Here it is. My column from the sidelines, locker rooms and interview rooms of A-Day is complete. Read it here and enjoy the only photo you’ll see of this 100-percent objective reporter in team gear.
TUSCALOOSA — Nobody likes a bragger so prepare to hate me.
I win. We won. Winning is fun.
My college football coaching debut couldn’t have gone better Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Forget that “media coach” tag; it’s time to accept credit when credit is due. I have no doubt my sideline inspiration made the difference. Nobody gave our underdog White team a chance against the No. 1 offense.
Defense won the day, and T.J. Yeldon had a say. But it comes down to coaching. Always and especially when you win.
First, some background. Every April, Alabama allows a few media members a behind-the-scenes look on A-Day. We’re called coaches, and Alabama provides coaching shirts and hats. In three years covering Alabama, I coveted my neutrality. But, for a few hours, I embraced the coaching persona.
Watching Saban work
So, there we were, standing in the pregame locker room as commissioner Nick Saban addressed the team. We’re usually kept a few miles from a moment like this, so soak it in we did.
Saban greeted each of the six media coaches after the speech and reminded us to lay off the officials. I made no promises.
Then came the trash talking. Long snapper and all-around good guy Carson Tinker was first. He was wearing crimson. He was going down. Even the 6-foot-6, 335-pound lineman got the business. This was no exhibition. The White team plays to win.
Over in our separate locker room, the pregame meeting was intense. Don’t for a second think defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was there for a picnic. Quite the wordsmith at the dry-erase board, Smart explained the plan.
He lost me at “All right …”
After the dizzying strategy session, one thought stood out. Smart just knew the Crimson (first-team) offense was going deep on the first play. Oh, he scouted this match-up. Smart told us he’s 1-5 in A-Day games. Winning matters to him, too.
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