Originally written on Cleats & Couture  |  Last updated 11/12/12
I know this is going to be a little bit raw for all my friends who are Alabama fans, so feel free to discontinue reading this post if the memory is still a little too fresh in your mind.I'll start off this post by saying that all along, I've thought it's been ridiculous how elitest the SEC has been about the entrance of Texas A&M and Missouri this season, calling them 'the pledges', saying they don't belong, or cheering against them when they were playing non-conference teams in the beginning of the season (which is just stupid in my opinion as they're apart of the SEC now whether you like it or not). Is Mizzou phenomenal?  No, but neither is Kentucky, Vanderbilt, or Tennessee, whom Missouri beat this weekend. And I think we can definitively say that Texas A&M made a believer out of a lot of people on Saturday.I knew going into the game that Alabama hadn't let any team score a first-quarter touchdown this season, and A&M had scored on the first drive of most of their games this year. After A&M's true freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel drove the football down to Alabama's endzone and scored a touchdown on their first drive, I knew they wasn't going to go down without a fight. Not only did Manziel (or Johnny Football as people affectionately call him) score a touchdown on TAMU's 1st possession, he scored one on their 2nd and 3rd possessions too. After their kicker missed an extra point, they were up 20-0 on the #1 team in the nation, and Alabama didn't lead the entire game.I truly though that Alabama was going to come out in the second half guns a-blazing after Nick Saban lit a massive fire under all of them, but Manziel seemed unstoppable. Seeing him throw some of those passes and dance around Alabama's defensive line with his fancy footwork in person was incredible. I vividly remember one play where a player on Alabama's defense grabbed Manziel's ankle to tackle him, and Manziel literally just shook him off and kept running to score a touchdown. That kid is the real deal, no matter who you're rooting for.While I go to Alabama for law school, it is hard to be as diehard for a second team as you are for your main team. I will never feel about Alabama football like I do about Michigan football. So while I always want my friends to be happy with a Bama win, Alabama winning or losing won't make or break my day like a Michigan win/loss does. That being said, I was ready for Alabama to fall. Not because of the players or Nick Saban, or because I don't like the SEC since I'm from Big Ten country. It's because of how crazy-cocky the Alabama fan base has gotten since I've been a student here. [This obviously doesn't apply to every Alabama fan I know, as there are clearly idiots in every single fan base that don't represent it as a whole (see: Harvey Updyke or basically any Ohio State Fan)].Did/do Alabama fans have a right to feel confident in their team's abilities and accomplishments? Hell yes, 2 national championships in 3 years is something to be very proud of. But it has gotten so out of hand that very few of the fans I know seem to remember what it was like before Nick Saban came 5 years ago. 5 years was not that long ago, my friends. In the 4 years before Saban (the Mike Shula era that Alabama fans like to forget about), there was one winning season. Going back even a few years further, it's a very mixed bag.This doesn't take away from the amazing seasons that Alabama has had since Nick Saban started coaching in 2007; I give them all the credit in the world for what they've done. But let's not forget where they came from and what the power of one man did for the entire program. That way, I won't need to read things like "Lee Corso is having another stroke" when he picked Texas A&M to win on College Gameday, or about how half the fan base had already booked hotels in Miami because "they knew Bama was going". Alabama expected to go into Bryant-Denny and walk out with a decisive win, but instead I saw a lot of students flipping A&M players off with both hands as they went into the locker room, and moronic frat boys yelling death threats to A&M fans as they left the stadium. Y'all have my respect as amazing winners (see: 2009 & 2011 Champions + the 2012 LSU game), but the gracious losing could use a lot of work. Losing only one game in an entire season is something any team should be proud of. Hell, I would kill for an 11-1 Michigan season.I'm hoping this game brought a little dose of reality to Alabama fans and that we can all appreciate the great football that Johnny Manziel played on Saturday, which was really just unbelievable to witness. Even though he's a true freshman & it's never been done, Johnny Football has made a believer out of me. Heismanziel.Title & picture courtesy of Will Sparkman; images: texags.com
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