Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goodbye, Mr. McElroy: It's Been a Pleasure

Good morning, college football fans—and the rest of you too.

It's nearly over and I am sorry. By the time the BCS Bowl has been played on January 10, there will have been thirty-five bowl games played this year. It wasn't always that way. In the sixties there were eight. By 1970, there were eleven and it has grown from there. Some people think there are too many bowls these days. Not for me. The more the better.

I cut my teeth on Crimson Tide football and I can't remember a year when I've been prouder. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love a National Championship and an undefeated season. Who doesn't? Last year was fabulous. The next one (number 14) will be fabulous.

But the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day was pretty sweet. My team, who lost with grace three times this season, won their bowl game like gentlemen, with class and humility.

Greg McElroy, who just quarterbacked his last college game, always gave his team credit for successes and took personal blame for mistakes. He made blocks when he needed to and when no one would have expected it of him. I'll miss him. Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, two of the best running backs in college football, never displayed one iota of personal competition but supported and cheered each other on. These things spell winner.

My favorite moment of the season did not occur on the field but on the bench. Greg McElroy had just suffered a concussion and didn't seem to have a lot of information about his identity and location. He sat on the bench beside star wideout Julio Jones, who had also been injured. Julio sat quietly with his arm draped around Greg's shoulders. I don't know if he was giving or seeking comfort or if he was just trying to stop his quarterback from hunting his helmet and attempting to head back on the field.

But I thought, "There sits a couple of champions and that is why I love this game."

As writers, we've all taken a sack or two and we aren't always able to get up again without help. I am thankful that when I have needed the help, it's always been there for me.

And that is why I love what I do—and all of you.

Happy New Year.


  1. Yeah Jean, we've all had a few sacks in 2010. I am still reeling from my last one. But you are right - it's how you react to those that make you what you are as a person. I am proud that my friends are there for me and I will, in 2011, try to be the person they all think I am.

  2. I love the new analogy you have now given us - of experiencing a few sacks in our own lives. I have had a couple of big sacks this year that I am still recovering from, although I am up hobbling around! My teammates have been holding my helmet for me most of the time, but, lately, I have been wearing it and even getting out on the playing field!

    But I spent much of my healing time on the bench with my teammates' arms around me, especially yours, Panster! I am so thankful you are on my team!!

  3. Sacks always come on the blind-side. Why is that? I think I've had a concussion or two this past year. LOL!

    I had my share of sacks but I also scored a few TD's and loved every minute of it. TD's are my favorite thing!

    I'm so sad that college football season is at an end. What will I do with myself on Saturdays now?

  4. Cheryl, you are the person we all know you to be. Hang in there! 2011 is going to be YOUR year!!

    Michelle, good to know that you're back out on the field again. Sometimes a concusion takes longer to rebound from, but with a TEAM network shoring up your defenses, you'll never be alone. Blessings! ;)

  5. I don't have any running water. Just thought I'd share that. Michelle doesn't have any either so feel sorry for her too.

    Yeah, we've had some sacks but we're all standing.

    Y'all are the best. Glad you are on my team!

  6. It is sad that the season is almost over. Like everyone else I have had both ups and downs.

    I am very thankful that we have always have a winning season here under the tulip tree because we have each other!
    I think that makes you all champions!