I have always loved being around the water and found spending some time there was a great relief from the stress of being a major college head football coach and everything surrounding the job. In fact, I like the water so much when I built my home where I live in the Notasulga area I put it right on the lake. You could even say the house is in the lake with water on three sides.
I heard a long time ago that one day water was going to be more valuable than oil and it's almost that way now. You go out to buy a bottle of water and a bottle of oil and the water almost costs you more than oil does.
There are people in this country who are getting really close to the desperation point because of their lack of water. The aquifers are going down where they have used water in irrigation and that sort of thing, wells are going dry and so are lakes and streams. We are blessed living here in our state. I think I'm right in saying Alabama has more water resources than any state east of the Mississippi River. That is a natural resource we don't need to take for granted.
I know there's a been a lot of political fighting back and forth between Alabama, Georgia and Florida over the water rights for the Chattahoochee River and the Tallapoosa River basins. Georgia is going to tap into the Tennessee River to build a pipeline to Atlanta because they have a mess over there with the population growth around Atlanta and they don't have enough water to serve those people.
It is my belief that Alabama Power, which makes this column possible by its sponsorship, has been a good steward of the vast water resources in our state that it manages through the operation of its dams that generate electricity. Nancy and I are trying to do the same thing on a much smaller scale. We built our little dam project to make a pond. It's about four acres and it is something that I would recommend to anybody who has an interest in doing it.
It is absolutely wonderful way to live your life on the water. We have three decks, all on the waterfront, and I can't tell you how much pleasure and enjoyment we get out of living on the water. We see things every day that pictures in books and magazines don't come close to matching. We are visited by geese, ducks, otters, beavers, muskrats and other wildlife that live in and around water.
We have created our own ecosystem around the lake by planting trees that grow around the water or in swamp areas like cypress, willows and poplars. When you wake up in the morning and see the trees and their reflections in the water, it is some of the most stunning scenery you'll ever see.
I would recommend to anybody who has a place and the time to do it that they look at building a lake, pond or any type of water habitat. It is a fun way to live your life.
From the Mailbag:
Do you think our new defensive coordinator will attack (blitz, jam receivers at line) or use the bend but don't break philosophy (which to me doesn't work any more)?
Jon, I am not sure how Ellis Johnson and the secondary coaches are going to do it this year and what they prefer, but I do know it absolutely makes a difference for a defense that can re-route receivers vs. teams trying to throw the football. You can do that when playing man coverage, but you can do it playing zone, too.
What I do think, if at all possible, it would be a tremendous asset if the Auburn coaches can get their defense lined up and disguise what they are doing so the quarterback doesn't have a clue what type of coverage the Tigers are in. If he doesn't know if they are in zone, man, combo coverage, blitzing or whatever, the quarterback has to take extra time to think. With just a little hesitation, sometimes just a fraction of a second of hesitation, the defense can get to the quarterback and throw the timing off.
Probably 90 percent of the practice time with quarterbacks throwing to receivers is with nobody in coverage. They work on building a rhythm where as soon as the quarterback plants on his back foot the ball is out, but if you re-route the receiver at the line of scrimmage when the quarterback's back foot hits the ground and the receiver still hasn't made his cut that disrupts the timing and that is what often determines if the defense or offense wins on a particular play.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.