As the sun slipped â€˜neath the horizon Saturday, the waning light of the day gave way to a new lightâ€”the light of hope. For the first time in recent memory, and certainly for the first time since Gene Stallings coached at Alabama, I can say, Iâ€™m satisfied.
No, the team on the field against Western Carolina wasnâ€™t the best football team Iâ€™ve seen. It has a lot of improvement to make before it can be considered strong. But that doesnâ€™t change how different it looked compared to a Mike Shula coached team or a Mike Dubose coached team. This team had a fire, a sparkâ€”it seemed to care.
Players swarmed to the ball. The offensive line blocked. Yes, there were deficiencies. But, so what? Every team is deficient. That is why football is competitive.
What wasnâ€™t deficient was control. Nick Saban was in control.
That is a comforting thought. For a long time nobody was in control of Alabama footballâ€”like a ship without a rudder, the Tide was adrift without direction allowing itself to be blown about by whatever windbag puffed the loudest.
But with a strong hand at the helm, its course has improved. And as a fan, it is comforting to know that each day will be better than the last.
I canâ€™t remember when I last enjoyed footballâ€”are those days here again?