As a Bulldog fan I have faced a harsh realization. What we need are higher expectations. This new attitude hit me last week when I was at a gas station in Eufaula, Ala.
While filling my tank, an old dirty white Ford truck pulled up at the next pump. A woman got out to do the same. A big woman and she was wearing very tight crimson sweat pants. Big white letters were stamped across her rotunda. BAMA it said loud and proud, big as a billboard, and that’s when it hit me.
The clan west of the Chattahoochee has always been football loco, that is no secret, and now I am thinking their fervor might be the reason for their success.
First let’s do an honest self-evaluation. The Dogs have one national championship, and we had to have the greatest college player God ever put on this planet, to do that. Sure we have a lot of 10-win seasons, SEC titles and BCS bowls, but one title… come on. We should expect more than that.
Coach Richt is a very good coach. He’s calm and cool under pressure. He’s a great recruiter, and he is loyal, maybe to a fault. I am certain coaches Bobo and Martinez wear that like a warm blanket, but is that mentality gonna get us a title?
Back on the west side of the river, Coach Saban is driving his coordinators with a bull whip. Being liked is not in his job description. Heck, a bad game in that land will have Rotunda ready to gnaw on him like a chicken wing picking her teeth with the bone while saying “Bear would have done it better.”
HE has been dead since 1983 yet HE continues to haunt the state. Since HE passed Alabama has hired nine and fired eight coaches if you count that strip club incident. They won a title in 1992 and showed Gene Stallings the door four short seasons later. Poor Bill Curry won 26 games in three seasons and they ran him off after going 10-2.
I know the gene pool is shallow over there, but the expectations are deep. What would being going on in Tuscaloosa if Saban had lost to a team that lost to Houston? What would they being saying about giving up more real estate than the French Army in two short games. Sure we beat the Chickens, but barely, and what lies ahead? LSU, Florida, the Hogs will be no cake walk, and we will give up miles to Tech. Sure hope the score boards have new light bulbs, because they are gonna get lit up.
If our expectations rise, maybe the so too will the performance.
THE LOUDEST CHEER OF THE WEEK
I was lucky enough to get invited to Athens for the USC game. It was a great show, but as loud as Sanford Stadium was, there was robust celebration on Friday night in Albany that in many ways seemed louder. Deerfield-Windsor sophomore Andrew Powell scored at touchdown with only seconds remaining on the clock and the DWS fans erupted with the most volume of the entire evening.
It wasn’t a game winner. In fact the contest was well in hand for the Knights. Players, coaches, fans, and parents all congratulated the young man, and a few tears flowed. We all knew without a doubt that Andrew’s biggest fan was watching.
His mother Sabrina passed away on Labor Day after waging a 10-year battle with breast cancer.
Written by Mike Flynn.