Alabama Football’s fourteenth consecutive victory over Tennessee Saturday night was bittersweet with star player, Jaylen Waddle, suffering a season-ending injury on the opening play.
Thank you for being the juice we always needed, right when we needed it. You are the definition of clutch and have more ice in your veins than any player to ever don the Alabama Football jersey. You shouldn’t have gone out like that. I know I speak for the entire fanbase when I say that we are devastated.
Injury can happen on any play at any time in football. It is a fact we all know every time the clock is running. It seems unbelievable though that a superhuman like you would get injured on such a simple play. It was one of the rare plays where you were actually caught, and it ended your season. I don’t even want to think about the fact that it was likely your last time to ever play for the Alabama Football team.
You were the juice on the offense and special teams. Most kickers knew to keep it out of your hands because, at any point, you could turn on the jets and leave everyone in the dust racing for the end zone.
Opposing defenses knew to double team you. If you were in single coverage, you were getting the ball, and you’d smoke them for six. Even when they did double team you, you’d catch it over their heads and make them look silly. You did that earlier this year against Missouri. Mac Jones is great, but you consistently made him look even better.
Your talent is one-of-a-kind, and your speed is next level. You were the critical element that made the Alabama Football offense unstoppable, even against elite defenses. Your last full game against UGA was one of your best. Backed up at your own ten-yard line, you left the UGA corner in the dust and took a touchdown 90-yards to the house to give Bama the lead. It was just the juice we needed.
Last year against top-ranked LSU at home, your athleticism kept us in the game. This return should have been a five to ten yard loss, but you turned it into a house call. Once you start, there isn’t a defender in the country that can stop you.
My favorite performance of yours was last season against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. You put on an absolute clinic that never got the appropriate respect because of the loss. Without you, it would have been a blowout. Your four touchdowns were the only thing that kept us in contention to win that game.
You really were a game-changer, and your loss will be felt by the Alabama Football team greatly. You made everything look easy and effortless. You always looked like you were having the time of your life on the field and on the sidelines.
I know the team and coaches will miss you as much as anyone. You can count on them to do their best to hold it down in your absence.
The next time you make a catch and take off for the races will likely be in an NFL jersey, and I know we all expect you to be a first-round draft pick. Whatever NFL team has the opportunity to draft you will get a baller and a big-time playmaker.
You were always fun to watch, Jaylen Waddle, and no game will be the same without you. Thank you for giving your all to the Alabama Football team. Best of luck in the NFL, and always, Roll Tide.
A broken-hearted Alabama Football fan.