From the Sideline — Alabama’s Win at Florida was a Special One
Alabama trailed at halftime Saturday in Gainesville, 27-23. There was certainly nothing unusual about that. It's happened many, many times for Bama teams over the past 21 years.
Just prior to the start of the second half, I looked at Wendell Hudson - one of the greatest players in the history of the Crimson Tide, and one of the greatest people you will ever meet - and said, "We're going to win today".
Hud smiled that smile that his friends all know and love, and replied, "I know. We are."
And we did. (Ok...THEY did. But when you're a play-by-play guy FOR a team, and you've been a fan for your entire life, you're allowed to say WE. I'm not media. I'm family.)
Now, had you told me at halftime that Retin Obasohan and Arthur Edwards - Alabama's entire senior class - would foul out, and watch the final 5:30 from the bench, I may not have had the same level of faith in a positive outcome.
But then again, I still might have.
I have no explanation for how Avery Johnson has been able to mold, shape, and develop a limited roster - one that has no business being in the position they are in - into a squad that has a legitimate chance at a Top 5 finish in the SEC and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Alabama's record compared to 12 months ago, is almost identical.
The feel. The vibe. The hope. The excitement surrounding the program? Light years apart.
Normally, I begin my post game radio interview with Avery by simply saying, "Coach, congratulations on the win", or "tough loss today". Saturday in Gainesville, all I could muster was, "This was special."
Yes, it's already been a special season to begin the Avery Johnson era at Alabama. And while there are obvious potential pitfalls that lie ahead, there's no indication at the moment, that this special team can't maneuver them successfully.