Something’s fishy in Tuscaloosa

That’s some big Tuscaloosa sushi

When I was younger, I remember an Alabama fan on Coach Bear Bryant’s call-in show ask one of the greatest coaches of all time, “Did you get that catfish I sent you?”

Bryant dutifully acknowledged the gift, though I would expect he had to be thinking, “Who the heck sends a dead fish to someone as a gift … through the mail?”

That was the first thing I thought about when I heard former Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron opening a sushi restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

According to a story in The Crimson White, the university’s newspaper, the quarterback who led the Tide to a national championship in 2012 is “co-opening” Tuscaloosa’s first “build-your-own” sushi bar. Sounds like Kramer’s build-your-own pizza place.

Tuscaloosa opening when?

Construction has begun on what Zimmer hopes will be the first of 10 Aijan sushi places in Alabama. The one in Tuscaloosa is expected to open on June 1.

Roll, Sushi, Roll!

Usual direction

For an athlete to buy a restaurant is nothing new in this world. And the same can be said for the fate of most of those establishments, which is typically failure.

Perhaps the more amazing success stories from athlete/restaurant owner is former Heisman Trophy winner and Texas quarterback Vince Young. Young never maintained the success in the NFL that he had in college. And he had his business associates weren’t too kind to him either (Young had to file for bankruptcy in 2014).

But the Vince Young Steakhouse has a 4-star rating on Yelp! and typically a busy place in Austin, where Young is still considered a god. According to a 2015 story on, Young is given a lot of credit for the success of the eatery.

Executive chef and co-owner Philip Brown told that Young “will greet the guests, shake their hands and take pictures. He’s more charismatic and smooth and works the room better than any politician I’ve ever seen. The people just love him.”

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