Searching For My Care
UPDATE: Now that was impressive. Can we keep it up?
This is probably committing some cardinal sin against the Alabama family, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
The new football season starts Saturday night against Clemson, and I can’t get myself to care. With this season I will have invested the better part of the last 13 college football seasons on loving Alabama Football unconditionally. That may seem like not a lot of years when you consider how long Alabama’s been playing football, but the way I invest my time and energy with the teams I love…that 13 is in dog years. I’ve loved them through a lot…too much to list here. But, I gotta say, I’m not feeling it this year. I’ve been trying for the past couple of weeks to figure out why I’m so blase about the season starting, and I think I’ve found my answer.
I care too much and I’m wondering when I might start seeing a return on my investment. I’ve watched some of the best players in the country sign letters of intent to play at Alabama and then watched them fall incredibly short of what they promised they’d do. The last two recruiting classes (including this year’s freshmen) have been among the best in the nation. I’ve seen spurts of greatness…of what was expected from them, but not consistency. I miss consistency. And being consistently inconsistent does not count.
I think what bugs me the most is that I can see their potential. I can see how good they can be. I know how well they can play. But none of that seems to show on the field at game time. If you can play at a certain level, then go out there and do it. I’m disgruntled that I care more than they seem to.
Let me set the record straight here. I’m not expecting them to win every game they play. I know how difficult that is. But I am at the very least expecting them to put up a fight. Last season and the season before that it seemed like there was a lack of passion. That Saturday was just another day at the office. The players didn’t seem to care if they lost…just when it was time to hit the showers.
Here’s the thing. I expect them to wear the Crimson with at least a marginal amount of pride. I don’t wear my college colors just to wear them. I wear them in support of what I think is one of the best colleges in the country. I wear the Crimson because I know the history that lies beneath it. I wear the Crimson for every alumni who came before, during, and after me because wearing that Crimson is a privilege, not a right. And especially, when you wear the Crimson in official jersey form, you are representing every single player who came before, during, and after you. THAT SHOULD MEAN SOMETHING.
It hurts me as an alumni and as a fan that I care more than the players appear to. It’s like letting someone walk all over you and forgiving them for the umpteenth time expecting things to be different the next time, but nothing ever changes. So, I’m not willing to be hurt any more. I’m not willing to be walked all over. I’m ready to be impressed. I’m ready to see the nation’s #1 recruiting class prove to the college football world why they received that ranking. I’m hopeful I’ll find that this season, but forgive me if I brace myself for the fall and ease into the season with great caution.
Again, I’m not asking for a win every game, I’m just asking that we care when we don’t.