By Hunter Ford
It seems like old times and everything is new again.
My nine-year-old son is collecting Star Wars toys and loving Indiana Jones movies.
Texas, Alabama and Penn State are at the top of the college football polls. It’s great to be a fan of any of those schools right now, but for an Alabama fan like me it is especially sweet. I hope I’m not getting too intoxicated from the success this year. I’ve seen this sort of thing before. And I’ve written about this before. “Remember 1989 when Alabama went 10-0 before losing to Auburn?” I have asked. “Don’t forget 2005 when the Tide petered out after starting 9-0,” I have warned.
This season seems much different than those. The Deja vu all over again is that Alabama is looking like the Tide of the late 1970s under the Bear, or in the early 1990s under his “Padawan,” Gene Stallings.
The team is playing hard-nosed defense, and smash-mouth offense, dominating foes sometimes, and staying in control even during close games (see Tulane, Kentucky and Ole Miss). The team seems to have the attitude that not only should it win, it CANNOT lose.
There is a difference here.
Bryant and Stallings where knights of the same lineage. Bear schooled under Frank Thomas at the Capstone. He came home when “Mama called” and his cub, Stallings, later followed in his pawprints.
But Saban, every bit as dedicated to the same fundamental prinipcals as his predecessors, is truly a New Beggining for Alabama.
Saban is the first coach from outside the “family” to really nail down what Alabama football is all about. At least he’s the frst since the aforementioned Thomas (a Notre Dame man) did it.
What is Alabama all about? Winning championships. Alabama and championship football go together like Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, like banana and splits.
Championship-caliber Alabama football is like a classic folk or rock song (or movie) that gets remade every decade or so.
Right now Auburn is in confusion and can’t get no relief. Tubberville is speaking falsely and the hour is getting late. There’s a new tough guy in town. Saban is Stagger Lee and Tubberville is Billy (Google it if you don’t get the reference). Up in Knoxville Phil “Fats” Fulmer will soon be singing “Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright” to Vol fans.
It is wonderful to see Alabama back in its rightful place as one of the kings of college football. Balance has finally returned to the Force. Bama has the Ark of the Covenant and the Tide is melting the faces of its opponents with Crimson flames. It is awesome to behold. Roll Tide!
P.S. Saban, I believe, will be the only coach in D-I football history to win national titles at two different schools if he wins one at Alabama. Wonder why nobody in the media is bringing that up?