God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie
The Weekend Sendoff lives up to its unpredictable reputation this week, as I'll be discussing my favorite Bama memory, and asking that you all share your individual favorite memories in the comments.
Our fondest memories are often tied to our childhood. The world was simpler and shinier when we were children, and consequently our recollections of events during that period have a tendency to become intertwined with and improved by the tinted glasses of nostalgia. As I've discussed before, my fandom was born later in life when I was about 21 years old, so my favorite memory is a bit more recent than some of yours. That memory, in case the banner image hasn't tipped it off yet, is of being in the stadium during Rocky Block.
It was beautiful weather that Saturday, and I was thrilled to be in Tuscaloosa. Ordinarily, I would not have had tickets, but I had purchased two sets of season tickets that summer with the intent of selling the tickets to all but one of the games (this covered the cost of the original purchase, and meant I got to the game for free). The one game I selected from the get go was Tennessee, as I hated Kiffin and badly wanted to see him destroyed. My wife and I made our way to our seats in the upper upper upper deck, around the forty yard line behind the Tennessee sideline. A frat bro and his plastered girlfriend sat immediately behind us. "Sat" is probably not an entirely accurate description of what she was doing, as she mostly slumped against her guy like a sack of potatoes with a bobble head attached at the top. I swear, for most of the first half, I sat half-cringed in fear that her stomach would relieve itself of its contents onto my back. Fortunately for us (not them), frat bro escorted his lady friend out of the stadium at half-time and apparently decided to finish out the party elsewhere.
As the second half started to wind down to the last minutes of the game, my nervousness began to grow. My wife, God love her, is a supportive and understanding individual. If asked about her allegiances, she would undoubtedly answer "Bama", but I'm positive that coming into the game she couldn't tell you that a field goal was worth three points. So as the pivotal moments started coming in rapid fire, I was splitting my time equally between fretting and explaining the play by play to her. We fumbled. It's ok. We just have to keep them from scoring. Crap. Ok, now they're going to try to kick the ball and recover it. If get the ball, the game is over. CRAP. Ok, they still need like 30 yards at least, and Crompton is still their quarterback... ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Ok. This is it. This field goal is for the game. If they make it, we lose...
In that moment, when the crowd erupted, we lost our flipping minds. Never before have I experienced anything close to that level of euphoria en masse. It was beautiful, and I can't watch the video above without a giant smile on my face as I relive that feeling. On the way out, still basking in the glow of the most amazing play I'll ever witness, we were sure to take the time to snap a pic:
I love the quote I used to open this piece, but I can see how it may seem woefully out of place, considering the Alabama program is currently in the polar opposite of a "December" state. But that's the point, isn't it? We all realize that this run won't last forever, and no matter how much we may wish for it go on in perpetuity, it's good to know that, should the football program be razed two decades from now, my grandchildren will still one day sit on my knee and listen as I tell them of the time that I saw Mount Cody in person. And how I was one voice in the roar of the crowd the day he saved a championship.