Roll Tide: Tough Love

Patrick DavisContributor IOctober 17, 2008

For those who had the confidence of titans when Alabama started climbing this mountain but have become worried now that we are getting near the peak. For those whose fear of failure is growing the closer we get to the success we set out to achieve. For those of you who now walk week to week waiting for it all to fall apart.

I'm not going to tiptoe.

I'm not going to tiptoe my way around just because the stakes are so high. I'm not going to feel uneasy because a loss would be devastating. I'm not going to bob and weave my way through the second half of the season with scared feelings in the back of my head of what would happen if we lost it all.

I am going to roll with the tide. I am going to understand that I don't have to be like a starving kid who sits down at a buffet. I don't have to worry about eating what's on my plate in fear of there not being any food left when I'm done.

There are those who have said to me: "This has happened before; remember 2005?" Trying to convince me that Alabama might fall based on the 2005 season is like my telling you we will win a national championship because of the 1992 season.

There are those who have said to me: "This is a trap game; you are underestimating them." Convenient how on Saturdays teams have a tendency to go from the "team we are underestimating" to being added to the list of teams that make up the statement "We really haven't played anybody yet."

I will look at Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Auburn not as upset games or trap games or anything other than the blood we need to stay alive.

We need them.  They are our showcase, and they are our stage. I will not look at them as a chance to be disappointed but as a fact that the road to an undefeated season was built directly through them.

We belong on the field with anybody and will be there with reasons better than the fear of what would happen if we failed.

When I look at Ole Miss, I see the same thing as when I looked at the Georgia Dome. True freshmen look around in awe knowing they made the right choice. Deciding there, to contribute to a team that would give them the opportunity to play there again at the end of the season. A small group of seniors decided in fall camp to carry the state of Alabama on their shoulders and to show their teammates how to do the same.

I want Ole Miss to be tough as nails when we beat them. I want them to give our guys fits.

I want LSU to show us something we've never seen before.

I want it like I want our second string to fight for their lives because it makes both of the boys better and stronger for it.

I want the first 12 opponents to give us the wounds that our mistakes have allowed so that when they've healed we will be better for having gone through it.

I want to be there, inside the Georgia Dome, as our 13th opponent walks in. Our true freshmen look up at the lights and aren't intimidated because they know that this is where it all began and that the Tide have come home.


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