It has been our good fortune to be involved with Alabama Crimson Tide athletics for some 35 years. That has brought us into contact with some of the greatest coaches and players in all sports. And it has also given us the opportunity to know the finest and most knowledgeable fans. Our opponents think of us as being arrogant. But, as Dizzy Dean once put it, "It ain't bragging if you've done it."
And to Alabama fans, in addition to our wish for your happiness, we also give you our thanks for your participation with us.
We also offer our best for all the men and women who provide us with the greatness that is Crimson Tide athletics. And we offer a special prayer for Athletics Director Mal Moore, who will spend Christmas Day–as he spends part of nearly every day–with his dear wife Charlotte in a Tuscaloosa nursing home.
There is a personal sadness for many of us this holiday because Jay Lisby is no longer with us. But there is also great joy because of you. Jay will be remembered forever in part because of the Jay Lisby Memorial Scholarship, which is reality.
The University called just before its holiday break to tell us we are over the top, that Crimson Tide fans had more than met the goal of matching an original $10,000 anonymous donation to get this worthy project established. When I wrote Jay's parents, I told them I suspected Jay looked upon this with bemusement, that combination of pleasure and surprise. It is a genuine honor for a genuine person.
We are fortunate to have another genuine person, someone who loves and understands Crimson Tide football.
One of the best gifts of the holidays is Mitch Dobbs driving his parents to pick up his brother on Christmas Eve. A lot of families have the good fortune to be together for the holidays. This Christmas will be particularly wonderful for the Dobbs family as Mitch's brother has completed his tour of duty in Iraq, returning just in time for Christmas.
And it is a wonderful Christmas at the McNairs. Our daughter and her husband and their son and our son and his wife and their son and daughter will be with us this holiday season, as will my mother. We hope you, too, are blessed at this family time.