It had all the hallmarks of a showdown for the ages, but the BCS National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre Dame Fighting Irish was never close.
And after No. 2 Alabama shellacked No. 1 Notre Dame 42–14 at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, the biggest takeaway had precious little to do with college football. Katherine Webb, the statuesque, tanned girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, was all anyone was talking about.
With 4:22 left in the first quarter and the blowout already under way, veteran ESPN announcer Brent Musburger took it upon himself to deflect attention from the lackluster proceedings on the field by focusing on Webb. As the camera zeroed in on the brown-haired, green-eyed stunner in the stands next to McCarron’s mother, looking like a cross between in-their-primes Denise Richards and Kathy Ireland—Musburger, 73, exclaimed:
“Wow, I’m tellin’ ya, you quarterbacks—you get all the good-lookin’ women. Wow! What a beautiful woman. Whoa! So, if you’re a youngster at Alabama, start gettin’ the football out and throw it around in the backyard with Pop.”
And just like that, a star was born.
The 2012 Miss Alabama saw her Twitter followers explode from about 2,300 before kickoff to close to 200,000 at the time of this writing, with her legion of fans including NBA superstar LeBron James. The parody Twitter account NOT Sportscenter immediately tweeted, “BREAKING: AJ McCarron's girlfriend has filed a restraining order against Brent Musburger. That didn’t take long,” which received close to 13,000 retweets. Donald Trump, ever the opportunist, jumped on the bandwagon and tweeted, “We are going to ask Katherine Webb to be a judge at the Miss USA Pageant coming up in Las Vegas.” And, last but certainly not least, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett achieved instant notoriety with a not-so-enticing invite to the brunette bombshell.
“Aye @_KatherineWebb hit me (240) 464-xxxx when game over, lets go to wing stop then King of diamond,” the NFL star tweeted (and later deleted), according to USA Today.
(For the uninitiated, Wing Stop is a fast food Buffalo wings joint, and King of Diamonds is a well-known strip club in downtown Miami. Classy.)
Dockett later tweeted, “Shit, that was supposed to be DM!”—indicating a private direct message.
After the game, McCarron fired off a few playful tweets to Dockett, including this gem: “@ddockett u better worry ab being in them playoffs, then going to king of diamonds homie.. #betterkeepdreaming like the rest of these dudes.”
Webb was a good sport as well, saying of Musburger’s spirited aside, “I laughed hysterically. I was flattered ... and slightly embarrassed … but I thought it was the funniest thing ever. I never expected that.”
Webb, 23, is an alumna of longstanding Alabama rival Auburn University and began dating the 22-year-old QB McCarron in December, after a series of flirtatious exchanges over Twitter. The two finally met in person for the first time when the football star made an appearance at this year’s Miss Alabama USA pageant, held Dec. 7–8 in Montgomery, Ala.
“I had not seen him until I went on stage and saw him in the front row,” Webb told the local Ledger-Enquirer in late December, adding, “We decided to make it official this past weekend.”
According to her Miss USA page, in addition to modeling, Webb “currently works at Chic-Fil-A in Columbus, Georgia, as a training director” and has been involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors, including helping a missionary group open a dental clinic in India. She enjoys “paintballing, fishing, and skeet shooting,” and “works to overcome vitiligo, the same skin condition that Michael Jackson had.” The disease causes depigmentation of sections of skin, resulting in discoloration.
In a radio chat with Carson Daly on Tuesday morning, Webb said of the social media acclaim: “You know what it is? They’re all just guys and they’re thinking, ‘Oh my god, she’s this hot chick! I’m going to follow her because I just want to look at her pictures!”
Later in the interview, Daly, ever the gentleman, posed the million-dollar question: would Webb ever pose for Playboy?
“I’ve been doing modeling for a little bit, and you know, coming from the South, from Alabama, you don’t really want to do anything that your grandma might be embarrassed [by],” she replied.
In other words: dream on, fellas.