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Friday, October 12, 2012
T.I., Crimson Tide save Creed frontman

By Steve Etheridge
Special to ESPN.com

Scott Stapp/T.I
Scott Stapp, left, was saved by rapper T.I. after falling four stories from a balcony in Miami.
Gotta tread lightly on this one, as it involves some pretty heavy subject matter, but boy, oh boy, is this story bizarre.

So you’ll recall Creed, a band from the '90s whose music sounds exactly like a hemorrhoid looks. And you’ll recall T.I., a famous rapper and noted authority on the fanciness of women. And I’m assuming you’ll recall the University of Alabama, a public coeducational learning institution renowned for its perennial success at football.

As fate would have it, an unusual scene would bring the three together.

It took place in Miami. Deranged by drugs and sleepless for days, Creed frontman Scott Stapp endeavored to hush his demons by hurling himself from his penthouse balcony at the Delano Hotel. He plummeted four stories, cracking his skull and hip upon the ground’s arrival.

There he lay for two and a half hours, his mortal candle dimming, until a man wearing a familiar crimson hat entered his vision.

“Roll Tide,” uttered Stapp, drawing the attention of the man who he’d later learn was rapper T.I.

And then T.I. saved him.

That’s the story. Weird, right?

It’d be like if Cee Lo, buried by an avalanche of pies, was rescued by some other famous guy in a Clemson jersey. Or if Cee Lo, somersaulting uncontrollably toward a cliff, was saved by some other famous dude wearing an Ole Miss tie clip. Or if Cee Lo, convulsing violently after dropping an electronic appliance into a bathtub of beef gravy, was rescued by another famous guy in a UCLA windbreaker.

It’s like, what are the odds? It’s a forceful metaphor for the religion that is Alabama football -- and don’t try to sell it as anything less than a religion. You’ve got a coach whose very first spring practice game with the team drew 92,000 spectators, whose face is known and revered by infants before they can even say “mommy” or “daddy.”

You’ve got fans who will hitchhike from a PLANE CRASH so as not to miss kickoff, who’ll desecrate other teams’ sacred relics or violate their helpless foes, all while cheering “Roll Tide” like some all-purpose mantra of faithfulness.

And now you’ve got a fan -- a fan who just so happens to be the face of a band whose music rarely strays from themes of mortality and redemption -- on the verge of biting dust, whose last words very well could have been “Roll Tide,” except that they weren’t. Like a desperate appeal to Nick Saban on high, the words were blessed, and a savior interceded -- a savior, nonetheless, who probably hooked Stapp up with a ballin’ VIP hospital suite complete with honeys waving palm fronds and a swagged-out heart monitor that drops HOVA verses over the beat.

So are you a believer yet?