‘Bama title win good for state

Published 10:57am Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monday night the Alabama Crimson Tide cemented their status as a modern-day football dynasty with their 42-14 shellacking of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. By Tuesday morning, the trash talk and excuses had begun.

“Bama paid the refs,” and “Notre Dame had an off night” were just a few of the angry barbs being hurled around social media sites and sports talk shows. Well, let the people unhappy about another Alabama championship be unhappy – here in Alabama we should all be thrilled, because another state team winning it all is good for everyone.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s championship game, the Tide and Irish seemed to have been analyzed from every possible angle and predictions were made right up until kick off. One big topic of discussion: Could the Irish finally end the SEC fatigue the rest of the nation has since the conference has notched the last six national championships victories? As we now know, the answer was not they could not. But, not a lot of people talk about the fact that, of those now seven wins, the last four came from right here in the state of Alabama. That’s impressive. It would be one thing for a state like Texas, California or Florida, with the many programs they possess, to accomplish such a feat, but in Alabama it’s been done by only two schools. Alabama won it all in 2009 and not to be outdone, the Auburn Tigers followed suite with a championship in 2010. Since then, Alabama has posted back-to-back victories.

And those accomplishments are not just good for bragging rights. Another key difference between the University of Alabama and the University of Notre Dame is how the two schools spend the money they are awarded from bowl games. Notre Dame, an independent school, would obviously keep that money for their institution. In the SEC, the winnings of every team that goes to a bowl game is equally distributed amongst the 16 schools that make up the conference. In that respect, Alabama and Auburn’s recent championships are good for several states.

Not only does the money poured back into our state schools help those universities and their students, success in front of a national audience also brings people to Alabama. Students from all across the nation now look to Alabama and Auburn as a place to attend school. Many of those same students take up residence here once they graduate and use their education to better their communities.

Most importantly, students at two universities in our state, many, such as A.J. McCarron and Niko Johnson, who are natives, are learning valuable lessons on the country’s biggest stages. They are learning about teamwork, the rewards of hard, honest preparation, humility and the many other lessons sports, and success through sports, can teach young men and women.

Sure, we are talking about a game. It’s just football and wins and losses are just that. Wins and losses. But whether it is the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Auburn Tigers are one of the smaller schools, like the University of South Alabama and Troy University, that have enjoyed recent success, it’s good for all of us. Let’s be proud of what our boys have accomplished over the last four years, no matter which colors they wear on game day.

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