I’ve got to be honest: Watching y’all ball out this year, it’s been a bittersweet experience for me.
Of course I’ve loved seeing how you guys have dominated week after week … but at the same time … maaaaan, when I watch y’all play I wish so bad I could be out there with my brothers doing what we do.
I’m telling you, every time I watch a Bama game on TV this year, I can’t sit still and just enjoy the game. I’m pacing back and forth, making reads and calling out adjustments. I can’t help it. I’m still in love the atmosphere of Bama game day — and I don’t think that will ever change.
Don’t get me wrong, I love playing in the NFL. It’s a dream come true — and I can’t wait for a bunch of you guys to join me in the league — but there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that compares to repping Bama in a game like the Capital One Orange Bowl.
I’m excited for you to come down here and experience my new city. I know some of you are from around here so it’ll be like a homecoming. I would give anything to be on the sidelines for a game like this, but I’m going to be on the road in Buffalo handling my business. So because I can’t be there to tell you this in person, I wanted to write this note to share how I excited I am to watch this team do its thing on one of the biggest stages imaginable.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Playing at Bama comes with a different kind of pressure.
But with that pressure comes an opportunity to show how great you all truly are. It’s an opportunity to show everyone what that Crimson A represents.
The privilege of wearing Crimson A comes with an expectation. Not just from your brothers on the field, but an expectation from family, alumni, fans and really the entire world.
You are expected to dominate, be relentless in pursuit and play with a contagious energy. That is the standard we all live by, the Bama standard. Watching how y’all have played up to that standard this season has been incredible.
The SEC championship was a perfect example. We were down, we were hurt — we had just about every excuse not to win. But this team knew the opportunity was too great not to seize.
I’ve never been more proud to be associated with this program than I was while watching Jalen run on the field and take control of that game when we needed him most.
Getting that win was a team effort of course, but the patience, humility and commitment Jalen showed that game is a perfect example of what being a Bama man is all about.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
I know these past couple of weeks of practice have been tough. Preparing for a playoff game is like going through fall camp again. You’re running sprints, going through extra drills and hitting each other over and over. It’s tough. It challenges you. But with that challenge comes growth. It’s that challenge that makes you who you are. It forges you into that champion.
Nobody has the same success that we do … because nobody prepares like we do.
Yes, Oklahoma is an excellent team. They have an amazing offense, and they make timely plays on defense. They won’t roll over for anybody.
But honestly, none of that matters. What they do doesn’t matter. The result of this game is all about what we do.
Just go out there and play Bama football from whistle to whistle. Play like you’ve prepared to play.
And I promise, that will be enough.
The best piece of advice I can offer you is to just enjoy it. You’ve earned this opportunity, so really try to take it all in.
Because when it’s gone, man, you’re gonna miss it.