Emmy award winning Havoline Football Saturdays In The South kicked off it's 8th season this weekend. The first episode Friday had three features: Tornado relief efforts in Tuscaloosa and the Alabama Crimson Tide coaches and athletes response to it, Boston College Linebacker Luke Kuechly, and a segment about Clemson fans getting to go on a road trip with the staff to see what goes on behind the scenes.
Of course, it is the first feature that I will be talking about today. It took up a full half of the show
They had several Alabama athletes on there that were in the middle of the tornado and survived. Josh Rosecrans, Barrett Jones and Courtney Upshaw had great stories, but when Carson Tinker got to talking about his story with his girlfriend Ashley Harrison, I must admit the room got a little dusty up in here. Carson and Ashley were huddled together inside a closet when the tornado destroyed everything around them, throwing Carson 75 yards into a field. He suffered only a concussion, a few cuts and bruises, and a broken hand. Ashley wasn't as lucky. She died of a broken neck
"I try not to ask the why questions. I know there's a reason. There's a reason that Ashley's not here just like there's a reason that I am here. I was sitting right beside her holding onto her and I made it. So I'm thankful for that, but I know that there is alot of responsibility that comes with that too and I'm trying to go out and fulfill my purpose, of whatever I need to do. I'm never gonna completely move on, but I have made peace with it. God has really revealed Himself to me through all this, and I just trust in him" - Carson Tinker
"As long as that football field is standing, I feel Tuscaloosa is gonna be here. And once we kick that ball off against Kent St, it's gonna be....let's just say, a party. We're gonna celebrate after the win, and we'll have a good time" -Courtney Upshaw
"I think this year we're gonna be playing for something a little bigger than just ourselves. We're playing for the city of Tuscaloosa. All these people have supported us for so many years, and now we wanna support them too" - Barrett Jones
I can not tell you how much I love these guys, this Alabama football team this year. Life is not all about football, no matter how much you might think it is, but sometimes sports have a way of healing alot of wounds. If only to distract you for a few hours on a Saturday and make you forget about your problems.
I'm sure it will be re-aired a time or two. When it does, y'all need to set your DVR's if you haven't seen it. I've never played a down of football in my life, but I was ready to throw on some shoulder pads and cleats after listening to these guys talk, and seeing what they are doing for the community. You can tell how much this season is going to mean to them. They are going to be completely focused every week, I believe. They have motivation from every angle, like never before. If you can watch your rival win the National Championship, after you gave up a 24 point lead to them, allowing them to even get there, then see half of your town destroyed, and not be motivated to play hard for your own pride and for everyone else that supports you, and needs something to enjoy, then you need to go play for Tennessee or something.
Watching Alabama's football team win games won't bring anyone back who is lost, but it can certainly be a source of great joy for the people in that community and in this state. These guys understand that and I think they are going to win every game this year. They have to, and they know it
- Eric Blackerby
- My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic