I recently read a long, academic arficle on the first Thanksgiving, and how that day–and the days that led up to it–were nothing like what we all learned in school. Doesn't matter. It's the thought that counts. And even though we set aside only one day (or perhaps a long weekend) for Thanksgiving, most of us on frequent occasions realize we have much to be thankful for.

Those of us who follow Alabama athletics are thankful far more often than not, regardless of the sport. And despite recent setbacks, who among us last August would not have gratefully accepted a 9-2 Crimson Tide football record, a romp over Florida, a win over Tennessee? And we are thankful for the men and women–athletes, coaches, administrators–who represent The University in the right way.

In my work, I am close to the coaches and players. I know that other schools have good men and women, but I can't believe that many people in my position at other colleges have it as good as I do. My friends think I get paid to go to football and basketball games. There's a little more to it than that, but I am still thankful that I have been able to make this my life's work.

I am thankful that I am able to cover Alabama on a daily basis. (Well, daily except for maybe a couple of days on Thanksgiving weekend.) In order to do that, I am thankful to you for following the Crimson Tide at least in part through ‘BAMA Magazine and

I am also thankful for a family that understands that athletics is not nine-to-five. Practices last into the evening. Games are played at night and on weekends. Deadlines must be met. And so covering Alabama has meant sacrifices by my wife and children. My wife, Lynne, and I go to football and basketball games together. But the last time we sat together at an Alabama football game was at the 1967 Alabama-Auburn game. We were in the upper deck at Legion Field in a driving rainstorm and watched as Kenny Stabler snaked his way on a long touchdown run to give Bama victory. Since them I have watched Bama football from the press box, Crimson Tide basketball from press row.

About this time last year I was beginning a project that would prove to be most satisfying, though it was a difficult task. I am thankful for the 62 former Alabama football players who gave me their time and their stories for "What It Means To Be Crimson Tide." And I am particularly thankful for the long hours and insight Coach Gene Stallings gave to the project. And I am thankful the final product was pleasing to those who made it possible.

I am thankful I had the opportunity to work for Coach Paul Bryant. My job under him required me to meet with him virtually every day during football season. I had covered Coach Bryant and Alabama for a few years as a sportswriter at the Birmingham Post-Herald and I continued to cover him when I left The University to start ‘BAMA Magazine in 1979. I am particularly thankful for his support in that endeavor.

And I am thankful I have been able to share the stories of Coach Bryant and his players and the stoiries of succeeding Crimson Tide coaches and athletes in many sports. I am thankful those who love the Crimson Tide have been interested in those stories.

I will think on Thanksgiving–as I do everyday–how thankful I am for my wife and children and grandchildren, a mother still going strong at 81, and other family and friends. I will enjoy dinner with some of them. And, as you, I will be thankful that I am an American and an Alabama fan.

hroughout the Thanksgiving Weekend, is making all of our content free. That's right, all of the stories we would normally classify as premium content are available for your consumption.

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You can dig back into the archives, read all of our recruiting content (team info/prospect evaluations/fall league reports) from the last six months and see premium content from other sites. In fact, we'll make it easy, here's ten links to some of our most recent premium content.

Dirty Dozen Trimmed to Ten

Bowl Musings

Poll Talk


Who Did It? (Participation Chart)

Out, or Just Down?

Tim Hawthorne: Back from Bama-AU game

Michael Goggins: Vol Committ Checks Out Bama-AU Game

Jacques McClendon: Another Waivering UT Commit?

Corderick Govan: Sets Up UA Visit

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