A few morning-after thoughts on Alabama’s 17th national championship, and the game that secured it:
- I knew we would see a different Alabama team in the second half, but I expected to see most of the difference on defense (and indeed, they obviously did come out nasty enough to get the job done). Seeing Tua Tagovailoa under center surprised me, and watching him rise to the occasion and get the job done—even fighting through a couple of costly freshman mistakes—was amazing. The game-winning TD is instant lore.
- Tagovailoa gave thanks and glory to God every time he was interviewed. I’m so heartened and encouraged when young people on a big stage take that opportunity.
- I have not verified this, but have no reason to doubt it: according to a tweet from Jay Barker, every player Nick Saban has recruited to his team since 1999 has won a national championship. If you want a ring, go to Alabama.
- Saban is now 12-0 versus his former assistants. It didn’t happen last night, but it’s only a matter of time. Kirby Smart will be the one to beat him first. I think he’ll also become a more obvious heir apparent to his mentor.
- The halftime “show” was absolute garbage, and if anyone is saying otherwise, their voices are few and soft. That’s a good thing. I understand we might could have caught the marching bands on another channel.
- There are multiple reports that Bo Scarbrough yelled “Fuck Trump!” walking into the game. He says he didn’t. Well, somebody did, and there’s no one in the clip but Alabama. I would like to see Coach Saban address that behavior, which does not befit a representative of the University of Alabama. Ditto Mekhi Brown’s unacceptable behavior on the field and sideline. No need to belabor either incident, but acknowledgement and apology are the right things to do.
- To Auburn folks who are being gracious: thank you. You had a good year, but it didn’t end like you wanted it to. Been there. The good news is, there’s always another one.
- To Auburn folks who are acting ugly: we have the system we have, and Alabama qualified for it. Literally a thousand different things could have happened that would have kept Alabama out, put Auburn in, or both. They didn’t. That it resulted in a title game between two teams you had beaten is a little freaky, but objectively unremarkable.
- What a great one to go out on. I’m not sure what my next fall looks like. Terra incognita, for sure. It’s unrealistic to believe I’ll manage to remain completely unaware, but I’m serious about setting it down. Perhaps I’ll look for good ways to raise CTE awareness.