From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke (or Toby McGuire, in Spiderman 3)
The off-season for college football, as connoisseurs know, doesn’t really begin the second week in January. No, as the last seconds tick down in the national championship game, the last thing on the college football purist’s mind is victory or defeat, but on the next game: recruiting. An oft-told joke in that vein has Bear Bryant hated in country clubs throughout Texas and Oklahoma because his arrival at Texas A&M essentially snuffed out any chance of bumping into your school’s coach out on the summer links.
Perhaps that’s the bright spot in Nick Saban’s miserable performance in last week’s charity golf outing.
But the Great Leader has more to worry about than his handicap. Breaking “news” from Miami has Alabama guilty of recruiting violations right out of the starting gate. The minutiae are thus:
-- The current rules state coaches may observe high school prospects during this time period.
-- Said high school prospects and coaches may not converse beyond what the NCAA bylaws only describe as a “greeting.”
-- Two high school players in Miami have talked with the Great Leader, as some reports have it, up to ten minutes. Gasp and horror!
A popular bit of pabulum holds that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. I doubt I’ll ever know who said that first. It’s been attributed to everyone from Eli Wiesel to (get this) Gunter Grass to a horde of crackpot pop therapists. But success has many baby-daddies, so I’ll not quibble.
Alabama has had its bright moments in recent years (remember the SI cover?), but that’s all. Moments. A passing foretaste that graces the appetite with promise and nothing more. On the other hand, Alabama has had its fill of indifference.
The violations listed above are laughable not because the accusations are false, but because they are most likely true! They are also most likely never adhered to. By anyone. As attested to by the University of Miami’s head coach being at the same high school, at the same time, talking to the same players.
Am I to believe that an American teenaged football player is allowed to be “observed” by prospective future coaches (who offer prospective future scholarships, which offer prospective future million-dollar paychecks) and will not talk his fool head off? If you have a teenager in your life, first, my prayers, secondly, try to engage in a simple “greeting” as the NCAA demands. You will receive, depending on the teen’s view of what you offer, either the tortuous drips of grunts and mumbles or the deluge of every embarrassment the youth’s half-hollow head can tip out.
This is abstinence education for the mind.
The Great Leader is not omniscient, and he has learned something from this. He has learned he will not be ignored. He has learned where he is not loved. He has learned he is hated. This we can work with. This feels right.
He who preceded the Great Leader’s arrival was, for better or (more often) worse, loved and loving. So, initially, when the Great Leader did not say our battle cry and did not wear our colors, some could not be faulted for their worrying. We have abandoned love for the highest priced whore in town.
But remember, love will get you six wins a season.