Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007
I may be the only person in Marshall County with a “Bama” tag on the front of his vehicle.
That’s because I was raised that way – a Crimson Tide fan. I have Bama stuff in my office and in my house, too, plus you will often see me wearing Alabama shirts and caps, even a tie or two and a belt.
No, I didn’t graduate from the University of Alabama. I graduated from the University of North Alabama, which by the way has a huge game at home this Thursday night versus Delta State.
But growing up in Alabama, you’re either Alabama or Auburn. There’s no middle ground. And I chose Bear Bryant.
But for the first time ever, my support was mixed during the Tide’s game this past Saturday. Alabama faced Ole Miss in Oxford, and I had to support Rebel quarterback Seth Adams of Holly Springs. He’s a neighbor.
The Adamses – Gary, Lorena, Seth and Brent – live up the street from us. Someone even erected a surprise sign recently, which reads, “Welcome to Cedar Hills, home of Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams,” at the entrance to our street, off Chulahoma.
The South Reporter covered Seth when he quarterbacked Marshall Academy a few years back, and we’ve had several feature stories and action photos during his college days.
As I’ve said in this space before, his story is special – from MA to Delta State to Hinds to walking on at Ole Miss and earning the starting job at a Southeastern Conference School. He’s living a dream, and folks in his hometown and home county are some of his biggest supporters.
And he’s doing well - one of the SEC’s leaders in passing.
He was sharp Saturday, too, particularly considering he played through an illness. He was weakened by a virus and had to leave the team hotel in Tupelo and return early to Oxford for intravenous fluids.
He finished 22-for-40 for 284 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He made some spectacular throws.
Alabama won 27-24. It was an entertaining game that had just about everything. Neither team punted until the second half. There was a blocked punt, a fake field goal that was stopped short of a first, big kick returns, great catches, electrifying runs, fumbles and much more.
And of course, there was the booth review, which everyone is still talking about. Miraculously, Adams threw to Shay Hodge for 41 yards to the Alabama 4 on a fourth-and-23 in the closing seconds. It was ruled a catch on the field, with 7 seconds to go in the game, but the replay official (after a lengthy stoppage of play) said Hodge stepped out of bounds prior to returning to the field and was the first player to touch the ball. The call was reversed by the replay official, and Alabama took one snap and ran out the clock.
Pam and I enjoyed the game with good friend Jessie Phillips in the Ole Miss Rebel Club seating area. It’s a great place to watch a game, and Saturday was no different.
I basically did no outward cheering on Saturday. I just enjoyed the game – a great game. I kept my support – for Seth, his Ole Miss team and my Crimson Tide – inside. I left knowing both teams played their hearts out. It’s a shame either had to lose.
Next week Ole Miss hosts Arkansas, and Alabama hosts Tennessee. I may go to Oxford. It’s a 1 p.m. kickoff. Or I may watch the Tide. It kicks off at 11:35 a.m. Or I may try to do some of both.
I’m actually a fan of both teams. Just like many other youngsters growing up in Alabama, I idolized “The Bear.” And Seth Adams, no doubt, would be Bear’s kind of player, determined and one who exemplifies everything good about college football.
And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also come to realize – it’s just a game – a game that I love to watch, be it in Oxford or Tuscaloosa.
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