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A Moment of Reflection and Thanks from RBR

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In slightly more than 24 hours, our beloved University of Alabama Crimson Tide will take to the field in Pasadena to face University of Texas Longhorns in the BCS National Championship. It’s been seventeen long years since our football team vied for the national title and the wait has been excruciating.

Being able to witness the last four months of Alabama football has, in many ways, been all the more enjoyable by sheer contrast. And as the clock ticks down to the beginning of the final chapter in this amazing season our expectations threaten to overcome us completely.

Yet, as unbearable as the anticipation may seem, this is the moment our fandom touches on the sublime and it's worth pausing a moment to savor. This, right now, is what we have waited all these long years for. The crystalline moments leading up to the hurricane of emotion that will engulf us the moment the kicker’s foot makes contact with the football to begin the game on the field of the Rose Bowl.

And, at that precise moment, all of it will change. The euphoric firmament of possibility will transform into the firm concreteness of reality with every tick of the game clock and from thence inexorably into the annals of history. Sixty minutes of football later the 2010 BCS National Championship will have become an ineffable part of a legacy that started on a Birmingham baseball park on Nov. 11, 1892.

Whatever the final score proves to be, this season's amazing story will have concluded and we will then begin our time-honored tradition of recounting it to each other. And  whatever the outcome of this game, it is abundantly clear that this Crimson Tide team has earned the right to be spoken of in the same breath as the greatest in the program’s history.

It has been an amazing year of Alabama football to behold from the A-Day game, to the pre-season practices, to the long journey of the regular season and thence to here. We have witnessed the tantalizing idea of this team becoming national championship contenders emerge from a fain possibility into a plausible probability and now become a concrete reality. All that remains is the game itself.

The Process, Coach Saban insists, is more important than the result. Of course, get the process right and the results will follow of their own accord. This philosophy has lead Coach Saban to do what we have so long yearned for – returned the program back into its rightful place among college football's elite.

So, in a strange way this moment before the contest begins is where we, as fans of Alabama football, can finally enjoy our devotion to the fullest.

The expectation among the Crimson Tide fanbase isn’t that Alabama must win a national championship every year. We believe it is the rightful place of this program is at the level that any reasonable discussion about the national title must include Alabama. And to discuss that over the past two seasons required a concentrated consideration of the Crimson Tide.

A great deal of discussion has been devoted to the precise number of national championships Alabama can claim. The point isn’t whether the total can be determined with unassailable exactitude; it’s the fact the discussion can and does take place. Our responsibility as fans of Alabama football isn't proving anyone wrong or right, it is knowing the reasons why the Crimson Tide is part of the argument and the deeds of the men that made it so.

When the crystal football is held aloft by the head coach of the winning team tomorrow night, it will once again be the time for those discussions and arguments and debates. Except this time they will include one fantastic team that we had the honor of watching play during the 2009 season. And for that we here at Roll Bama Roll are profoundly thankful to Coach Saban, the Alabama coaching staff and, most importantly, each and every one of the players on this year's team.

Moreover we like to thank all of our readers who have joined on this whirlwind ride over the past several months. It's been a blast and we hope you all decide hang around for a long time to come. But before that we are just trying to control our excitement in for one more day before one hell of a game tomorrow night.

ROLL TIDE!