Foreword: I starting writing this post minutes before the announcers started asking this very question.
For those who don’t know it, the Alabama Crimson Tide got their name “the crimson tide” by a sports editor named Hugh Roberts who wrote for the Birmingham Age-Herald and who said the guys looked like a crimson tide pouring out on to the field. That was in 1907 and other writers latched on to that name and it has stuck. So while Alabama’s mascot is a pachyderm, they have also adopted the nickname “The Crimson Tide”.
However, it really is one of those kind of nicknames that has to be earned. When they do well, they are the Crimson Tide but when they don’t, well. . . they are just Alabama. Critics will roar when I say this, but the football team at the University of Alabama is truly searching for an identity. They are clearly not ‘the tide’ at this point. I am not even sure what they are; other than a football team.
Coach Saban jumped on the defensive when former Alabama QB AJ McCarron alluded to the fact that this year’s team lacked leadership. McCarron later clarified his statement but Saban still responded with a ‘how does he know?’ type of response. It’s clear to Bama fans tonight that McCarron’s statements seem to be accurate and Coach Saban quite possibly might be making excuses. No one really wants to admit it and you can listen to the die-hard fans on the Paul Finebaum radio show go on for days. However, reality is slapping the Alabama team in the face.
We could talk about specifics until the cows come home but we all know there are issues here. A missed tackle there, a fumble here, an interception there and so on. The mistakes in tonight’s game were abundant! Last year, we talked on and on about the offensive line not gelling and well, we can now say for certain the entire team is not jiving this year, whether it is due to lack of leadership or who knows what?!
So while Alabama clings by strings to their place in the polls, teams that rarely get a lot of attention like TCU and Mississippi State are moving in front of them. They are moving on up and it’s well deserved. I realize a team can’t stay on top forever and there is a lot of talent all around the country, however I also know that you’ve got to want to win it and I just don’t think Alabama has the ‘want to’. Not everyone was born to be a champion and that is what we are seeing here and while the Saban Nation may not want to admit it, it just is what it is. Alabama has struggled with every team they have played and they have yet to play a GREAT team! The words are scary, but they are true.
So while tonight Alabama squeaked out a very narrow win, the situation remains the same. The uncertainty of the rest of the season rests solely on the shoulders of the players at Alabama. The future of this dynatsty has nothing to do with the coaching or the fans, but the players themselves. In the meantime, the fans will continue to look for that ‘crimson tide’ they love so very much, but I simply don’t see another crystal in their future.