legalacidity's musings

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Let The Nail Biting Begin: One Last Hurrah

Ah yes, the lunacy of a football town on a home game weekend. This weekend is truly bittersweet for me, as it will be my last as a student attending a University of Alabama home game. Like many seniors across the land, this is my last weekend to really feel like a true college student and partake in the ritualistic insanity that is the circus of a big college football game.

I guess I couldn't have asked for anything better: an undefeated #3 Alabama (9-0) taking on the #5 LSU Tigers (8-1), complete with ESPN's Gameday hoopla, and, to a lesser extent, ESPN2's Cold Pizza hoopla. For those of you that missed it, check me out on Deadspin:

LegalAcidity Finds Glory On Deadspin

That's right. I'm a third year law student; it's what we do.

Anyways, back to the football. Out on the Quad this morning, while jockeying for position for Deadspin glory, I saw not one, but TWO tricked-out purple & yellow school buses roll by, packed to the gills with LSU fans. I will say this about the standard LSU fan: they know how to have a good time, and are generally not too bad to be around. Not, say, like Florida fans, who are generally considered the worst fans in all of the SEC. Bar none. Unless you actually go to a Mississippi State game and have to listen to the damned cow bells the entire game. Then there are the Arkansas fans, who aren't so bad, until they start doing the damned pig cheer. Come to think of it, maybe Florida fans aren't so bad after all.

There's just something special about a late-fall matchup that could have national title implications. There's (finally) a nip in the air, even though the high tomorrow should top out around 70; at least it's not 85 like it was a few days ago. It's certainly going to be melancholy tomorrow as I have so many great memories of this place, and the many games I have seen here. My first memory is of David Proctor booting home the winning field goal against Georgia & Eric Zeier back in '94 (for the record, I have not been in school for 11 straight years--I took a few off after undergrad to "find myself" before returning to law school). Dennis Riddle cutting it up the field and into the end zone to beat Auburn in '96. Destroying then-#5 Florida 31-3 earlier this season. Then there are the bad, horrid, terrible memories: the eleventy-billion overtime game against Tennessee in 2003 (lost 51-43); the 27-3 drubbing handed to us by LSU in ’03; and of course the loss to Auburn last year, in the game we could have won, should have won, had we any type of offensive firepower.

But, this year has been different. The demolition of Florida, followed up by the exorcising of demons by beating Tennessee. Maybe this is the year we can pay LSU back for the loss in ’03 and the absolute embarrassment we had against them in ’01. For my sake, I hope so. I’ve been on pins and needles all season (especially since the Florida game), and I don’t have many fingernails left to bite. It’s a win big or lose horribly situation: go to my last home game as a student and watch ‘Bama go 10-0 or go to my last home game as a student and watch our perfect season go down the drain. But, in the crazy scheme of things, that’s the way it should be, and the way I want it to be. I want us to be on top, and I want people to be gunning for us every week, trying to salvage their own season by knocking off a team that’s on top. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, I’d like us to win so that I’m not tipped off into the abyss by a heartbreaking loss.

So I’ll be out there tomorrow, talking smack to LSU fans, yelling Roll Tide at the top of my lungs, and hoping and wishing that the Tide can pull of one last win for this 29-year-old third year law student and send me out on top. And, while they’re at it, maybe show the Ivan Meisel’s, Lou Holtz’s & Skip Bayless’s out there that they’re wrong and earn ‘Bama the respect that a #3 ranking deserves. If not, you can look for me in the gutter nearest to Bryant-Denny Stadium, lamenting the loss. But don’t worry—within a few hours, I will have picked myself up, knowing that redemption can come with a victory a mere seven days later: with a victory over Auburn. That’s the beauty of having your last home game coming with another week left in the season—another shot for a win to help save the season. And here’s the other thing we seniors can hang on to: if your team is worth anything, and can eke out at least six wins, they’ll end up in a bowl game, and that means one last road trip before graduation!

*****

Update: Well, we lost. In overtime. Dammit. Oh well--it just wasn't meant to be. Our defense played their guts out, but our offense could just not get it done in the second half. Now 'Bama's got to recover, regroup, and somehow get their heads straight against Auburn next week. I really hope they do, because if they don't show up mentally for that game, it could get ugly. We'll see what happens.

10:27 p.m. - 2005-11-11

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