Alabama Crimson Tide on the Verge of Title #14

The Alabama Crimson Tide is off to a great start, and with North Texas coming up on September 17, they could be able to fine-tune the offense, and hold an impromptu audition for other receivers to step up, or to show that they’re ready to return.

Darrius Hanks will return this week, and will likely return to the #2 position, opposite Marquis Maze. However, newcomers DeAndrew White and Duron Carter should vie for playing time as White has been showing speed and even some good return skills so far; while Carter has been fighting eligibility paperwork red-tape. It appears that the hold-up may have been finally circumvented, and he’ll be allowed to display what the transfer from Ohio State has to offer the Tide.

The offensive line will have more time to gel and work out a few kinks, especially on running plays. Trent Richardson has been held back by bad blocking, poor field decisions by himself, and situational circumstances such as plugging him in on 1st and goal situations. This should be-and needs to be-the week that we finally “release the Beast.”

On defense, aside from backups allowing a touchdown drive last week versus Penn State, we’ve looked pretty good.

Coach Nick Saban mentioned that he was disappointed in the defense on that drive. However, if we had all of our starters in, perhaps this would’ve been different. Also, the fact that Saban tends to get a bit conservative when Alabama has a lead certainly becomes a factor. For example: when ‘Bama was up 27-3, Saban went to a conservative running game (even though there was still plenty of time on the clock). Unless we’re up by 21 with less than four minutes left in the game, we should NOT go to this type of offense. At very least, we should still try to get some 1st downs.

I’ve been watching and cheering for my beloved Tide for over 30 years. I’m 38 years old now, and I’m a Marine Corps veteran. I remember catching the Alabama/Tennessee game in 1993 while I was stationed in Japan. I was going nuts when David Palmer made a phenomenal catch near the sidelines as he dove and nearly wrapped his body around the defender in order to do so. Then, with time gone, we go for the 2-point conversion to finish the game with a tie. We line up in a goal-line set, with a “full house” backfield, and David Palmer under center. When the ball was snapped, Palmer was led by three RBs and a pulling guard, as he practically waltzed into the end-zone for the tie.

I also have memories of watching the Iron Bowl while I was stationed in Miramar, California. We were at a sports bar, and one side of the place was filled with USC and UCLA fans, while the side I was on had only me and three others as we watched Alabama and Auburn. I remember getting so mad with a bone-headed play call by the Alabama coaches that led to the final result as a loss to Auburn. As the play unfolded, I remember actually throwing my ‘Bama hat at the TV and yelling. The waitress came over and asked my friend if I was going to be okay. My friend said, “Probably not ’til next year.”

As a ‘Bama fan now, every game day, I set up my “shrine” which consists of 23 ‘Bama hats, masks, and skull caps; a couple of ‘Bama t-shirts, two jerseys, and a few other things. I usually break out my ‘Bama portable chair as well. I dress from head-to-toe in ‘Bama gear. I wear ‘Bama socks, shoes (half Crimson/half White), crimson/white/gray pants, ‘Bama jersey, two dog tags, a dog collar, two sets of sweat bands on my forearms (one crimson pair & the other, white), ‘Bama underwear, and a ‘Bama t-shirt underneath. I also wear a ‘Bama hat and usually ‘Bama sunglasses somewhere on my person.

I rotate hats each quarter, and reverse my hats as necessary when we’re on defense or offense. I go through a series of motions before each play as well. I kiss the dog tags, touch the “A”s all over, pound my chest like a gorilla in various cadences, then I put my fists together and say a little “ditty” to myself (I won’t go through that here).

No matter where I watch the game, I get totally immersed into it. I treat it as though I was there at the stadium, trying to cheer as loudly as possible.

The bottom line here is that you won’t find a fan as dedicated as I, even if you tried. I have shaved my head, shaved my facial hair into an “A” where my goatee usually is…you name it. I’m also WILLING to do anything else. I’ve worn masks, and I’m willing to shave my eyebrows, if I thought it would help with the Tide’s winning “mojo.”

As for the 2011 season, the Tide is set for greatness. If we play to our potential, and don’t play conservative at inappropriate times, we should be undefeated, playing for the national title in January.

I look forward to bringing you (the fans) my thoughts on upcoming games and on the previous ones, as the season progresses.

Rrrrrrooooooollllllll…Tide, Roll!!!!!!!

Sources:, team statistics, 2011.

Fox 6 News, Birmingham, Alabama, 2011.

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