There are plenty of storylines heading into Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs to captivate the nation. ‘Bama is seeking the school’s fifth championship in nine years and 17th overall, and the contest matches up legendary coach Nick Saban against his protege and former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. But nowhere does the game mean more than in the heartland of Georgia where loyal fans are eager for their first title in 37 years. The Ringer paid tribute to those die-hards by sending one of their own, Jordan Ritter Conn, to report from across the state and its ties to some of the team’s players, leaving a series of fascinating vignettes in his wake.
Like the hometown of star running back Nick Chubb, a community that dates back to a settlement of free African Americans established in the mid-19th century and named after the player’s ancestor: “This place doesn’t look like much. There are a few houses and a few more trailers, narrow roads that wind through hills, and, at least on this morning, more deer than cars. Driving in from the east on Duke Road, I first hit Chubbtown Road and then Chubb Drive. Soon though, Chubbtown Road changes names. Around a bend, it becomes just plain Chubb Road. Up the street near the creek sits the town’s largest building: Chubb Chapel United Methodist Church. The church has a few dozen members. One of them happens to be a running back. His name is Nick.”