Alabama’s August was filled with misery. The flu. The Julio Jones and Mark Ingram issue. And now the Brandon Deaderick shooting.
All these things are distractions, and we aren’t even counting the potential impact on the football field.
So, what does ESPN’s ACC blogger think about it?
Heather Dinich writes, “Things are adding up in favor of the Hokies. Alabama will be breaking in a new quarterback and a revamped offensive line. Those on-field questions, coupled with the looming uncertainty of the investigation into the fishing trip, and now the shooting should make Crimson Tide fans uneasy and Virginia Tech fans a little more confident.”
For Alabama fans, adversity seems to be everywhere. Some have to be wondering if the 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide is jinxed. And the team hasn’t even taken the field yet.
But that is the bright side of the preseason mess. The season hasn’t started. Players still have the opportunity to put the distractions aside and focus.
Monday before the shooting, Nick Saban was talking about the importance of the next three days to this year’s football team.
â€œThe next three days are very important,” Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban said. Iâ€™ve already talked about some intangible things, like enthusiasm and intensity. All of these things sort of indicate a sense of urgency and immediacy. The preparation, to me goes a long way to say how intelligently you will play, how many mental errors you will make because of the preparation and having it now, it doesnâ€™t just come when the game comes. You need the repetitions and the focus and attention to detail to get the little things right, so you can perform well. Nobody really performs well if they donâ€™t have those things. I think we found that out last year, I hope we found that out last year when we played in the Sugar Bowl.”
These three days are even more important now. And with one more big distraction, the character of this year’s team will be even more evident Saturday night in Atlanta.