Alabama Football: An Open Letter To Marcell Dareus, Mark Ingram and Julio Jones

Charlie MillsonCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2011

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Running back Mark Ingram #22 jumps on lineman Marcell Dareus #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide as they celebrate with teammates after Dareus' 28-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns during the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

To:  Messrs. Dareus, Ingram, and Jones

From: An Alabama Fan

Re:  Returning for 2011 Season


Please come back to the University of Alabama for one more season. 

Before you tell me your reasons for going, please hear me out. I have reasons that might change your mind.

First of all, let me thank you for your sacrifices. And I'm saying all that not to butter you up but rather to let you know that we do appreciate the sacrifices that you make. We know you didn't suffer these things, the injuries, surgeries, and pain for us, but we have been indirect beneficiaries of them and thank you.

We were not the ones who've put in the work in practice, not the ones who sat through endless meetings and beat our bodies to rise to the level of excellence you and your cohorts have achieved. We as fans can enjoy our off seasons and get the joy out of watching what you guys do on Saturdays and the pride of watching you carry yourselves throughout the year as the representatives of the University and the state and, again indirectly, of us as fans.

It must be said that the logic used here to convince you to stay is not logic that benefits you. These arguments come out of completely selfish reasons. I'm doing this for me, but I want to at least present my case to you so that you will consider, perhaps, the reasons why we want you to stay at Alabama.

Now, it's understandable why you want to go to the NFL. One of the reasons its easy for me to ask you to do this is that I am okay financially. I know you are not. You are a young person who needs money; you're going to need money in the future for family and for life. So yes its easy for me to ask you to forgo the fiscal rewards your talents deserve.

Stay anyway. Stay because we, as fans, do appreciate the work and sacrifices you have made for this team. Stay because we have adopted you in our hearts and minds and even refer to you by your first names when we speak of you. Stay because you are 'ours' in a way, have lived in our homes and hearts, been a part of our families' lives, been even a part of many of our prayers for some years now. 

True, you did not ask for this when you signed your LOIs some years ago. You probably didn't realize that a bunch of crazed fans would lay claim to you in this fashion. 

But we're Alabama. And you have joined the ranks of the giants who've gone before you, the names of legend and lore that are as real to us as names in our family history. We'll tell our grandchildren about you.

Part of our collective memory as fans requires that we thank those giants on whose accomplishments we stand and upon whose deeds we brag. Despite being as young as you are, you are among those giants now.

So, we don't want to lose you.