As We Look Back: a Tribute to the Captains of the 2008 Alabama Season

L.C. May@lcmay474Correspondent IApril 15, 2009

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24:  John Parker Wilson #14 of the South Team looks on during the game against the North Team during the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 24, 2009 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Under Armour)

The time is getting closer for the A-Day game, which means more than just watching the players or getting some of the delicious Dreamland BBQ. It means it is time for Alabama to pick the captains for the 2009 football season. This is a very important thing in Alabama football, simply because the captain is the leader of the team. Usually they pick the captains and the day before A-Day, they put their hand prints and footprints around Denny Chimes.

I am not sure who the captains will be for the 2009 season, but I would like to reflect on last year's captains and what impact they had on Alabama. If you do not already know, the 2008 captains for Alabama were John Parker Wilson, Antoine Caldwell, and Rashad Johnson. I will explain what kind of impact they had on Alabama.

I will start first with John Parker Wilson. I have heard many Alabama fans themselves say that they could not wait for John Parker to leave. I think that he might have not of been the most famous quarterback in Alabama football history, but he has written his name in the record books quite a few times. I think that his 6,796 career yards also make people think of him as a good quarterback. Hew was more than just a quarterback though, he was a leader. He might have had his bad times in his career, but doesn't every quarterback have at least one time in their career. I'll give a perfect example: Peyton Manning, a great quarterback for the Colts and considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation. Yet I seem to remember one of the first games of the 2007 season, where Manning threw four interceptions and only had 88 passing yards. If you look at any highlights in John Parker's career, you see that he never gave up and always encouraged his teammates in the huddle. So I think that we need to give a salute to John Parker Wilson for his leadership throughout his career.

Next is Antione Caldwell. Antione is arguably one of the best centers Alabama has ever had. Not only was he a good center, but he is also recognized because he was one of the best players out of Alabama's great 2008 offensive line. Some would say Andre Smith was the best, which honestly I think he was, but Antione is working harder than Smith is in the draft right now. I was told that Caldwell wasn't a good captain because of his influence on the players after his suspension. Yet I disagree because he was a great leader and was a good influence on the team. Despite his suspension, he was a good influence by graduating earlier than anyone else, and influenced other players to try there hardest. So this is why I believe we should give Antione Caldwell a salute for his leadership as a captain and his great leadership and influence on the team.

Next is Rashad Johnson. I personally like Rashad Johnson because he was a walk-on who started and became captain of a great football team with a rich tradition. He has had many memorable moments and led Alabama's defense to many successful games. He never got in trouble, had good grades, and showed that anybody can make an impact if they just try hard and never give up. He has always been a guy that encourages players in the huddle. This is why I think we need to give a salute to Rashad Johnson for all his hard work.

Yes, I know that all these captains had the same qualities that made them great players and momentum changers. Yet these ARE all the reasons that made them this way. All of these captains had great careers at Alabama. So I wrote this to salute them and thank them for encouraging all the other players to work hard because they worked hard. Feel free to comment on this piece.