Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
As the Alabama Crimson Tide get set for their date with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, fans are reflecting on the Tide’s amazing 2012 season. Alabama heads to Miami on January 7 to play for their 15th national championship against another legendary team.
We asked Tide quarterback AJ McCarron’s mother Dee Bonner to revisit some of the most significant moments of her son’s 2012 season and give us her comments. Rather than rank the videos, we’ve listed them in the order in which Dee watched them.
“I watched the A&M video first,” Bonner told us, “to get the bad out of the way.” Here then, are her thoughts on McCarron’s – and the Tide’s – run toward the 2012 BCS National Championship.
McCarron pass intercepted against Texas A&M
"The parent section is on the east side of the stadium, so we were on the opposite side from where the pass was thrown. It was toward the end zone where we were sitting, but the way they ran the route was toward the home side bench. Being short, I couldn’t see that great, but my thoughts then were as they are now when watching the replay – hurt and pain for my child. I knew he took a lick the play before, so I was worried about how he was already. Any parent with a child playing a sport knows that when a key play doesn’t go the way the fans hope – and instead goes the opposite of how they practice so hard daily – it breaks your heart. But there are winners and losers in every game; that’s life no matter how bad it hurts. You just have to work hard to get better, and make the adjustments needed to improve, not only for yourself but for those that depend on you."
First TD pass of the season against Michigan
"There was so much doubt going into the season about the offense, what this team could do and what they could be. There are still doubters of the team and of AJ, even with Alabama back in the BCS National Championship Game for the second year in a row. I love AJ’s raw emotion when the team performs at the level they can play. Seeing his excitement as he runs down the field beating his helmet, I tell him I am afraid he will give himself a concussion! He does get excited and I like to see that from him. He plays with a lot of emotion; that’s the type of player he is. I think that first touchdown pass helped set the tone that this team can not only run the ball, but can pass when needed. I think for any quarterback the first one of the season has to be special."
McCarron is emotional after last-minute LSU win
"Never have I seen AJ get that emotional about a game. The amount of pressure these players carry around on themselves – every one of them from every school – still gets me. They give so much of themselves to the programs that they represent. The pressure just builds. I know that AJ held so much of the loss during the last regular season to LSU on his shoulders, so facing them again and being behind, he was going to give his all to ensure it didn’t happen again. I think the pressure just built up, and when they scored and it seemed they had come back to win, the emotions just became more than he could hold back. It was like nothing we have ever seen. It reminded me of Michael Jordan winning the NBA Championship years ago – big difference I know in the scheme of things, but I guess stress is stress. Besides, Saban loves Jordan and so do I!"
7 touchdowns in 7 drives against Auburn
"I was glad to see the offense seem to get some rhythm going again. With the win securing us a place in the SEC Championship, I was very glad to see the team performing so well."
Game-winning TD pass against Georgia in the SEC title game
"I saved the best for last – the SEC title game. Good grief; I don’t think there is a better conference than the SEC. Wow what a game this was. Georgia is such a great team. Their pass rush was great, and their coverage protection really wouldn’t let us get our passing game into a rhythm, but with Alabama’s running game we were still able to put up the numbers on that side of the ball. But the play action on this drive was great. The timing was perfect and just looked like our boys have looked all year. Georgia just has such a physical team, it came down to the final seconds. I think both teams probably felt like they had been in a war after this game – pretty beat up. That is what the SEC is – tough football. I don’t think it gets any tougher."