By now, the ending is clear, 32-28 in favor of Alabama. It seems every third article I read following the battle for the 2012 SEC Championship called it a ‘game for the ages’. I am bound to agree, and what a wondrous, magical football game it was. Right before the nation’s eyes, football played by the toughest conference was elevated for
three four glorious hours into something mythic. At the end, how could one not just stare wide-eyed at the gift bequeathed to football fans by the University of Georgia and University of Alabama football teams? To describe the action is pointless…if you haven’t seen the game, go watch it. If you have seen the game, then you know of what I speak firsthand.
Georgia/Alabama – Heart of a Lion
Whatever we say about one team must be said of the other. Resilience. Character. Courage. Grace Under Pressure. All this and more is referential, and of which team do we speak? Both teams, of course. Aaron Murray can win the big game…I always believed this, as it is clear Murray’s troubles are due to a young offensive line more than lack of heart or ability. To describe Murray or Richt as ‘not. being. able. to. win. the. big. one.’ is unfair in a league as uncompromising as the SEC. Do you believe Mark Richt has lost his passion? Then consider that while you and I woke up Sunday to most likely recover from the previous evening’s affairs, Mark Richt and his coaching staff were visiting recruits…one day after the biggest game of the year. Non-believers check out this AJC story on the subject of Mark Richt’s sunday.
I Remember 1980
I was fourteen the year Georgia last won a national championship. All I recall of that game was Larry Munson’s gravelly voice and that I cried the day Georgia won against Notre Dame for the national championship. From where those unexpected tears flowed I did not know, but after a lifetime, I suspect that I understood, even then, that life rarely follows the easy path. For a moment, the promises made by my elders were fulfilled, as I watched my favorite team win it all.
For the first time in thirty years, this past saturday I cried again (twice), sobs really. I don’t know why I care so much, but I do. The SEC is tradition and it is rivalry and it is in our roots, our heritage. Did I shed these tears out of sorrow you may wonder. Heartbreak perhaps?
No…those were tears of pride my friend. Play like a champion.