The question on every Alabama football fans’ mind is the same as usual over the past few seasons. Can the Crimson Tide repeat?
Alabama football head coach Nick Saban stands there behind the microphone, glaring. He takes a swig of water and glares some more.
“How’s everybody doing today?”, he says. He looks straight down when he says it, but that’s for your benefit, not his. Bad things could happen if you look The Man directly in the eyes. Not just to you, but to everyone you’ve ever met.
By now everyone knows the unprecedented heights to which Alabama football has soared. National title after national title. SEC title after SEC title. A 14-1 record the past three years against its three biggest rivals — Tennessee, LSU and auburn. Alabama has a monopoly on monotony.
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History is not just repeating itself. It’s stuttering.
But Saban doesn’t want to talk about all that, aight? He doesn’t want to hear about four of the last seven national titles. And he sure as hell doesn’t want to hear the “D” word, unless it stands for defense.
He wants to talk about this team. This season. This moment.
Saban has already made history’s ass quit. Now he wants to beat the very idea of history into submission. To hear him tell it — and it’s probably best if you let him do the telling — Alabama isn’t trying to win two in a row. It’s trying to win one in a row for the second straight season.
This year’s title run — and yes, you know it’s coming — will begin with defense. Here’s a group of grown men who not only want to kill the man with the ball. They want to kill anyone who had the ball at any point during the play.
They’re as big as ever, but faster. As strong as ever, but more athletic. As mean as ever, but bolder. They’ll even use the word “dynasty” every now and then. They kinda like it, mainly because it has the word “nasty” in it.
Phonetically speaking, it has the word “die” in it, too, which makes it that much more fun for Tide defenders to say, because they can emphasize either syllable and still put the fear of God in you. This year’s unit, led by Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster and Tim Williams, won’t just slam opponents to the ground. They’ll put them six feet under it.
They’ll kill you slowly, then all at once.
All things considered, this edition of the Crimson Dynasty has as good a chance as anyone to take the title. The defense speaks for itself, and you’d be wise not to interrupt them while they’re speaking.
On offense, there are the usual questions at quarterback. But three of the past four Alabama signal-callers – Greg McElroy, AJ McCarron and Jake Coker — won national titles in their first year as starters. And the fourth, Blake Sims, won the SEC title and was only a few yards away from sending the national semifinal into overtime.
But that was then. This is now. Everyone wants to know if Alabama can repeat. You can almost imagine Saban’s response.
“It’s not about repeating,” he growls. “The past is unimportant. The future is unknown. History starts now.”
At this point, the rest of the college football world can only hope history will stop stuttering.