HOMEWOOD—The Alabama Crimson Tide will face Georgia Southern this season, but The Eagles of Statesboro’s football program made a trip into Alabama Saturday night to face Samford University.
The charm and nobility of college football is most evidenced in the intimacy Samford and Georgia Southern provided. It is a reminder that purity exists in the scummy world of college football—a world populated with corruption because of an inept NCAA.
There was passion. Georgia Southern brought as many fans as filled the Samford side of the stadium. These fans were loud. These fans were proud—with many wearing dark blue shirts proclaiming six national titles for Georgia Southern’s football program.
Samford played a tight game during the first half (the score was tied 7-7 at halftime), but special teams hurt the Bulldogs through missed field goals and surrendering a kickoff return for a touchdown. The Bulldog defense created turnovers and kept Samford in the game by limiting the Georgia Southern’s rushing attack.
It just wasn’t enough. Samford fell to #3 ranked Georgia Southern 31-17.
Samford is a great venue for college football. The surrounding campus is beautiful, and the stadium provides nice views of the field. You do not have nosebleed seats here. We were sitting so close you could see just how short (and tight) the Georgia Southern cheerleaders’ skirts were and the color of ribbon in their hair. (This Baptist enjoyed the view.)
But in Seibert Stadium the real nobility of the game is on display.
There are no parents with their hands out wanting $180,000 or $200,000 for their child to play football.
There are no lowlife runners peddling influence.
There are no billion-dollar television deals corrupting academic institutions—which so often are willing to forget principles or God in an all-in attempt to win.
There are no Birmingham politicians or foolish UAB presidents trying to make a school into something that it is not through a football program.
Samford knows its football program’s mission is to compliment the university’s mission, and that mission is to make better people. Or, as the University’s mission statement declares, “to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith, and personhood.”
Shouldn’t that be the point of every academic endeavor? Shouldn’t that be the point of every extracurricular activity that a school sponsors?
Football can make better people.
It can also illustrate everything wrong with mankind.
We see the wrong in major college football.
It was nice to see what is right in the players, coaches and fans of Samford and Georgia Southern