Well, no surprise: All the offerings to the Rose Bowl Fairy didn’t work and instead of magically being delivered tickets and watching Alabama battle Texas in person in Pasadena I was instead forced to listen to the first half of last night’s BCS Championship game at the Rose Bowl via the Sirius Satellite Radio app on my iPhone while biking home across town.
It was better than nothing, which I can’t say about the way Alabama started out.
I was leaving the office when Bama Coach Nick Saban inexplicably called for a 4th-and-long fake punt deep in their own territory that was entirely botched, and I was on Ballona Creek after Texas scored first blood only to have Bama’s kickoff receiving team somehow forget that you have to catch the ball when it’s booted to you.
Those first few miles I’m pretty sure I rode with my mouth hanging open and my eyes wide wondering who these imposters were and what had been done with the kickass football team that I so irrationally live and die for and defend against all haters and deniers, especially certain sportswriters at the institutionally anti-Bama biased Los Angeles Times such as Chris Dufresne — who spent the season chronically knocking and dismissing them. Even after Alabama so dominantly beat Florida for the SEC Championship Dufresne ridiculously cited Texas’ undefeated and historical record of 7-0-1 against Alabama as good reason why he thought the Longhorns would be triumphant. To him I say Ha! Ha. Haha. Hahahaha. HahahahahahaHAhaHA. And HA!
But back to me biking home in horror. In the midst of all my gaping apoplectica, Texas QB Colt McCoy sustained some sort of phantom arm injury that was enough to send him out of the game and I was forced into STFUing the chorus (one of whom will undoubtedly be Dufresne) who would no doubt qualify and excuse an Alabama victory by saying how there’s no way the Tide would have had a chance had McCoy not been so unceremoniously forced into early retirement.
“Yeah well, then Texas should think about building their programs around players who aren’t so easily bruised!”
I’m pretty sure I said that out loud somewhere in Culver City.
At the beginning of the second quarter when Heisman Trophy-winning Alabama Running Back Mark Ingram punched into the endzone to take the lead back from Texas, “Roooooolll Tiiiiiiiiiiiiide!” was another thing I said much louder (accompanied by some serious fist pumps) and much to the concern and confusion of the motorists and pedestrians in my immediate vicinity while stopped at the intersection of Venice and National.
I was equally if not more demonstrative as they just kept rolling to a score of 24-6 and in in the midst of halftime I arrived at home to then watch the rest of the game with the Alabama baseball cap that I’ve had since 1992– the last year my Tide won the national championship — firmly on my head (when I wasn’t waving it in the air).
Texas never said quit and came back to make it a game against a Tide that quit rolling and flattened out until finally rising back up to seal the victory.
And when the final seconds of the fourth quarter ticked away and game announcer Brent Musberger intoned “The Alabama Crimson Tide Are National Champions,” yeah… I got choked up.
And stayed up well past my bedtime reflecting on their perfect season.
UPDATE (3:43 p.m.): I brought my Bama hat to work today, carrying it attached to the outside of my backpack, and wearing it in the office. A coworker asked me if I’d have it on today if Alabama had lost.
“Without doubt,” I said. “Maybe not as proudly, but with equal reverence and greater determination.”