The Rise Of The Joker
In a time where sports have vanished, one player is still managing to gain some considerable attention: Alabama starting quarterback , Mac "Joker" Jones. The nickname was given to Jones his freshman year and it's stuck ever since.
As a student of the game, Jones does everything he can to remain sharp during quarantine. I had the pleasure of interviewing him in March, he had some good things to say about how he's spent his time. “I've watched a great amount of film. I also get to read books like Eyes Up by Terry Shea, and TB12 Method, by Tom Brady”, said Jones.
As a redshirt junior, “Joker Jones” has his eyes set on the NFL. All he needs is one solid year and he can go pro.“It makes you realize how easily you can take things for granted. Not being with my teammates has been a challenge, but I hope we can all be reunited soon”, said Jones.
In an article by the Crimson White, former Alabama offensive lineman Richie Petitbon explained the story behind the Joker. "He was doing his classic weird movements, moving his head and smiling, dancing around and giggling and laughing,” Petitbon said. “I was like, ‘Man, this guy looks and moves just like the Joker.’
On Halloween a picture surfaced on former Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis’s instagram of Mac Jones dressed in a Joker Halloween costume. This was where things began to take off. This hype train wasn't formed overnight, It required the hard work and persistence of Alabama fans. That's where Cruz Oxenreider and Kyle Kelley come into play.
A clip emerged from ESPNs feature “Alabama Training Days: Rolling with the Tide”, and Oxenreider became obsessed with the clip. In the clip Jones and former Alabama running back Damien Harris are creating their own handshake.
Although he knew what he wanted to do with the clip, Oxenreider still needed someone who was a mastermind with photoshop and clip-editing. That's where Kelley's role came into the equation “I then took the song and put it on the edits of Mac. Ever since then we have been making the little short videos so we can help hype him up," said Kelley.
“It didn’t really pick up steam until this season when Mac started the Arkansas game and then Damien Harris and a couple other NFL players from Bama retweeted it and it just blew up and then from there the Super Savage brand was born”, said Oxenreider.
The two then decided to create a Twitter hashtag “SuperSavageSzn” which has spread throughout the Bama fan base. Even popular content creators like BarstoolAlabama have begun using the hashtag along with Kelley's clips.
“I don’t know how many people a year ago expected Mac to come into the 2020 season as the starter, but he has a great opportunity to air it out all season long”, said Kelley.
Alabama beat writer Tony Tsoukalas of BamaInsider wrote an article in April, that detailed the potential that Jones may possess.
In his article, Tsoukalas makes an interesting point when comparing Jones to former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who was selected No. 6 overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in this years draft. Tsoukalas writes that if you take the stats from Jones three starts, and extrapolate them over a 13-game season, they would be better then Herberts. Obviously there's a lot more to take into account, but its definitely worthy noticing.
Tsoukalas also went a step further by comparing Jones and former LSU QB, Joe Burrow. Jones himself, admitted that he's used Burrow as an inspiration to better his play for the upcoming season. Not only are the two similar in size, but they both excel when it comes to extending plays in the pocket. With a fiery warrior attitude and a hard work ethic, Jones may very see Burrow level success this season.
As the upcoming season draws closer, we will see what will become of this “Super Savage” hype.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Kelley's clips and edits, you can follow his Twitter @bamavids3.