I told them I got to wait and see how my boys prepare first before I bet.  We’ll probably get something going on now.  We’ll see.”Wait, scared?“We got three (national championships) in the last six years, so, I mean, nothing to be scared of,” Johnson responded.  “If those guys want it, they know where to come.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling And it just so happens that the game will be played in the Cardinals’ home stadium, University of Phoenix Stadium, allowing for Brown and several of his teammates to attend, as fans.Brown went to Clemson as did safety Chris Clemons, running back Andre Ellington and kicker Chandler Catanzaro.Safety Rashad Johnson and defensive tackle Ed Stinson both attended Alabama.“Definitely got to go check the game out.  Playing in our stadium.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’m excited about it,” Johnson said, proudly wearing his Alabama hooded sweatshirt.Of course they all have tickets, but sideline access is what they covet.“Trying to work on it,” Clemons said, “ but I don’t know.  Since it’s the playoffs it’s different.  If it were just a regular (game), then definitely be on the sideline but I don’t know about this one.”Added Ellington, “They’re making it hard for us to get on the field.”Perhaps that is just a Clemson problem because Johnson, who walked on at Alabama and became a two-time First-Team All-SEC performer, will be on the sidelines.“I’m fortunate that they gave me field access to go check the game out up close and personal,” he said.  “It’ll be a lot of fun to watch that front seven work.  They got a great front seven, some guys that are going to be first-round draft picks, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch those big nasties work upfront.”last_img