A few months ago, I wrote a blog titled “In Thirteen Days, RTR”. Yes, I live in Alabama, and in Alabama, we do football. Our bonds and most of our arguments are made around football. Some say I’m not a “real” Alabama fan, I’m just a Nick Saban fan. Well…I do love the man. Some say I’m not a “real” Alabama fan, because if Auburn goes to the National Championship, I have been known to pull for them. Well…let’s discuss that shall we? 

   Interesting enough, earlier today a co worker and I were discussing the Iron Bowl, before it aired. He could not figure why the Auburn fans even wanted Auburn to beat Alabama. Something about the rankings that I did not understand. If Auburn beats Alabama, they still cant make the National Championship and if Alabama loses all they can say is that they beat them, and then Alabama can’t go the the Championship. I mean, would the Auburn fans REALLY rather another state get the title just so Alabama wont have it? I answered this question with a look of “do you LIVE here, and a “yes”. I named some people that we both know, who would absolutely rather LSU, or ANYONE win besides Alabama. On our side, there are even those types of fans. May we never forget the troglodyte who poisoned tumors trees. These types of fans (on both sides) are the people that make football games allot less fun, at least for me. I can poke fun, and have a sense of humor, but some people make it their business to get incredibly angry and take personal shots. I just think it lacks intelligence, and I dont get in those conversations. I found out an acquaintance of mine, is indeed an Auburn fan. I would have never ever known. He does not trash talk, nor does he hate Nick Saban. I deem him the most respectful Auburn fan that I know. We are all in the same state, rivalry is great. It’s awesome. But poisoning anything and wishing the season to be shattered for both teams is unreasonable. But that is just who I am. When Auburn played Oregon in the National Championship, I pulled for Auburn, and other fans who bleed Crimson pulled for them as well. We are in Alabama, why pull for a bid duck in green? What is the point? We pulled for them, biting or jaw and not screaming “War Eagle”, but we did it. I know many more who just cannot do that. They seethe and hate Auburn, or they seethe and hate the Tide. It’s stupid and it is not classy. 

     I gotta give credit where credit is due. The Auburn Tigers have made a great comeback, their new coach has turned what was a horrid team (last year)  into a very FAST and well playing team. I may not understand all the logistics of football or the politics of the ranking system-but just watching them tonight and the last game they played with that incredible “hail mary” gave me an inspired feeling, even in the sadness and disappointment that my team would not be making the Championship this year.

   Rest assured Saban wont sleep for a few weeks. He is a perfectionist and he will replay this night over and over. He will  pre plan next years Iron Bowl in the back of his mind for the remainder of this year. I watched his 60 Minutes interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEp47-kX6jg and the man has a process, a plan and “gold standard”. His team was “off” tonight and it was a really bad time to be off. He will take that burden as his responsibility and fix it for next time. In part of his statement afterwards he said:
  “It just looked like we did not have anybody down on the right side. The right wing and the right tight end, everybody is supposed to fan the field. We covered to the left; that is why he went to the right. I could not see it that well down their sidelines. First time I have ever lost a game that way, first time I have ever seen a game lost that way. We had the wind behind us, but he still should have covered it. The game should not have ended that way.” 

 It could be said that Auburn’s new coach has brought a new level of rivalry, who knows. It is a sad night for us, but there will be another season. Another Iron Bowl and a new plan. That is what good coaches do. If not (or if they lose the whole season) they are fired. Case and point-Auburn. Everyone make a “sure” bad call, or play, from time to time. It’s the game. In life, we are our own coaches. We make bad calls. Bad calls that we are sure about and might even bet on. We still lose. But we are our own coaches, and if we are  losing the game then we change our play. If we still lose the game and we are good coaches and we want to achieve more, and make progress, then we will  analyze the plays that we made and do it differently the next time. If we are good coaches then we sure don’t give up, stay down and say our hands have already been dealt to us and keep being losers. We cant fire ourselves and let someone else win for us, and if we do not admit our mistakes or take responsibility for our losing moves, then we will just make those same moves again. In psychology this is called insanity.Everyone makes a bad call, and everyone is allowed. Live long enough, and you WILL make a bad play. Be a good coach and you will learn from it and do it differently the next time. “The game shouldn’t have ended that way”. Next time it wont.

Roll Tide