There are Saturdays when the most unthinkable things happen.
Horrors the likes of which you wish you never had to endure.
Losses that make you want to enter the witness protection program.
EVERY program has them. Michigan losing to Appalachain State, USC's annual Pac 10 stumble, Ohio State any time they play the SEC, you get the point.
I bleed crimson. I'm an Alabama alum and a die hard fan and each of these losses caused me to lose my pre-game meals, but for all the chest thumping I do as an Alabama/SEC fan, I feel it's time to reflect.
Time to look back at these terrible days in Alabama football history. It is days like these that make the successes all the sweeter.
Here are 10 devastating losses:
1993 LSU 17 Alabama 14
Yeah, I know, a loss to LSU is nothing to be all that ashamed of, but this was 1993. Alabama came into this game with a 31 game unbeaten streak and was a three touchdown favorite. This was pretty bad era for LSU football with Curley Hallman at the helm. My brother and his roommate at the time labeled this day "Black Saturday" as the campus was in complete shock following this upset.
1997 Louisiana Tech 26 Alabama 20
The Dubose era is full of bad losses and this is one of two monumental homecoming blunders. I was a sophomore at UA and there I sat, in the rain, watching La Tech take down my beloved tide in Bryant Denny Stadium. The loss was so painful at the time that I wasn't phased one bit by the the Wild Turkey bottle that smashed on my shoulder as I knew it was thrown for good reason.
1998 Arkansas 42 Alabama 6
The razorbacks lit up the 4th quarter for 21 points to rout the tide. Arkansas held Alabama to only 48 yards passing.
1998 Music City Bowl Virginia Tech 38 Alabama 7
Nashville has not been kind to Alabama when it comes to bowls games and the Hokies just put a beat-down on Alabama in this miserable cold day of football. Bama was held to 50 yards rushing on 32 carries and Virginia Tech forced 4 tide turnovers putting the nail in the coffin with a 27 yard pick 6 to seal the final score.
1999 Louisiana Tech 29 Alabama 28
Surely not again?! Alabama had expectations in 1999. With Chris Samuels at left tackle and Shaun Alexander a legitimate Heisman candidate, this was not supposed to be one of the losses. Yeah, La Tech had Tim Rattay, but he wasn't the one that connected with Sean Cangelosi with 2 seconds remaining to stun the tide faithful at Legion Field. That honor went to back up Brian Stallworth. My friends and I just sat there in silence with those "what just happened" looks on our faces. No worries, next week Alabama would go win at "The Swamp".
2000 UCLA 35 Alabama 24
It was a glorious day. The stadium was packed with Alabama fans. It was a sea of crimson with just a smattering of powder blue. Big deal. except that this was Pasadena, CA and it was the Rose Bowl that had been turned into Bryant Denny Stadium. My dad, brother and I made the trip. It coudn't have started better. Ranked #3 in the nation. We force an opening drive 3 and out for the bruins and then just like that, Freddie Milons returns the punt for a touchdown. 7-0 tide! National title here we come and then DeShaun Foster ran all over the Alabama defense for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns and I suffered some wicked sunburn.
2000 Southern Miss 21 Alabama 0
I had a football player in my creative writing class, yeah, I know, but he told me the Thursday before the game that Southern Miss was going to kill Alabama. He was right. This game was just downright ugly, but I am sure it was sweet vindication for Southern Miss fans.
2000 Central Florida 40 Alabama 38
Here is the second Dubose homecoming disaster. The ultimate wtf. Central Florida nails a field goal with very little time left to "upset" Alabama at home. On the field wise, this was the lowest moment in the Mike Dubose regime. Just a disgusting game that showed how unprepared and poorly coached Alabama was. I regret to this day attending this football game. If you are REALLY into self torture, do a search on youtube for this highlight.
2007 ULM 21 Alabama 14
We got Nick Saban so these losses are done with, right? RIGHT? No. The warhawks stunned Alabama. This game wasn't even carried on my ESPN Gameplan, so there I was, sitting and listening to every gut wrenching moment by my computer to an internet radio broadcast. To make matters worse, I was relaying the final moment by phone to a friend of mine. I couldn't find a hole big enough to bury myself in that day.
2008 Utah 31 Alabama 17
I know Alabama came just one miraculously amazing Tim Tebow 4th quarter performance from playing for the national title, but there was still no excuse for this debacle. Forget the Andre Smith fiasco, because it looked as if the tide was completely shocked to see Utah run no huddle. Hats off to the Utes, it was your night in New Orleans.
So there you have. 10 disgusting losses.
10 terrible days in tide history.
I don't mind talking about Alabama's debacles, because we have had so much success and there will be much more success to come.
Just keep these bad times in the back of your head and remember to never take winning for granted.