Friday, September 12, 2003

University of Alabama Football Report for 9/12/03

There’s a limit to the tragedy one can endure without distraction. And sometimes it is hard to praise the mutilated world. That is why God (in her wisdom or by oversight) created Henri Matisse, Quaaludes, the Langley Schools Music Project, Jenna Jameson, and, blessedly, college football.

Contrary to the view from the press box, Riverboat Bob’s fake-punt gamble late in the game wasn’t a knockout blow in last week’s Oklahoma-Alabama showdown. Rather, the Tide suffered a death by a thousand cuts: a bobbled snap, a dropped pass, an [allegedly] out-of-bounds foot, a zone played perhaps a yard too soft perhaps once too often. Those are the mistakes a team can permissibly make against the 24 other top-ranked teams in the nation. But not #1.

More than proving Stoops a coaching Wittgenstein, Saturday reinforced that Bird Dawg and his allies in Vegas are not to be doubted. This week, friends, we are in the hole.

Tomorrow’s game should allow for less Maalox and more Maker’s Mark. Alabama is still at home [are the buses in the shop?] and enjoys a padded spread. However, the thought of Derrick Pope and DeMeco Ryans knifing through the line and getting a piece of Kentucky’s quarter[pounder]back Jared Lorenzen – listed at 260, which in the odd metric conversion of collegiate media guides places him closer to 300 – reminds me of a half-wolf breed I once cared for when living in-country: The beast loved chasing cars as they drove by the house, and all was right with the universe until the day she ultimately caught one.

Still, when the best team in the nation beats you only through your own mistakes and exactly by the spread, you can be disappointed, but you cannot complain – especially when your first conference game awaits the following week. Look forward, gentlemen. As the poet said, the light strays, vanishes, yet returns.

Roll Tide.