A New Vantage Point

Amari Cooper from close up.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to cover my main alma mater, the University of Alabama, from the sideline. I won’t lie: it was awesome. I know people in the media aren’t supposed to be impressed by such things and most of them weren’t.

For some of them, they’ve seen the view from the sideline many times before and have covered such things for more than two decades. They have high-priced telephoto lenses and all that experience, so needless to say, their photos were much better than mine. Still, I’m not ashamed of the photos I got.

I suspect, very soon, I will be more like them. My photos will be of a much higher quality and I won’t be excited enough to text my brother Matt and tell him I was ten feet behind Amari Cooper when he caught a touchdown. It’s not as if I was star-struck or anything. After all, the players for the University of Alabama are younger than me and have to tie one shoe at a time just like the rest of us.

I guess there were many things that struck me about the whole experience, but the reason I was so excited is I was extremely conscious of how fortunate I was to be there. I looked up into the crowd and saw over 100,000 fans absolutely crazy about the Crimson Tide and knew many of them would pay a sizable price tag to be where I was. Last season, I was in the student section for most of the home games and had a blast from that vantage point but this was an infinitely better place to witness the action.

If there is a next time, I probably won’t be as impressed. But this time around, I took nothing for granted and tried to soak up every minute. My excitement stemmed more from the thrill of a new experience, rather than specifically being on the sideline of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

I lived in Tuscaloosa for two years and it felt good to return. I went to Chloe’s Cup, a coffee shop I practically lived at while trying to substitute coffee for sleep throughout graduate school. The fact that the owner still remembered my name was comforting because I figured she might not.

The key to the whole experience was the mix of feeling comfort in familiarity while also having a sense of excitement by experiencing things from a different perspective.

Another piece of familiarity was seeing Alabama beat Ole Miss, making them 25-1 against the Rebels in Tuscaloosa. What wasn’t familiar was a closer-than-expected score of 33-14. After last year’s 52-7 Crimson Tide victory, many expected more of a blowout.

Maybe it’s the same familiarity and excitement that makes college football so fun to watch. Fans can don the familiar team colors and cheer on some of the same players they rooted for during the previous season, but the results are never identical and the new season brings a healthy dose of new players to cheer for.

Sure, there was familiarity in seeing defensive back Dee Milliner make an interception and seeing Eddie Lacy run 15 yards for a first down, but there was also excitement in seeing Amari Cooper grab a 12 yard touchdown reception while sandwiched in between two defenders and seeing Christion Jones make an exciting 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The college football season hasn’t even reached the midpoint. There is sure to be much more familiarity and excitement yet to come.

SportsPlus

Atmore

Death row inmate at Holman executed by lethal injection Thursday night

Atmore

Back-to-School Boost Drive-thru is July 20

Atmore

EA named 2023-24 Blue Ribbon School

Atmore

Atmore man dies in I-10 crash July 9

Atmore

Vote ALEA for the 2024 America’s Best-Looking Cruiser Contest

Atmore

14 volunteer fire departments awarded 2024 Alabama Forestry Grant

Atmore

Atmore woman, 3 Florida residents arrested July 14 on possession charges

Atmore

Atmore man, Century, Fla. woman arrested July 15 on drug, probation revocation charges

Atmore

Atmore woman arrested on drug, theft charges July 14

Atmore

Perdido man arrested July 12 on possession, tampering with physical evidence charges

Atmore

Flomaton man arrested for distribution, possession of drugs

Atmore

Atmore man arrested on drug charges July 12

Atmore

County BOE approves personnel recommendations during special-called meeting July 12

Atmore

Harper performs concert at Acapulco Saturday

Atmore

Snatched by Teria holds ribbon cutting

Atmore

Local firefighters honored during volunteer fire department association meeting Thursday

Atmore

County BOE schools announces policy for free, reduced-priced meals for 2024-25 year

Atmore

Atmore man arrested on drug trafficking charge

Atmore

Waste Pro solid waste pick up map

Atmore

Atmore man arrested July 8 on warrant for eluding, resisting arrest, endangering welfare of child charges

Atmore

Bonner named to president’s list at Lawson State Community College

Atmore

ALEA troopers investigate 9 traffic fatalities, 3 drownings and zero boating fatalities during record-breaking Fourth of July travel period

Atmore

Flomaton woman arrested on attempting to elude, drug charges

Atmore

Atmore man arrested July 5 on receiving stolen property, drug charges