Friday, March 26, 2010

University of Alabama Football Report for 3/26/10

Not just for me, but for all of us as well. We just won a national championship, an SEC championship. Every player’s getting it. We’re just learning to deal with it on the go. But it’s all fun. It’s something that you dream of.
-- Mark Ingram, answering if people have treated him differently after he became Alabama’s first Heisman winner
Mon Dieu, is spring practice boring.

Boring not just for the observers, but for the players and coaches as well. Granted, the initial thrill of a Football-Like Substance being paraded before our eyes registers, but the inner addict knows it’s not the good stuff. And in short time, the high of Mark Barron elevating on a tip drill or Marcel Dareus hitting the sled will mute into the same nodded approval, as passionate as a conglomerated Easter season pastel.

This is a very good thing. For a top-flight football team--and make no mistake, despite losses on defense, Alabama is still that--spring and summer should be boring. Excitement stems from drama and suspense. Who will start at quarterback? Who will carry the ball? Can anyone out there play defense?

The undefeated returning senior.

The current Heisman Trophy winner.

Yes. Many of them.

Still, spring practice is necessary to establish the bedrock for the coming season. What can be built on it is undetermined, but the potential can at least be gathered by the strength below. If Ingram’s words are any indication, this year’s team is looking to mine deep that vein of potential and will not shy away from high expectations.

This is also a very good thing.

Whether football or periodontics, a young man at that age should test the strength of what limits had been assumed for him and prime himself to seize an opportunity when it appears. This is one of the classical roles played by the university, is it not?

For example, I recall a story of a quiet young man’s first year away for university in which he became enamored with a hot redhead number a few years his senior. She cursed like an injured steel worker, could outdrink Hemingway, and had legs longer than the Talladega Speedway. In other words, he was totally unprepared for her.

Somehow though, the gods smiled on this schmuck and the two became friendly, even social. And one day while on his way to class, he saw her. She was going out of town--right now!--to work on some art project, and she invited our man along for the show.

Art project? Photography? Stargazing? For all I know, the crazy dame was planning on lying naked atop the Superdome smoking reefer and needed someone to ask for a light. But before our man could inquire, he heard himself say, “I’m on my way to class.” And she was gone.

While she was off doing God knows what God knows where, he sat in a dark room watching slides of the French Revolution click atop one another, surrounded by people who had no idea he was even there. He was in his assigned seat for his assigned class on the assigned day, but nowhere close to where he could’ve learned something.

Of course, later he tried to get another chance, but no dice. It wasn’t her job to make him less stupid, nor wait around for him to wise up. That is, if I ever did.

Roll Tide.