Thursday, January 19, 2012
Last week many friends greeted me with, “Congratulations.”
That’s because they know of my love for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and they, too, saw ’Bama blank SEC rival LSU in the BCS National Championship game Monday night, Jan. 9.
I arrived home from work about an hour before game-time. We had friends coming over to watch the game with us and enjoy Pam’s tail-gating spread.
Pam and Emma had brought much of my Crimson Tide memorabilia from what they like to call the “Shrine to Bear Bryant” downstairs and put it on display upstairs.
There was my favorite framed photo of Bear, leaning against the goal-post.
It brings back memories, when just out of high school, of getting to go to Legion Field and see the legendary coach and his Crimson Tide. I even had sideline and press box passes.
For an 18-year-old growing up in Alabama, that was big-time stuff.
If anything made me sure I wanted to go into journalism, that was it.
Pam and Emma had brought other Alabama football items upstairs for the big game, too, like an assortment of elephants. One we keep upstairs during football season. When you press its hand, it plays the ’Bama fight song and dances. It was busy this season, playing and dancing every time the Tide scored points.
Alabama offense wasn’t flashy this season, with Trent Richardson as the workhorse. But overall it was efficient. And as witnessed again Monday night, defense wins championships.
Alabama’s most successful football teams have had rock-solid defenses. This one may go down in history as the best. The Crimson-clad guys on the defensive side of the football sure shined in the team’s 21-0 win over the Tigers. LSU only crossed midfield once in the entire football game. The Tigers had just 92 total yards. Wow!
I remember the famous goal-line stand versus Penn State in the 1979 National Championship Game. On fourth-and-goal with the Nittany Lions needing 10 inches, tailback Mike Guman was leveled by linebacker Barry Krauss for no gain.
I remember “The Strip” in the 1993 Sugar Bowl, when Alabama won another national crown. It occurred when Miami wide receiver Lamar Thomas caught a pass and sprinted for what looked to be an 89-yard touchdown throw from Gino Torretta. But Alabama defensive back George Teague chased him down and stripped the ball from him.
This year’s tremendous defensive effort – a shutout of a previously unbeaten and top-ranked LSU squad – only adds to my memory bank.
I read where some sports reporters nationally were harping about the “dullness” of the game.
I totally disagree.
We will not see an Oklahoma State or a Stanford play an Alabama or an LSU this season, but if I was a betting man and that happened, I would go with the SEC and the best defenses over the best offenses.
I will take a 7-6 game over a 52-49 one anytime.
Like LSU coach Les Miles said the week before the game – this is “big-boy football.”
And the best “big-boy football” team left New Orleans, La., with the National Championship trophy.
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