A-Day matters at Alabama

Alabama Spring Practice: We’ll take football any way we can get it

By The Conduit

I admit it, I’m a freak for Spring practice games.

I don’t understand why more people don’t enjoy them. It’s a free football game in the middle of the non-football season, the weather is fantastic for spectating, plus the only people at the games are all pulling for the same team. It seems to be a cultural epidemic; either your school’s fans care about the Spring practice game or they don’t.

At the University of Alabama, we care about our Spring game. We’ll take football any way we can get it.

I’ve mentioned this before on CapstoneReport.com, but I remember going to Alabama’s A-Day game a few years ago on a perfectly hot day in April and being so excited afterwards because it was the first quarterback battle I had seen since John Parker Wilson. I left Bryant-Denny Stadium that day thinking we had a marginally sub-standard backup quarterback from Mobile, AJ “McCameron” or something like that, who would just never be able to compete with the guy I was certain would somehow win twenty Heisman trophies and a championship ring for every finger, Phillip Sims.

I will now accept your scorn.

A year later and the day before A-Day, I rode out a tornado underneath Bryant-Denny Stadium where I was simply lucky to be near at the time for a friend’s official tour. It’s funny how a couple hundred thousand pounds of concrete and steel was enough to make me feel like it was the safest place in the state. Barely two weeks after that was the big tornado that cut like a laser through the heart of Tuscaloosa, but in between was A-Day; a perfect Spring Saturday with nearly as many flowers blossoming as new players at the Capstone.

We didn’t know we were looking at a championship-winning team, but it sure felt like they were capable. We had lost champions like Greg McElroy, Marquis Maze, Marcell Darius, Julio Jones, and Mark Ingram, but learning the new names and numbers of another batch of players was a blast, such as then-backup RB Eddie Lacy, giants like Jesse Williams, and returning stalwarts like Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw.

A-Day is days away. I’ll be there and I can’t wait.

We’ll take a closer look at some of Alabama’s arsenal of weapons before then, including the new offensive line that’s already being called one of the best-looking lines in history, the receiving corps, the bevy of 5-star recruits, the returning superheroes, the QB battle, new coaches and coordinators, etc. We could write an entire article based on new talent from Louisiana alone.

But there are two things that are always constant at the University of Alabama under Nick Saban; one, Alabama loses tons of top-ranked talent every year including early departures for first-round draft NFL draft picks, and two, Alabama always adds a deluge of talent to replace them. This year, perhaps more than any other in Saban’s time with the Crimson Tide, that group of young men might be the most talented and most surprising yet. Maybe we won’t know just how good they’ll be until the fall.

Fortunately for me and 100,000 of my friends at A-Day on April 19th, we probably won’t have to wait that long to find out. Roll Tide.