More is thy due than more than all can pay.
Macbeth. Act i. Sc. 4.
This week, word came from the president’s mansion at the University of Alabama that Mike Shula will receive a contract extension and pay raise at the conclusion of this season. Whether that season ends with 12 games or 13 depends on – of all people – L’Orgeron or Houston Nutt. I cancelled my suite in Atlanta.
Twenty years ago this week, a future motor-home salesman became a folk hero by kicking a football half the distance of the field to pull ahead of the Auburn Tigers as time expired. Every Alabama fan I know remembers where he or she was as that ball tumbled through the air. Bo Jackson remembers where he was. As does Alabama’s current head coach, who distributed the ball between Jelks and Bell to get the Tide (barely) into position that day.
Alabama’s current quarterback has better aim and a stronger arm but a weaker line and younger receivers. Moreover than the wishbone formation, last week’s loss to LSU reminds us that football is miserably a team sport. No matter how great eleven men’s desire, it cannot compensate for the tandem necessities of experience and ability. Most infuriating was that the Bayou Bengals even appeared – dare I speak the word – outcoached!?!
Bertrand Russell said of parenting, “…there is an egoistic element, which is very dangerous: the hope that one's children may succeed where one has failed.” What then to make of the children whose parents succeeded? This year will not be one Mike Shula can name his own brand of steak sauce after, and Brodie Croyle likely won’t be dazzling orphans with a shinier championship ring than his dad’s.
For scions of success, the best advice is make your own mark. Just do your best. Just take advantage of your opportunities and apply your effort in honest exchange.
Just -- for the love of God -- beat Auburn.