Alabama’s DL coach had his playbook stolen before Monday’s National Championship

Well, if Georgia had won Monday night’s National Championship, this story would be a whole lot more intriguing. On Thursday, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported that Tide defensive line coach Karl Dunbar left his backpack in one of Bama’s team hotel rooms:

Police say last Saturday, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar left his backpack in a Marriott Marquis conference room designated as the defensive line meeting room.

It had his cellphone, laptop, cash, sunglasses and game day playbook inside.

The TV station adds that the missing playbook has yet to be found, but some of the other items were found:

It's hard to identify this person - but police say he stole an Alabama coach's defensive playbook just 2 days before the national championship game. Watch my live report on Ch2 at 5pm

— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) January 11, 2018

But this story gets even weirder. Hours after the Dunbar story broke, Auburn’s 247Sports affiliate reported that someone attempted to do the same ahead of the Tigers’ game in the Peach Bowl, but he was stopped before he could leave with it:

Interestingly, a similar situation happened when Auburn stayed at the same hotel during preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, according to two sources close to the team. An unidentified person attempted to steal a defensive staff member’s laptop from the hotel, but the person was stopped before they could run away with Auburn’s intel.

This is definitely strange, and it sounds like the two incidents just might be connected, since both teams stayed in the same hotel in downtown Atlanta. One conclusion I’m making from this, though, is that we definitely have COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPIES, Y’ALL. Having your playbook stolen definitely isn’t ideal, especially when pretty much everything in game planning and coaching is bound to secrecy.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this happen with a backpack. In fact, before last year’s Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, then-Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan’s backpack was taken during media day ahead of the game, but it was done accidentally by sportswriter Art Spander:

“You know how you land at the luggage area and they say, ‘If any bags look the same?’ That’s what happened,” Spander told SB Nation. “The good thing is I got my computer. He got his game plan. Neither bag was opened.”

It was purely an accident — media night is always frenzied, and mix-ups can easily happen — but during Super Bowl week of all weeks, especially with the New England Patriots involved, Spander was accused of acting as a spy for head coach Bill Belichick. Spander insisted that he had no ill intentions.

“Bill Belichick didn’t pay me off. He doesn’t even know who I am,” Spander said. “My favorite Belichick interview was after they lost to the Giants about five years ago; it was in Arizona for the Super Bowl, and he was about as sour as a lemon -- ‘Yeah. No. They played well. We didn’t play well.’ So I’m certainly not going to be an advocate of his.”

We’ll see if anything else comes about with the two incidents, and perhaps we’ll get more on who exactly did this and if there is a connection between both.

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