Over the last few months (since the national championship), I’ve found myself spending more time reading National Review rather than Alabama football news. Shouldn’t I be doing the opposite? Shouldn’t I be reading more and savoring something good instead of following the political and economic situation?
Perhaps it is a character flaw, but I spend more time on what worries me rather than what I enjoy. When Alabama football was under the inept leadership of Mike Shula and certain athletic department bureaucrats, I worried. This increased the amount of time I spent evaluating information on the Alabama football team.
Today, a champion guides the University of Alabama Crimson Tide; Nick Saban has won victories over the protestations of pundits and the determination of rivals. He drove Tommy Tuberville and his fingers from Auburn. He dethroned Urban Meyer. He accomplished the amazing feat of winning a national championship at two different programs—two different programs in the SEC. Alabama’s Nick Saban is a winner, and a leader. It is satisfying to see the team in good hands.
There is a tendency for satisfaction to become complacency. Every success includes the temptation to rest on one’s laurels. And this is true of Alabama fans too. When Nick Saban arrived on campus fans turned out to fill the stadium at his first A-Day. It helped build momentum for the football team; Saban credited this environment for helping the program.
But in the glow of a BCS National Championship will fans turn out for A-Day?
And how much does the sense of contentment seep into the team? Will the team avoid the obvious temptation to believe the preseason hype? Or will they believe the press clippings?
In his book How Good Do You Want to Be?, Nick Saban writes that “Passion is being committed, not just interested.” Nick Saban will do his best to make sure the players understand the difference. But what about fans? Will fans be content? Or do they remain as passionate for success as the moment when Nick Saban arrived on campus?