By Shane from Centerpoint
First and foremost, let me state this fact up front to the University of Alabama football program: there are literally millions of people who have “gotten your back” for as long as I can remember. Many have been loyal fans much longer than your current players have been alive. I am among those, with forty-plus years of solid support. In fact, I feel justified in saying that your fan base is one of the greatest in college football.
That said, what has happened to that long standing tradition of consistent success that was established by real men whose blood, sweat and tears went into making you one of the best football programs in the history of the sport?
Apparently the winning legacy of Wade, Thomas and Bryant – to accept nothing but perfection – has been lost to this new breed of Alabama player. Where is the “heart” that guys like Barry Kraus, Ken Coley, Tommy Wilcox and many others displayed every time they put on the crimson jersey?
Where is the intense drive to achieve victory that leader’s like Kenny Stabler, Pat Trammel and Joe Namath carried on the field every time they stepped on it? I’m not sure that today’s Tide has any true leaders on the roster.
I, and thousands like me are saddened by the lack of confidence we have in this teams dedication. When are all the excuses going to stop? How long are we going to have to endure these mediocre expectations, which are an insult to every former player who made the ultimate sacrifice to win championships?
Tide fans can only hope that Nick Saban can teach these young men that SEC football is not a party. I personally want the coach to convince future stars like Julio Jones, Burton Scott and Tyler Love that playing for the Crimson Tide is serious business. We need talented leaders at Alabama whose actions do their talking on the field.
It pains me, and I shouldn’t have to say this to some people associated with the program, but this is “The” University of Alabama. We win championships! We do not accept anything less! Why should we?
After only having two seasons with more than seven wins this decade and going 7-6 last year, it is high time we reach down deep as a program and find the fortitude to push everything to the limit to get back where we belong. I hope coach Saban is as hard and demanding as some might say. That is the only hope we have left.
The table is set. We have had the eleventh, the tenth, and the number one classes of recruits in the last three years. We’ve had our full limit (85) for about three years running. We have one of the best head coaches in the game. We have depth and quality competition at all positions. Like I mentioned before, there are no excuses left to make.
I remember what it was like to go into Bryant-Denny stadium and know that our opponent simply could not beat us. Let me assure you Bama, all your fans want to feel that way again. They long for their thirteenth national title.
I’m sorry if my honesty isn’t following the apparent party line of late. I’m speaking here for those who fill the stands, who buy the merchandise, and don’t have the vast public forum this commentary offers. Besides, there is nothing wrong with lofty goals and great expectations. They are the building blocks of champions.
I want all Tide fans who read this column to demand that we no longer accept the status quo. I believe that coach Saban has the positive attitude and the strength to energize this program. However, he can do nothing if the players (first) and the fans refuse to change their negative ways.
I may be pushing the process along faster than conservative fans or even Saban want. Maybe they don’t care what I think down in Tuscaloosa. Believe me, if they win only seven games this year they will.
I expect an Alabama football player to physically out work his opponents just like Wallace Gilberry. I demand that Bama players watch more film than any other team – see Demeco Ryans. I want coach Saban to drive this team as hard as Bryant drove his.
Time is growing short. The window is open. As far as I’m concerned, we’re burning daylight.