Not because my knees crack when I jog or because my back is sore
about once a month or because I'm becoming more follicly-challenged
every day (g).
No, I sometimes wish I were younger because I miss
the innocence of college football when I was a kid. Now, there were
problems with college football when I was growing up ' poor
officiating, massive slush fund at Illinois, recruiting violations at
other places, favoritism amongst pollsters ' BUT I didn't care about it.
night I was cleaning out my basement (about time my wife would say!)
and I found a notebook I used to keep as a kid on Alabama football
games. I looked through a few years and saw something interesting in my
notes ' even when we lost I didn't criticize the team, blame the
coaches, or something else. One entry after the UGa in '65 (the knee on
the ground fleaflicker play) was ' 'close game ' we tried hard and will
be ready next week.'
No whining, complaining, etc. I long for
those days and starting now, they are coming back. No more worrying
about what kid has us third on his recruiting list or what one of our
rivals did, what Finebaum said, or is our defensive coordinator playing
too much Cover 2 zone defense.
Football is going to be fun again
for me and my family. It's going to be like my childhood when I would
put on the #11 jersey and run the split-T formation in my backyard
pretending to be Snake at quarterback until it was too dark to see. It
is remembering games at Legion Field when it WAS the 'Football Capital
of the South.' It is getting excited again as I approach the stadium
and hear the 'Roll Tide' cheer coming from the early arrivers. It is
seeing someone yell 'Roll Tide, Need 2 (tickets)' and giving him or her
2 extra that I may have. It is having fun watching the players get
excited about being on the same team and how great a TD drive they just
I will be cheering our players all the time and never
booing. I am going to tailgate with friends and be nice and respectful
to visiting fans, regardless of how they act.
I am going to
emulate my son, who reminded what a real fan was at the Ga. Dome after
the 1994-SEC championship game we lost to Florida. He was only 8 years
old, but as the game ended the adult fans were grumbling about
Stallings, play calls, etc. My son yelled at me to come on down and
cheer the Tide players as they were leaving, because they had played
such a great game.
I am going to develop a short- term memory
(which is getting easier every day!) and take each game separately and
cherish the time spent there. If I can't make the game, I will listen
intently to Eli, because, for good or bad, he is OUR announcer.
more cheering against other teams and getting upset about their games.
The Tide games I will care about, the others will just be to watch some
good college football.
I can't control play calls; recruiting,
sports writers, Internet sites, but I can control myself. I'm getting
more excited about the fall ' it's getting closer and that means at
least 11 weeks of Crimson Tide football.