Editor's note: This week, we feature a post by one of our favorite bloggers, Editor's note: This week, we feature a post by one of our favorite bloggers,

Guest Post: The Worst of Times – Part 1


Editor’s note: This week, we feature a post by one of our favorite bloggers, Picture Me Rollin. This is the initial post in a series; the remainder will be on their own blog. We encourage you guys to stop by over there; to leave well-wishes in the comments section below; and to contact us if you’re interested in a guest post of your own.

Alabama football has always been a part of my life. From the earliest memories that I have, there exist thoughts and visions about the University of Alabama and their football team. Growing up in Tuscaloosa it is actually hard, I would think, to not have some type of association with the events that surround and culminate in Bryant-Denny Stadium. And while the memories of walking up Tenth Avenue to the stadium with my dad, or listening to John Forney on the radio, or hearing Keith Jackson describe the action as I watched on television, it wasn’t really until 1995 when I became a student at the University that my passion and full devotion for the program blossomed.

That’s 12 full seasons (with the thirteenth upcoming) that I have lived and breathed Alabama football. In that time, I am proud to say I have missed only one game played in Tuscaloosa (for the out-of-state wedding of one of my best friends. I know, I know, but at least it was Utah State) and only three home games overall (I missed the last two at Legion Field). You don’t have to follow the Crimson Tide closely to know that in that time period there have been a few good times and quite a bit more bad.

With the vantage point of time, I can safely say I always (and still) believe Alabama would return to the almost mythical winning it did when I was a child and first developed an allegiance to the Crimson Tide. The past twelve years have had more than their share of lean times. but it is my hope and also belief that now that we, as a fan base, have spent some time in the desert we will appreciate it even more when we return to the promised land. I feel that, in general, you must have a taste of how bad things can be to truly appreciate how sweet the good things are. Having a glimpse of the penthouse from the gutter makes your time at the last stop of the elevator all the better, if you will.

In that spirit, I present to you the ten worst games I have personally attended as an Alabama fan – I readily admit I am shamelessly stealing this idea from Kanu and Doug (I couldn’t locate the specific link) amongst others:

#10 – Three-way tie between the ’06 Mississippi State, the ’00 UCF, and ’07 ULM games. All three were played at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

There are a couple of sad truths about these games; there might possibly be one or two more (Northern Illinois in ’03 and Southern Miss in ’00 come to mind) and they have become all two frequent. The similarities between these three just make them hard to rank in any specific order or to place them higher. As far as emotion during and after the game they could all have been the exact same game.

All three were home games against unranked teams with losing records coming into the game, and Alabama was favored to win them and were in fact, expected to win them without trouble. They were also similar games in that, not taking anything away from the opponent, but they were losses marked not by exceptional play from the opponent but rather mediocre effort by Alabama.

Basically from the start, I can remember that it appeared that Alabama had not shown up and when the team did put forth some effort there was usually a bone-headed mistake that took what little wind they had, right out of the sails. The specifics don’t even matter any more, the dismal play and apparent lack of effort are what sticks out; dropped passes, fumbles, missed tackles, and blown coverage are all features of these losses.

Obviously losing these games was tough to bear but perhaps the most disturbing thing about them collectively was the behavior of some of our fans. Each of these games was marred worse by the booing than by the poor play of the athletes or poor coaching decisions. There were points in these games that I was ashamed to be an Alabama fan and it had nothing to do with the score board.

As a fan base we pride ourselves on having class and tradition. I don’t care how inept the coach appears or how poor the quarterback seems to be playing (or how hated the rival), booing has absolutely nothing to do with tradition or class. It reflects poorly on us as fans, looks bad to recruits, and has to be a blow to our players. Beyond that, it’s not as if your booing an errant pass or actually yelling for a replacement will cause the coach to pull a player. Simply stated, there is no place for it.

If I had to sum up these losses with one word, it would be disgust. It was just a sick feeling walking away from the stadium after these defeats. They might not be as gut-wrenching as a near-win over a hated rival snatched away by fate but they are upsetting none-the-less. They are the antithesis of what we have come to expect as fans of Alabama and perhaps the worst part is that we want to believe that they are not representative of our program – even if others insist they are.

There were also had two games that made the honorable mention list: Auburn in ’04 and Arkansas in ’95.

Unfortunately, it was easier to put together the worst list than the best list, but my belief that the best list is really good and the future potential for even brighter days make this, at least to me, a very relevant exercise. I’ll be posting the rest of the top ten (all single games, I promise) at Picture Me Rollin.