Coach Nick Saban, of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, is arguably one of the greatest collegiate coaches in history. His success is inspiring. Each year he takes a group of talented young men and creates a team of grown men. Respectful, dedicated, organized, and true to themselves, their teammates, and the Tide.
The University of Alabama is a family, or Bamaly as it is called. I wrote about my first experience with Bamaly last year during Bama Bound. Take a read. “Bamaly-is that even a word?”
For all of you incoming freshman or transfer families, just wait. Perhaps you have read some of the posts on the numerous and informative Facebook pages. UA is a balance of sports, academics, and school spirit. It is life changing.
Last August I dropped off my “DS” Jack and entrusted him to a university a mere 1162 miles away. When I saw him at Christmas with a semester under his belt…he had changed. In the spring, he rowed competitively for the Tide and when he came home for the summer, he was no longer my young son, he was an Alabama athlete and a man.
I know it was not Alabama football or Coach Saban alone that changed my DS but none-the-less:
Dear Coach Saban,
As the mother, let me refrain, as the Italian mother of an Alabama freshman, soon to be sophomore, I want to thank you and the University. I trusted my only son to you, and you did not disappoint.
The University of Alabama is about culture, rather a blend of cultures that melds into one. Coming from New York, this may come as a shock to you, but we tend to be slightly distrusting and skeptical. Meeting people from all over the U.S. and abroad, my mindset began to alter, and I soon realized that there is very little ‘me’ a whole lot of ‘us.’ It doesn’t start with football, but football, and the multitude of sports teams, successes, and academic strength has created a sense of pride, and Roll Tide rolls off the tongue so simply, yet so powerfully.
I still worry about him being so far away. I smile when I hear his ever so slightly noticeable southern accent or the use of y’all instead of you guys. My laundry bin is full of crimson and our cars, garage flags, and coffee cups are all adorned with Alabama.
Coach, glad to hear your surgery went well and you are back in the game. Good luck this season and keep doing what you are doing for those on and off your field.
A New York/Alabama Parent
So, families, Roll Tide and wear that crimson proudly. Welcome new families and if there is anything I can ever do for you, please reach out. I am all about paying it forward for the gifts I have received as an Alabama parent.