From the Sideline — Winning Makes Everything Feel Right
I admit it. I was physically ill.
Not, "I'll be sick if we lose."
I wasn't waiting that long. I was already there.
When Tennessee's offense cut through the Alabama defense like a hot knife through butter, and the Vols took the lead with just under 6:00 remaining, I felt a knot in my stomach that literally hurt.
I hadn't felt it all day. I knew the Vols were capable of winning, but I never really had concern that they would, until that point.
Butch Jones has done a nice job weathering the storm in Knoxville, and has made them much more competitive. But the 2015 Crimson Tide is still better than this version of the Big Orange, and that's why the knot was there. It's one thing to get beat. It's another thing to lose.
Alabama was about to lose. And it was going to cost this team a lot.
And it was going to hurt.
Not since Nick Saban's first season has Alabama gone into the month of November without a chance to win an SEC and/or national championship. That streak- thanks to the Tide's 9th straight win over Tennessee - is still intact.
However, it was in jeopardy late in the 4th quarter - and everybody in the building knew it.
And my gut knew it.
Here's an admission: When Derrick Henry went 14 yards for a score, on his 28th carry of the night, I lost my ever-loving mind.
Not a little bit.
And one more: When Ryan Anderson leveled Josh Dobbs, and A'Shawn Robinson caught it with that shrimp-net of a hand he possesses, finally sealing the win...I lost my ever-loving mind.
But an hour later, the knot was still there. After gathering interviews for CTSN in the locker room (sure was tough to see in there, for some reason), and then hosting Coach Saban's TV show, I still had that pit in my stomach. It wouldn't go away.
Then it happened.
Later that night, once I got back home, sat on my patio, lit that Romeo y Julieta that I'd been saving, and sent the first puff of smoke up into a beautiful Alabama night - the knot was finally gone.
I've said it before, and it certainly applies here: Sometimes winning feels so good, because you know that losing would've felt so bad.