Some of you won’t completely feel the story I’m about to tell. But most of you will completely understand that there are moments in our lives that tie us closely to our Dad or Mom.
For as long as I can remember, my Dad talked Alabama football to me. I learned about the great Bear Bryant before I learned my ABCs. I learned how to hold a football on the laces to throw a perfect spiral before I could run. I learned that there were three things in life that you could hate without God punishing you – Auburn football, Penn State football, and Notre Dame football. It’s understating a fact to say that my Dad loved his Alabama football.
Unfortunately Dad passed away in 1999 without having gone to an Alabama football game in person. I was lucky enough to grow up in a small city in Alabama with two brothers, a stay-at-home Mom that loved us and took care of us, and a Dad that dedicated himself to his career for one reason, and one reason alone – to support his family. We didn’t have expendable money. And Mom and Dad did without so that my brothers and I could go to school in decent clothes, get a new suit on Easter Sunday, and get new gloves, cleats, shoes and equipment for baseball, football and basketball during every season, every year.
One of the dreams (aside from owning a split back window ’63 Corvette) my Dad always had that he was never able to experience during his shortened life, was to go to an Alabama football game. In-person. On the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
This Fall I was able to take him. My wonderful wife and children took us there for my 50th birthday to see my Dad’s Alabama football team. This wasn’t my trip. This was his trip. I got to tailgate with him on game day. I got to walk down University Blvd. with him in Tuscaloosa. I got to stand in front of Coach Bryant’s statue with him. I got to walk into Bryant-Denny stadium with him. I got to sing the Alabama fight song with him.
I got to watch an Alabama football game, in-person, on the campus of the University of Alabama, in Bryant-Denny stadium with my Dad. And it was the coolest thing ever. I will never forget every moment of that day. This is one memory that will be cherished forever.
We did it Pop. We made it to an Alabama game. And I’m glad you were with me. Roll Tide, Pop. Roll Tide!