this is an upload from my blog: www.jayopsis.blogspot.com
As we watched Alabama win the national title last night, I couldn’t help but think about the last time we did this and all the change that has taken place.
The last time I could afford season tickets to the Alabama games was 1992. Lisa and I splurged and attended every home game that season. We never saw them lose. They won ugly back then too- rugged defense and making sure the offense didn’t screw it up. But that is how it has always been done at Alabama for as long as I can remember. Finding a way to win- it is the will to win in the 4th quarter.
One milestone that season was the first SEC championship game at Legion field. I managed to find one ticket and went. That night was the first time I ever talked on a cell phone. It was my friend’s that I went with and I called my wife from the stadium…. Amazed that I could do that. Antonio Langham intercepted Shane Matthews to seal the SEC championship and an opportunity to win the National Title.
And we watched (on TV at home) Gene Stallings carried off the field on the shoulders of his players after the Sugar Bowl victory over Miami. To be honest, I like that ceremony much better than the Gatorade dump. Is there a symbol there?
Now flash forward to 2010. I am living in Nashville, enjoying the win with a household of beautiful girls and thinking how much time has gone by.
These things are markers and memories. These will dim over time. But while it is fresh on my mind I wanted to write a couple of thoughts and hopefully re-read these one day with good, warm thoughts.
The Passion for Alabama Football
People make fun of it, but it is a part of Alabama. I grew up with Leonard’s losers, John Forney radio broadcasts, Sunday Bear Bryant shows, and dreaming of being a part of the Crimson Tide. It is what Alabamians do, and it creates energy and unity – a huge heart for football takes someone at the top who can pull it all into a unified confidence. Is it too much? Probably, but that's what they do, it is in the DNA of the Crimson Tide world. When Ricky Bobby said' If you ain't first, you're last" most people in the nation laughed, people from Alabama said "Amen". Alabama fans cannot be held together by anything less than a coaching persona. How many people are there in the football world that can take on that mantle? So love him or hate him- Saban is one of the very few who can survive and thrive at a place like that.
The Testimony of Colt McCoy
He was so full of emotion that he had to pause twice to answer. He was crushed.
And then he said it- " I always give God the glory, I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life, and if I know nothing else, I'm standing on the rock.” Wow- that guy is a champion!
The Inspiration to Keep Digging and Doing It Right
As a football coach, I get so inspired by the champions and the winners. The things they say are more than clichés. I have to continue to push, press, learn, evaluate and apply. As I write this, I am able to look at 3 state championship rings I was privileged to be a part of. I want to get back there again. And each year, you see what it is- a group of highly dedicated and united individuals, who lay all the selfishness aside and fight with every fiber in their being. They work and compete as champions. Alabama’s title began over a year ago after a humiliating loss to Utah.
So I am ready to run after it again… today.. in every area. Knowing that I too am standing on a rock.