Thursday, January 14, 2010
Thoughts on the big game
Since last Thursday night I’ve been adding to my Crimson Tide collection.
My sister, who works for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, with the help of one of the state troopers, was able to buy me a copy of The Birmingham News the day after the big game. And she had me a couple of other papers, too.
I can’t wait until this week’s Sports Illustrated, which should come in the mailbox. I’ve saved a couple from earlier in the season – one after the Florida win and another featuring Mark Ingram, the University of Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy winner.
I haven’t ordered a cap or T-shirt yet – still trying to decide what I want.
I appreciate everyone’s congratulations after the 37-21 national championship win over the Texas Longhorns. Most, after eight and a half years in Holly Springs, know of my love for the Tide after growing up in Alabama during the Bear Bryant days.
That’s the thing I appreciate about the SEC, the nation’s best collegiate football conference. The rivalries are great, but we all pull for one another, too – maybe with the exception of Alabama and Auburn.
I arrived home from work Thursday and my family had prepared the den for the big game. They had moved a large part of my Tide memorabilia from downstairs. There were elephants, Alabama signs, images of Bear Bryant, among other crimson collectibles, on the walls and shelves.
I was a bit worried – or my superstitious traits were shining through. Most Alabama games I watch just with an elephant nearby that plays the fight song. I hoped we had not gone a bit overboard.
Alabama built a commanding lead, saw it cut to three late in the game and then tucked the victory away with its defense, which has carried this team all season.
My mom called me at halftime with a “Roll Tide!” Things looked good.
Then late in the third and most of the fourth, I got nervous – really nervous.
As you well know, Texas’ great quarterback, Colt McCoy, was injured early and did not return. I’ve heard, “If McCoy had not gotten hurt, Alabama would have lost.”
We will never know.
I did learn this season not to doubt the Tide’s defense.
I do know McCoy is a class act. The shot of him and Ingram embracing after the game was a picture I will remember a long time.
I also know that Marcell Darius, who put the damaging hit on McCoy, is a big teddy bear. In the post-game press conference, he was so nice, saying he did not mean to hurt him, he just made the tackle like always. McCoy agreed.
Late Thursday night my thoughts often went back to Alabama’s last national title in 1992, a 34-13 win over Miami in the Sugar Bowl.
We lived in Aberdeen then and we celebrated the victory with Bro. Jerry Jones, our minister there who was the biggest Tide fan I’ve ever known. I could see Brother Jones’ smile and hear his laugh again this time around like he was standing in front of me.
No doubt, he enjoyed the game, too, and he had a much better seat.
Pam is getting me a bigger box. This season’s memorabilia will be added to items commemorating the ’92 game, Bear’s last game as coach at the Liberty Bowl and much more Tide stuff.
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