Following Alabama's spring game on Saturday, a player’s father accidentally knocked over Alabama’s Coaches' Trophy, shattering it in the process. This is the scene through the eyes of the now-shattered crystal. Bring tissues.
It was a beautiful day.
I sat comfortably, resting motionless per usual. I was hoisted up and had a good look at the rest of the room as the red bodies began to fill in. It was my first A-Day, and I didn’t know what to expect. Only hours before, a strange man had lifted me out of my case and bathed me for the first time in more than three months. I needed to be clean. Today was all about me. I was the star again.
The room was almost full now, and I could feel my crystal heart begin to pound. Their eyes were on me, and I flexed just a bit to show off my physique that I had worked so hard to obtain. Well, I didn’t work hard. I was crafted this way, but I’ve made the most out of my good genes.
A few children pointed at me, and I tried not to blush. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t adore the attention, but in my few months of life I had never really adjusted to being in the spotlight. The facial hair in the room was magnificent, and I’m as surprised as you that I even knew what facial hair was.
I remember being held high in the air in front of the New Orleans crowd. While I first feared for my life as my new friends passed me around with careless glee, I soon embraced my situation. Then they handed me to Nick Saban, and as he held me to the sky, I couldn’t help but think that I found the father figure I desperately needed.
That seemed like a long time ago, and it’s amazing how fast you can go through a calendar. Since that moment, I’d heard Saban yell more than he did for our introduction. He wasn’t usually as happy as he was at that moment, and he always seemed like he was in a rush. Life is busy, I suppose.
As I wandered off into thought, the door swung open, and the man himself walked in. The crowd immediately turned their attention from me to the man in the crimson tie, and they applauded. I would have applauded also, but I don’t have hands.
Saban addressed the group, and he even mentioned me in his heart-warming speech. It was beautiful, and I could hear sniffles as he discussed things like “perseverance,” “chemistry” and “hard work.” The room roared as he finished with a monstrous “Roll Tide,” and the sea of red began to move now. My time of spotlight was over, and the cameras came out for one last time to get a lasting memory of my presence. I was sad, but little did I know this paled in comparison to what was about to take place.
I’m not quite sure how it transpired, but a large man began to drift in my direction. I assumed he wanted nothing but a brief photo op, so I smiled accordingly and faced the camera per usual. He smelled of Monster energy drink and Chick-fil-A, which was somewhat soothing. But something was different about this, and I could feel all was not well.
The man smiled and laughed but was a little too close for comfort. The room had begun to clear at this point, however, so my calls for attention were mute. He stared at me through my case, laughed with others and I smiled back, hoping this particular showcase was almost complete.
It was. The man took one last photo with me and readied to leave. And that’s when it happened.
I’m not quite sure how he caused it, but I remember falling. The quick descent to the ground took place in slow motion, and I could see the floor coming into focus as I somersaulted through the air. I didn’t scream but instead accepted my fate.
As I approached the floor, I hoped that somehow I wouldn’t shatter. Remember those good genes I discussed? I could use them now, only I knew my chances were slim to none. I felt the air hit my sides now, and I heard the man guilty of this turn of events let out a scream in the distance. It was too late.
The floor came. And the floor won. I went everywhere.
I saw pieces of myself scatter across the room and could feel the air begin to exit. There were footsteps now, and I knew that my time was running short. I thought about my father, Nick Saban, and how I had disappointed him. I hoped that he would understand.
Saban soon came into the picture, and our eyes locked. He turned away for a brief moment and yelled for help. Save your breath, Nick. There’s no helping this guy.
My crystal eyes began to close, and I remembered that night in New Orleans. The sights and sounds of the crowd came into focus one last time before it all went black.
R.I.P. Coaches' Trophy
January 2012 - April 2012