Sunday, May 20, 2007

Worship? I'm Afraid So!

I know this event took place last month, but I have not made the time to blog about it.

If you did not see the news, over 92,000 Alabama football fans showed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL for the Alabama Spring Football Game.......that's right - the spring football game!!!

Talk about your fans.....or talk about worship - yes, I said it - worship. These people worship Alabama football, and many of them if pressed would tell you that Nick Saban better be the football "messiah" or else.

Man, this scares me.

Here is what the AP said about it:

In front of a crowd in excess of 92,138, the largest crowd in A-Day history, Alabama’s White squad defeated the Crimson squad 20-13 in the first public scrimmage under first-year Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama’s capacity crowd is well over the previous best for a Southeastern Conference Spring Day game, which is believed to have been set by Tennessee in 1986, with 73,000. It also nearly doubles this season’s previous best set by Florida at 47,500.

“I’d like to thank all of our fans, who made this a really special day today,” Saban said. “To have as many people as we had here today is a great self-gratification for the players. It shows what great passion and support we have at the University of Alabama and it certainly makes me feel great about being here as a coach.”

There are so many things that could be said about this, but here's my observation aside from football and a new head coach.

There truly is something to be said when over 92,000 people cram into one place to watch a sporting event that has no "pay-off", no end goal, no winner, no loser, no champion, no anything - just a spring football game.

I am now rambling, but I conclude with this - it is astounding to me that football in Alabama (and certainly not just in Alabama) is truly a religious experience - meaning, there is amazing commitment to it, it is valued far above many other things, and it is certainly what many, many people in Alabama spend alot of their time talking about.

Louie Giglio says it well - at the end of the trail of your affections, your allegiance, your energy, your time, and your money is a throne. Whatever sits on that throne is what you worship......hmmmm.....92,000 people.........