I know Nick Saban only gives his players 24 hours to celebrate before moving on to the next challenge, but before we start looking ahead to this Saturday’s slugfest with Florida, I have to revel just one more time in the unparalleled joy that erupted Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
After the sixth version of “Rammer Jammer” with 90,000-plus euphoric fans, all of whom stayed right there in Bryant-Denny Stadium despite a victory margin that would normally see fans hitting the exits, it started to sink in—and in a big and glorious way. After an absurd six-year drought against Auburn, there was this.
Order, finally, is restored.
Couples, even the senior citizens, hugged and kissed. Dads picked up their little kids and danced around, oblivious. Total strangers, from completely different backgrounds, gave each other high fives. 90,000-plus people of all stripes—all laughing and grinning and cheering in unison.
It was my own network, led by the great Roone Arledge and with sportscasting greats like Jim McCay, that coined “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” (I’ve got a lot to say about the agony of defeat, but I'll save that for another post, when we start talking about Florida.)
Today, the thrill. As adults, when do you really ever get to feel pure mindless joy? When can grown men jump straight up and down like my 7-year-old and otherwise serious and responsible adults in the stands scream and sing and hug complete strangers?
Whatever your sport, you know what I mean. How great is it to see the Red Sox piling on each other to celebrate? Now, I’m sick to death of the Red Sox and all sports in general in Boston, but there’s just something that, somehow, is moving about watching that unadulterated joy in adults.
If only you could harness that feeling, Pure Joy, and make it readily available. People would buy that instead of the Wii, and all would be right and good in the world.
In the meantime, here’s the second-best alternative.