Christmas came two weeks late this year. Thursday night, exactly two weeks after Christmas Eve, the good St. Nick (Saban) delivered a national championship to every Bama boy and girl.
Needless to say, I was on Cloud Ten. Zoomed right past Cloud Nine. I mean, Cloud Nine is nice for being in love and things like that. But this -- this is more than just a simple matter of feeling an elevated sense of attraction to one of the other humans due to increased amounts of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
This is a never-ending quest. Something I'd waited seventeen years for. My life's work. The result of all my years of worry and anxiety (with occasional, fleeting moments of relief and elation).
Since I had
waited seventeen years for this game, I decided to watch it with those I'd spent the majority of those seventeen years with -- the Darryls. They're pretty used to "how I am" during the game.
The game was a bit of a roller-coaster, as most are. Bama got off to a slow start and fell behind 6-0, but it was still early so I wasn't suicidal... yet. Then the Tide dominated the 2nd quarter on their way to a 24-6 halftime lead and happy days were here again. I texted my sister at halftime:
"Are you happy?"
"Yeah. Our offense looks bad but we are winning. I wish McCoy was in though..."
"Wrong answer!!! You haven't won anything yet. You gotta act like the score is 0-0!!!"
"Sorry, Coach Saban."
Apparently our team thought this was the Super Bowl and that there was going to be an extended halftime show featuring The Who, because they never came out of the locker room in the 3rd quarter. Texas closed to 24-21. My phone rang, repeatedly. I didn't answer. With one quarter to play, I was inconsolable.
Coincidentally, I'd told someone before the game that in four hours, I'd either be utterly inconsolable or in a state of euphoria. There was no in between. Thankfully for those who have to put up with me on a semi-regular basis, the Tide turned in the 4th quarter. When Bama's Eryk Anders sacked the Texas quarterback, forcing a fumble that effectively ended the game, the euphoria ensued.
Final score: Bama 37, Texas 21.
And let me just say, I've scarcely felt better in my life... without the aid of medication
and/or a woman
When something happens that means this much, how does one react?
You think about your momma
, as good Southern boys should. You wonder how many times she has said "Thank you, Bear" and at what point she started crying.
You think about her and the other Bama fans who grew up with the Bear. And how the past seventeen years must have felt like a hundred to them. You're happier for them than you are for yourself.
You go somewhere, anywhere, to be around other Bama fans. The local Academy store opened at 11:00 Thursday night selling national championship shirts and caps. By the time they closed at 1:30 in the morning, over 2,000 people had bought merchandise.
The national championship trophy was on display Sunday at the Gardendale Walmart. (You couldn't make this stuff up.) No players or coaches were there -- just the trophy. An estimated 6,000 fans showed up to see it and have their picture taken with it. Hundreds more were turned away because the viewing was only scheduled to last three hours. In case you're wondering, I was not in either group, though I have no reasonable explanation why.
And you celebrate. This Saturday, an official celebration will be held at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The first 50,000 fans get a free poster, which I take to mean they're expecting over 50,000. I'm leaning towards going to this.
After all, any day in Tuscaloosa is a good day. No matter what cloud you're on.
"They got a name for the winners in this world. I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide. Call me Deacon Blues..."
Labels: Academy, Bama, Christmas, Cloud Nine, Cloud Ten, football, national championship, Nick Saban, Rose Bowl, sister, The Darryls, The Who, Tuscaloosa, wal-mart