Morning Musings: Battle of the Unknowns
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Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm. A chance to unwind, relax, eat good food and watch low-stress, unrelated NFL football. This Thursday, be thankful for your loved ones, hold them tightly and let them know that you’ll be completely unreachable this Saturday afternoon.
Wife: “Are we going anywhere to watch the Iron Bowl?”
Me: “Going somewhere? It’s the category 5 hurricane of football games. Maybe we’re going into the basement or storm shelter.”
— Van Allen Plexico (@VanAllenPlexico) November 20, 2017
Business as usual… needs to be Coach Malzahn’s message this week. It’s very difficult to play from behind against any Alabama team, so the Tigers need to avoid any first-half miscues. Limit the turnovers on offense, keep everything in front of you on defense and be sure to kick the ball out of the end zone to avoid any returns on kickoffs.
The better team usually wins this game… but the only problem is, we don’t know which team is better at the moment. Auburn has shown improvement over the course of the season. Alabama has had a bit of an injury bug at the linebacker position. Auburn has been tested consistently. Alabama has not.
We are approaching the final game of the regular season, and I’m still not sure how good this Alabama team really is. It’s difficult to gauge just how strong this team is when their toughest game was on the road at Mississippi State—a team that Auburn beat by nearly 40 points. There are many unknowns at play here.
Unknowns terrify me.
I was in the building that day. The day David took down Goliath. The greatest play in college football history occurred four years ago. Nothing will ever top it. Between the ramifications surrounding the play and the actual play itself, it is king. When it occurred, it didn’t really sink it. It didn’t sink in when I planted my feet on Pat Dye Field. It didn’t even sink in when I was surrounded by a winter wonderland of toilet paper at Toomer’s.
It only completely sunk in when I called my grandfather to tell him the news. I don’t remember exactly what I said to him. All I know is that it involved plenty of excitement and watery eyes. And also the fact that he didn’t believe me at first.
I’ll be making the trip to the Plains this weekend—my first visit back since last year’s Clemson game. I’m coming by myself this time—a first for me—because I just couldn’t stand to miss this occasion.
I just hope I’ll be able to make that call to my grandfather again.