Whether Christmas and college football should be intertwined is a subject for another place. The fact is that Alabama football – and to a lesser extent basketball – frequently is part of the conversation of the holiday season.
In our house, we remember the days of being a part of the Crimson Tide travel party to bowl games – be it New Orleans or Miami or Dallas, or the occasional Houston or Memphis. The normal plan was for a Christmas afternoon departure, which meant a relatively brief time with young children being dropped off with grandparents. Fortunately, the pain of separation – at least for the children – was mitigated by more presents than necessary and a week or so of grandparents in competition to spoil.
And then, as now, Bama football often was in the national championship discussion.
Until this year, a routine Christmas wish was for an Alabama bowl victory. This year, the vision of a Sugar Bowl plum is only part of the dream as we embark on the College Football Playoff era.
Alabama will play Ohio State in the Louisiana Superdome on Jan. 1 in a semifinal game. The winner will advance to the national championship game against either Oregon or Florida State in Dallas on Jan. 12.
Alabama’s St. Nick – Coach Nick Saban – had a greeting:
“I’d like to wish all of our fans, supporters, the entire University community, and all the other folk out there who have any interest in our football a very happy holidays to you and your families at this special time of the year.”
We, too, offer season’s greetings – Merry Christmas and Happy Chaunika – to those who help us so much, our many colleagues at Scout.com; our writers (John Garcia, Jr., A.P. Steadham, Cary L. Clark); photographer Stuart McNair (no longer left home on bowl trips); to all the coaches and athletes and support staff at The University;
And, of course, to those for whom we toil: you, our readers and participants in this conversation.
And a Happy New Year.