Hunter Ford’s new column

Hunter Ford posted a new sports column in our comment section. I thought it was a good read, and would be a little easier to read in its own section. You can read where he posted it by clicking here. Mr. Ford is a staff writer with The Western Star in Bessemer. Bessemer is one of my favorite places in the state because of two places: Bob Sykes and the Bright Star. Anyway, on to the column:

It’s high time for the games to begin

By Hunter Ford

TWS Staff Writer

It is summertime in Alabama and football fans are stir- crazy in the heat waiting for the first cool breeze of fall, the smell of fresh cut grass on the practice fields and the most glorious season of all-college football season.

There are lots of allegations and lots of smack talk going around about everybody from Nick Saban, to Tommy Tuberville, to… well, certain “rock star” high school coaches. Forget about all that for a while and let me take you on a journey down the sidelines of my memories.

When I was a toddler in the early 1970s my father was a law student at The University of Alabama. I am told that he used to take me to Bryant-Denny Stadium to watch some of the best Crimson Tide teams of all time.

Unfortunately I was too young to remember. However, when I was about eight-years-old I vividly remember watching the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Penn State on television. Bear Bryant didn’t wear his hounds tooth hat inside the Superdome because his “Mama” told him not to wear a hat indoors. But the cameras caught him smoking a cigarette on the sideline. Man how times have changed.

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The first game I remember attending was 1980 at Legion Field- Alabama vs. Notre Dame. Bama lost to the Irish 7-0 in an epic defensive struggle. I cried like a baby. But I will never forget walking through the gates that day and seeing Alabama’s crimson jerseys and Notre Dame’s shiny gold helmets juxtaposed against the bright green Astro-Turf. After that game I went to several more Alabama games with my Dad and my late grandfather. Alabama didn’t lose another game I attended in person for several years after the Notre Dame debacle. I truly believed with all my heart that my superior cheering skills had something to do with that.

With the off-season hullabaloo coming to a nasty crescendo, I’m more than ready to hear the sweet music of a live marching band and see action on the field instead of in the papers or on the airwaves. My own son is of age now to enjoy watching the games with me.
I’m ready to relive my childhood memories when watching college football was about spending time with my family and reveling in youthful, innocent fun.