He who imagines that what he hates is destroyed will rejoice.
Ethics, Proposition 20 on the origin and nature of the affects
I hate Tennessee. I hate those giant checkerboards their players parade into in Knoxville. I hate those Day-Glo, road cone hued, prison convict styled jumpsuits their fans wear. I hate that droopy-eyed flea magnet they call a mascot. And I hate that damn song.
Perhaps the only saving grace of modern college football is that when people speak of ‘tradition’ and ‘rivalries’ you can trust they aren’t selling you anything. With the Volunteers and the Tide both tap-dancing on the event horizon of a losing season, one relies more than ever on the empty air of tradition to breathe life into an otherwise meaningless game. But records won’t keep the winner from lighting a cigar.
Shula was brought into Tuscaloosa to change Alabama’s program (actually, Mike Price was brought in for that, but the judge sez we no longer should concern ourselves with him). With an ever-extending losing streak (not counting court cases, of course), the team needs change right from the start. Word has leaked out that Ray Hudson may be replaced on kick-off return duty. This is a good move. Only a madman repeats the same action week after week expecting different results.
Then again, our saddlebag of clichés tells us that the earmark of genius is found in looking at the same thing as everyone else but seeing something different. Bird Dawg has abandoned his namesake’s instincts and thrown us a bone: Alabama is a four-point underdog.
Head or heart, friends? Logic cruelly dictates that as the season extends, our players will expire; there’s only so much tradition can ask of its sentinels. But to close on another philosopher’s musing on the nature of human affectation: Be true to your school.