A new cosmogony has been written in Tuscaloosa. The old stories still stand cast in bronze outside Bryant-Denny Stadium, but a new story begins here too. Mike Shula was one of us yet has been cast from the temple. Is Nick Saban one of us? No. Will he be? Possibly. Does he care? Unlikely.
No matter. Our new story allows for syncretism.
Our new story, like any good one, begins with a lie. Coach Saban’s lie had him staying in Miami, clubbing the South Beach, making defensive ends cry. The lie verified the collective weltanschauung of the radio voices at drivetime and the chattering nellies of Connecticut. The lie affirmed that no one would come to Alabama, that Alabama is an afterthought, that not even a West Virginian (two at that!) would sink so low. And then the lie disappeared.
Think of it as a reversal of lex talionis. An eye for an eye. A coach for a coach. Forgive us of our $32 million trespasses as we forgive those who have left for Texas, those who have forgotten their station, those who have not beaten Auburn. All is past now. Only the new story matters.
The new story will need some time to develop, time to find the laser-eyed behemoths it is known for and beat the stench of loss out of the husks it finds today. The new story will have plot holes from time to time, it will suffer from eisegesis, but it will soon grow familiar.
The new story will have a happy ending.