I used to watch teams a lot closer when I covered a number of football games, as a reporter as well as an official. From the newspaper standpoint I wanted to be sure I always had facts straight about how well, or how bad each team was doing on the season. And when it came to officiating I always wanted to know how quick each team was, if they had any special plays that I would need to be aware of and if they rushed more than they passed. As an official, with 22 football players on the field, all going different directions or in the same direction, it was easy to get blocked out of seeing how the play was developing or if there had been a violation by either team.
Since I no longer cover football games as a reporter and stopped officiating football over 30 years ago, I don’t do as good a job of keeping up with how each team is doing on the season.
From all the pre-season news I have read it looks like Alabama could be a contender for the national championship again this year. I’m sure the Tide will be more than ready when the first whistle blows and Coach Saban I know will have them ready to play. However as we all know, you can only win one game at a time and that is why it behooves players and coaches alike, to only look at their next opponent, not about the game two weeks from today. Players are much more likely than coaches to look too far down the road and get tripped up when it shouldn’t happen.
Auburn seems to be in a somewhat re-building phase. I know they have much to live up to with a national championship in their back pocket from last year and their Heisman Trophy winner now playing professional ball. But I can remember not too long ago how some fans counted Coach Chizik out before he ever stepped into the ring. And look what kind of a “champion” he has become. He has a great group of assistant coaches and whether some want to believe it or not the young men on the “Plains” will be competitive in every game.
We’ll see if the great state of Alabama can make it a three-peat year.
It should be a very exciting year for players, coaches and fans of both teams.
We all look forward to the Saturday afternoon or Saturday night revelry as well as rivalry, but many of us get the weekend started at the high school stadium on Friday night. That I guess would be called a precursor to the “big game” on Saturday.
We hope that everyone will take the time to go out and support their favorite high school team before making a trip to Tuscaloosa, Birmingham or Auburn. These young men, like those on the college level, have practiced hard during the week and deserve our support when it comes to game time.
We also need to support the hard work of band members, cheerleaders, flag corps and others at all games. They each have an integral part in making a successful and exciting afternoon or evening at the stadium. And they practice and work just as hard as the players on the field.
We wish all the teams in our area much success during the season and hope that parents, friends and neighbors will take the opportunity to enjoy a night or afternoon watching their favorite team.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle