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I Blame Me: A Letter to the Kids who Play Football for Alabama

By on Dec 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 57 comments

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To the kids who play football at the University of Alabama:

 

As a fan of Alabama football, this has been a tough week for me. No, I’m not talking about the loss in the Iron Bowl. At least not directly. Though that loss was certainly difficult, the real reason it’s been such a tough week for me is because of what happened after the loss.

 

After the smoke cleared and I picked my broken heart up off the ground, I did what at least one or two other people did to cope: I took to social media. I wanted to see how other people were dealing with the gut-wrenching loss. What I found was both incredibly encouraging and overwhelmingly disheartening.

 

In one corner, I saw faithful Alabama fans congratulating Auburn on a game well played. Some sent congratulatory tweets or wall posts to their Auburn friends wishing them well on their way to Atlanta and hopefully to Pasadena. That was classy, and I appreciated it. Win with class, and lose with even more class.

 

In the other corner, however, something else reared its ugly head. I saw Alabama fans casting stones. Everybody was in shock. But these people were looking for someone to blame, someone to crucify. Many blamed a kicker, pointing to his missed opportunities as the reason they felt the emotions they were unable to process properly. So they sent him death threats and hurled insults at him. Others blamed a coach for making what they considered to be stupid calls at crucial moments. The same man that they had earlier touted as the best coach in all of football became a target for their scorn. At least one fan blamed other fans for her emotional duress, tragically taking the life of another fan who wasn’t showing the same level of inner turmoil as she was.

 

Everybody was looking for someone to blame, and I sadly am unable to say that I was any better. I wanted to pin the loss on someone or something too. But now, after a few days of watching how the Alabama fanbase has reacted to the loss, I finally found who is really to blame for what happened on the field that day.

 

I blame me.

 

I am the reason things got so out of hand. I am the reason you had so much pressure riding on you as players. I am the reason your coach always feels the pressure to second guess every decision he makes for fear of making even a single wrong choice at any point in his career. If we must find someone to blame for what happened on the field on Saturday and all that has happened afterward, we need look no further than your fanbase. We are the problem.

 

You see, somewhere along the line, your fanbase forgot one very important thing about the game of football. We forgot that it was a game.

 

We forgot that you guys are a group of kids in your late teens and early twenties playing a game. Because of our fandom, we turned your game into a life-absorbing religion and we turned you into larger-than-life gods of that religion. We became so enthralled in football that it took over top-billing on our lists of priorities, usurping things it never should have. And in doing so, we put so much unfair pressure on you that it was inevitable that you would one day fold under the weight of that pressure. For that, I’m sorry.

 

The nasty F-word of ‘football’ caused us, your so-called fans, to hurl a barrage of even nastier F-words your way after the game. We forgot that there are things in life far more important than football. I, for one, forgot that there are at least three other F-words that should take precedence over football. We forgot about friendships, family, and faith. Or least we pushed those priorities aside every Saturday for a third of our year. And in doing so, we failed you.

 

But loss has a funny way of bringing things into focus. After the loss on Saturday, I recognized a few things about myself.

 

I recognized that I had allowed this whole thing called fandom to get out of hand. I love football. And I love my team. But I love my wife, my kids, my friends, and my God a whole lot more.

 

I also recognized you for what you are. You are a group of kids. Or, let me give you more dignity and call you a group of young men. You are not gods. You are not super-heroes. And you are not perfect. You dedicate yourself to playing a sport and hope to one day make that your profession. Good for you, and best of luck to you.

 

I also recognized football for what it is. It is a game. Nothing more. It is not a religion. It shouldn’t be a way of life. It’s the most exciting game in the world, but it’s still just a game. And I, for one, commit to keeping that in my mind.

 

Win or lose, I stand behind you guys. I really appreciated seeing the letter written to Cade Foster after the backlash he received. And it was that letter that inspired this one.

 

I greatly respect and appreciate what you do to make our Saturdays in the fall as exciting and enjoyable as they can be. So go play your game, and I’ll cheer you on regardless of the outcome.

 

 

Roll Tide,

 

Justin Hase

[If you as a fellow Alabama fan agree with this letter, please take the time to hit one of the “share” buttons at the top of the page just under the title for whichever social medium you prefer (sorry, these buttons aren’t available when viewing on a mobile device). I would love for this letter to actually make it to the eyes of some of those players upon whom we place so much pressure each week.]

 

 

Note: This blog is maintained and funded personally by Justin Hase. If you appreciate the content of the blog and would like to support its future posts, please consider making a small donation to help with the cost of maintaining this website. Thanks!



57 Comments

    • Brenda Beasley

      December 5, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thank you for that letter. You are so right. I consider myself to be one of their biggest fans. I wear Alabama everyday and even to church. You can’t tell what my car is for all the magnets and signs and of course flags. It was no one’s fault. As A.J. said, we win as a team and we lose as a team. As a wife of a former highschool football coach, no one realizes the pressure there is on the players and coaches. I’ve had to sit up in the stands listening to such ugly things being said about my husband, with my children by my side. At times they were confused, which I can understand. I love Alabama. I am so proud of this team and coaches. To me they are a class act. We are STILL a great team, and I don’t care what anyone says. Since I am such a fan and maybe I do go over the top sometimes with my clothes and car, when we lost believe me I heard about it. It didn’t make me mad what they were saying, I just smiled and told them it was a good game. All the insults that have been placed on any one player or coach is not how we should act. I called my eight year old grandson who is a Auburn fan. He was so excited, he said he couldn’t believe it, and it was a miracle. I told him “War Eage”, he said “nana since your being so nice about all of this, I will say “Roll Tide”. I smiled, it took alot for him to say that, but even he understands what being humble is all about. Thank you for letting me post on here. I admire you for doing what you have done. All I can say now is “Roll Tide Roll” Brenda Beasley

    • James

      December 5, 2013

      Post a Reply

      I am one that is not a total idiot and let football run my life. I work and play outside with my family during football season . I never get warped around a TV set. I always have better things to do. I do love sports and like to get the outcome of different games. I believe that playing sports builds teem work, watching does not. Living precariously through others is a recipe for a disastrous live. It has become that everything from politics to home ownership is them against us. No real reasoning is ever contemplated.

    • Deb Dildy

      December 10, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Well said! I think of myself as an ALL weather Alabama fan. Win or Lose I’m a stayer, wouldn’t change my choice of teams for anything. I sucked up the sadness of our loss and sent texts to all my Auburn friends congratulating them for their team’s win and watched Auburn win last Saturday in Atlanta, can’t say I didn’t hope they would lose so we were back in the running but nevertheless sent congratulatory texts to my Auburn fan friends, again.

    • Linda Harris

      December 12, 2013

      Post a Reply

      MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR EVERY GREAT WORD. BECAUSE FOOTBALL IS JUST A GAME.AN I FOR ONE WILL ALWAYS SAY ROLL TIDE AN JUST. ENJOY THE GAME. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A ALABAMA FAN AN WILL ALWAYS BE ONE. THANKS FOR WORDS.

      GO BAMA GO.

  1. Belinda Bailey

    December 3, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Very well said. And a true fan of any sport should be saying the same thing.

    • Michael Bond

      December 5, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Very well said and win or lose I’m a very proud Bama fan have been always will be win or lose.

  2. susan koehler

    December 3, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I agree with the premise and intent of this letter. These Young men are playing a game which gives them an opportunity to attain a fabulous education. Lets not forget…getting an education should be the first and foremost reason someone attends college. Playing the game of football should be secondary.

    • Michele Morring

      December 3, 2013

      Post a Reply

      I am so greatful that as an Auburn graduate, I only experienced true Bama fans who congratulated our win and their support of our great state of Alabama. We all put unrealistic pressure on our teams. This year has been a spiritual experience for me and helping me to learn to balance my love for Auburn Football and my love and devotion to those people and things that matter a whole lot more. Your letter doesn’t just apply to Alabama players and fans… I think it applies to all of us.

      • Emily Bell

        December 4, 2013

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        Michelle, you are a very positive person and as a Bama fan, I was glad to read your post. If we all follow your example, the positive things will go “viral”. The bragging rights should always be light hearted because we depend on each in good & bad times. Post-April 27, I grew to love the Toomers for Tuscaloosa group. Wishing your team every success – Atlanta & beyond!

    • Emily Morrow

      December 4, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Congrats on eloquently putting into words what ALL football and sports fans need to remember everywhere. It is what I have always thought, but wasn’t able to put into words. Thanks for writing this! I hope it goes viral and helps us all to keep things in perspective!

  3. Rachel Lee

    December 3, 2013

    Post a Reply

    What an awesome letter :) Terry Saban said it best when we have been spoiled. We were cocky and didn’t think we could lose. I love the game of football and will forever be a fan of my Crimson Tide.

  4. Leah

    December 3, 2013

    Post a Reply

    As an Auburn fan, this is beautiful. Auburn fans forgot how to be humble winners, and some Alabama fans forgot how to be gracious after the loss. I hope your message is spread quickly, and that whether the reader yells Roll Tide Roll or War Eagle, we all learn a little something. Your boys played a great game, and I’m looking forward to another great game next year!

  5. I’ve been a Bama fan for a long time, win or lose still faithful, and these young men have played good games, and we dont even relize the time and sweat, they put into practice, and the trips and games and our great coach too, I appreciate you all, there is allways a few rotton apples in the fans, but for the most of us we are loyal, and love our players and coach, God Bless, keep on playing for us, your fan!!

  6. Bill Stubblefield

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Justin:

    I had the exact same thoughts today. It is a GAME, played by athletes with whom most people have no personal contact. Not worth having angry or hurtful attitudes or feelings or saying unkind things or loss of perspective regarding what is important. Too many people get way too impacted by a game lost or won by college kids somewhere, and say and do things that damage their own credibility and testimony. How much sense does that make. Surely not too much. Some may be way too proud of a victory won by other college kids. A victory to which they contributed nothing. I wonder how much self esteem a person can derive from someone else winning a game. It is fun to pull for my team and be happy when they win, but the significance of the event should be kept in perspective. The sun comes up tomorrow, win or lose. It is just a game. We all need to remember it is just a game, and the truth is, how we deal with the outcome (win or lose) can have a significant and lasting impact and is far and away more important than the outcome.

  7. Karen Kimbrel

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    What a beautiful expression of grace! Football has become a “religion” in the South and you have put everything into perspective. We are all guilty and because so much revenue comes from college sports programs the respective universities are in a catch 22 situation. Football is not a religion – loving your enemy (opponent) is.

  8. PRESTON

    December 4, 2013

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    I DON’T THINK JESUS REALLY GIVES A FLIP ABOUT THIS AUBURN/ALABAMA THING.

  9. Steve Adams

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Very well written and well said. If all us fans could have perspectives like yours, all the games in life would be better understood.

  10. Teri

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Very well said! I’ve been appalled at the vitriol spewed across social media in the build-up and aftermath of the Iron Bowl. I love Auburn and everything about it. My 2 favorite teams are Auburn and whoever is playing Alabama. I have Bama friends, and in the fall we pick at each other a bit, but mostly just agree to disagree and go on our ways. I think true fans, not the “fanatics,” who love and respect their schools and teams because of some connection do better than those who just cheer for the winners because they are winners. Those folks don’t know what to do when the winners don’t win. It’s sad. I’m glad folk are standing up for Cade Foster and the team.

  11. Amy

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great letter – all SEC fans (I’m a UT fan) should wise up. Our UT kicker got death threats after the loss to Vandy. Then there’s the guy who poisoned the oaks at Auburn (I won’t call him a Bama fan – I don’t think a true fan of the sport & the rivalry would do that). I teach college kids all day – and did so when getting my PhD at UT. I taught D1 athletes. They are still very young people, and the pressure they are under is immense. Steve Spurrier has only ever said one thing that I agree with: (paraphrased) fans have unreasonable expectations of their teams/coaches, and no one can go 10-2 or better every season. Thanks so much for putting this out there!

  12. Terry Chupp

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hey Justin, As I read your letter, I knew that you were a Brother in JESUS!!! You expressed GRACE that everyone needs to show. As an Evangelist and a football fan,(Georgia Bulldawgs) I wish that everyone would desire to show Christian Character. Much of my ministry has been in Alabama for the past 26 years. I have many friends who were on both of the sidelines last Saturday. What saddens me is that football fans in Alabama and the rest of the South who claim to be Christians cannot seem to get as excited about Jesus or His Church as they do about a GAME that will mean NOTHING in 20, 50, 100, 1,000 years or for all Eternity. I really love football and even as a BULLDAWG, I can say that the Iron Bowl was better than any Bowl game that will be played over the next month, BUT ALABAMA & AUBURN fans, let’s put our priorities where they really belong. Blessings to all, ESPECIALLY to the Coaches & Players.

  13. William

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thanks for the post. This is something that we should always remember, not just when a team loses. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing, and as you said, the main thing is God and family.

  14. Delia B

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thank you for reminding everyone that football, no matter who is on the opposite side of the field, is just a game.
    Whether the sport is football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, gymnastics, etc. it’s a game with human beings playing it.
    I live in Auburn, but on Saturdays you may find me cheering on Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, FSU, Wisconsin, or a school where I know someone on the team. I straddle the fence a lot.
    People say it can’t be done, but it works for me because I’m cheering for the athletes and the team who needs the W most of the time.
    Those late game days have a lot of inebriated fans, saying some pretty crazy things. They call people ugly names and do things they wouldn’t do if they were sober.
    That’s another negative component to football games. They’ve become cocktail parties instead of tailgate parties before the game and fans are sneaking it into the stadium too.
    People forget their manners when they’re wasted.
    It’s a ball game! Have some good, clean and sober fun…

  15. Cheryl

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I live in Alabama I support Alabama until they play Auburn, then because my child is a Auburn grad and my niece will soon be a Auburn grad I support Auburn. I thank you for reminding all that this is a game. The young men who play football work hard to practice play and entertain us each weekend. They are also doing their best to obtain a education. They work hard and my hats off to them. Good game on both teams part. God bless you sir for your comments.

  16. Karen Mitchell

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Absolutely amazing! I have NEVER seen a post where ALL the people who commented agreed with and supported the post. And here is another one. I only wish we could all find a way to gather as much enthusiasm for faith, education and others as we do for football. I hope your posts reaches all players, coaches and fans from college to little league.

  17. MatthewSteinway

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Does this only apply when Alabama loses? Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I have lived in Alabama for 10 years, neither an Alabama or Auburn fan, but have to say this bullying and downright rudeness from Alabama fans goes on every bit as much when they are winning – yet it is apparently ok. Now that they have lost (oh, god forbid) we get all sanctimonious and reflective. I completely understand your point because I understand that it is only a game, but find it very ironic that it took a loss for you to see how despicable a large number of Alabama fans can be. It is in many ways a cult of it’s own. Nothing will make me leave a room faster than the arrogant bullies that make up a large portion of the Alabama fanbase. Just like school bullies or cyber bullies, they insult and demean others and then say it’s all just a joke…

    • Tom Ferguson

      December 4, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Applause! :-) So very well spoken! Bravo to the author of the letter as well!

  18. Ron Patrick

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great letter and great points all. Ironically, you arrived at exactly the point I did last year in the Georgia dome (yes I am a dawg fan) when I sat in my seat for 25 minutes next to my 16 year old son before one of us spoke. I was devastated beyond words for a few days until I had the same epiphany you just had. I committed then to never be so invested in a football game as to let it even ruin my day. And boy was I tested this yea!! :) But I a happy to say that when I thought all the tests had been passed, and did not realize my final exam was yet to come (the immaculate deflection) I passed with flying colors. I moved on and went to church the next day.

    It is just a game. And there are SO many things God has planned for us to spend our time and effort on over football.

  19. Katie Phillips

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Best thing I have ever read! I’m so proud to be an Alabama Football Fan. This helped put a smile on my face today. Thank you very much for this. I’m a teenager and hearing things so negative about Alabama football has hurt me dearly. Thank you for being a true fan and having sportsmanship. God Bless You!

  20. Linda Harris

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Thank you for being a man of GOD. HE WILL BLESS YOU FOR YOUR LETTER. THANKS AGAIN AND ROLL TIDE ROLL.

  21. Ron Day

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Justin – I must admit to you and others – I find myself somewhat “red-faced” – not in anger – in sheer embarassment. I too experienced your reaction. Your words hopefully will be shared across social media to remind people of the many things we should be using our energy toward. As I mentioned on Facebook, the world is in chaos (Iran with the refinement of uranium for possible weapons, over 11 million are unemployed, news media is full of stories of innocent individuals dying unnecessarily at the hands of others, most families have and continue to experience some form of economic shock, etc.). Yet – we utilize precious energy battling about a 60 minute game as though it is much more important than life and the “real” challenges we face daily. I am a die-hard Bama fan – and have been a season ticket holder for many years and intend on continuing. Yet – I and others need the reminder often that this is a game. God bless you my friend. Continue to raise your voice.

  22. Joanie @ Zagleft

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Wonderful post. As a wife and also a mother of University of Alabama graduates, I have certainly come to love not only the school but the state as well. Your tone exemplifies the attitude and the personalities of all the people I’ve come to meet who either attend or went to school at Alabama. It was a disappointing loss for sure, but it IS only a game. Thanks for the reminder.

  23. bob

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Justin
    very well said and I hope all fans of our beloved game called college football gets a chance to read your letter players and fans of all schools . As a Florida Gator I know the ups and downs of this game but always try to express humble and fun ribs win or lose. thank you for writing and making this available to those of us who enjoy this game so much. I leave with this win lose or tie im a gator til I die and proud no matter what the results show go gators and go college football

  24. B

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I am disheartened that so many fans from all sides are pitting all Alabama fans as bad and good. Let me just say, What happened with the craziness of death threats, criticism of the players and coaches were not right. But I am very sick of being seen as a bad person just because I am not happy Alabama lost to Auburn. I have bee an Alabama fan since I was a little girl and tv was still in black and white. I am not a terrible person or a sore loser just because I am not happy Alabama lost Saturday and I am not tooting AU horn, patting them on the back and jumping on the Gus Bus. Give me a break. I have no obligation to AU just because they are in my state. I have NEVER had an AU fan congratulate Alabama on a great season. So, why is it, us fans, who prefer to stay faithful to Alabama and feel we would be betraying our team to root for Anybody else makes us such a bad fan? I love my Crimson Tide…ONLY. I don’t care who wins, except ALABAMA.

  25. Jb

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Old timer Auburn Grad here! Indeed it’s just a football game although in that realm, pretty damn huge. I realize that many of the BAMA faithful are much like me. We loved our time on campus, love the institution and connect with it over time through its sports teams- primarily football. I love to win, hate to lose but at the end of the day, it’s just a game.

    Lately, however, it seems that things have changed. I life in Atlanta and encounter numerous flag waving, chest pumping BAMA fans over here. I enjoy a friendly rival encounter so I will usually so something “War Eagle” unless tey are way bigger or look faster than me. At some point I will usually as “when were you in school.” 9/10 replies are “didn’t go there, went to Miami of Ohio or somewhere” or more likely, Huntsville High. It is truly rare to encounter a swag wearer that has a relationship to the school. My perception is that most Aubs are either grads or have a kid in school or something. Not all, but a high percentage.

    Here in lies a problem for us Aubs. While we acknowledge that it must be terribly sad for you that your 3-peat dreams are gone and it is indeed cathartic to give your players and coaches a collective cyber back pat, we wonder did you have similar feelings for our side when it was revealed that Harvey Updyke destroyed one of our symbols and tradition in an act of petulance.

    It seems to us that the public disdain for that was largely muted from your side. I understand that for liabity reasons the U wanted no part of it but in the majo universe of U of A football, Updyke was treated as a folk hero-signing autographs, free tickets, and high fives were all captured on cell phones from Bourbon Street and other places. As recently as the day before the game he supposedly made a statement the “I wished I could do it again.”

    The blogosphere is full of BAMA fans that salute Harveys feat, calling our trees “just trees.” Students, alums or sidewalk Alums, who knows. All UAT fans. Maybe your collective karma turned on you and in a most painful way since the play is repeated constantly.

    Finally, keep this in mind. A rivalry is equal parts joy and sadness. When a Auburn won 6 times in a row not too long ago, frankly it got a little boring. Of course that changed. Now Auburn has answered, next years game ought to be something.

    Sorry for your loss.
    War Damn Eagle

    • SRM

      December 4, 2013

      Post a Reply

      No Karma involved here………….just a good ol fashioned whuppin due to Auburn playing and executing better than the Tide. That simple. I wouldn’t put much emphasis on Harvey as he is ridiculed and scorned by most Tide fans and had his ass beat a few times by Bammers also. Hey, I married me a 4 time graidate from Auburn,…………yep, I married up…………..Merry Christmas and War Damn eEgle!

    • Jean Wells

      December 5, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Updyke has been criticized by all the Alabama fans that I know. We all feel that It was a terrible thing that he did and no one should do anything to any University’s tradition. Last Friday I hated to see the oaks gone from Toomer’s corner and mourned that the tradition has now gone to throwing toilet paper over wires. I also saw many trees in different areas on campus and fireworks going off as I walked to my AU friend’s car at Auburn Junior High School. I am a true University of Alabama fan and will always be one. I wish Auburn the best at the SEC Championship games this weekend and am hoping Auburn will be playing for the National title so they can bring that crystal ball back to the state of Alabama where it belongs. Good luck and God Bless. Roll Tide Roll

  26. Steve McCall

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Fact of the matter is that the same kicker who missed 3 field goals in this game missed some that cost his team a victory against LSU a few years ago. He not only survived the ridicule, the death threats and the disappointment, but went on to help Alabama win a few more National Championships along with a couple dozen more wins. That same coach that was “blamed” actually took the blame himself as he is prone to do. These are both classy individuals and they will get over it. I’m a big ol “Bammer” whuts married to a 4 time Auburn graduate. The joy and glee that screamed from her was well worth the loss. BTW………..She is also a huge Bama fan when they ain”t playing the Tide and ya couldn’t tell she was a “Barner” by the way she hollers for the Tide. These “fans” are for the most part “bandwagon” fans who jump on and off during the season and change teams whenever things aren’t going their way. I wouldn’t put a lotta stock in what any of them say for they are surely in league with Harvey Updyke. ……”ROLL TIDE and WAR DAMN EAGLE” here in Columbus, Georgia…………

  27. Matt

    December 4, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I don’t think any of us appreciate the pressure that is put on these 18-22 year old young men. Can you imagine if YOU had the pressure of playing in a game as big as the iron bowl? Or what if YOU had to make those kicks? These are real people, not just pawns for our personal entertainment. Let’s have fun, cheer passionately, and remember that these boys and coaches are real people. Great blog post.

  28. Ann

    December 5, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I loved the letter. I am a Bama fan too. I am also an Auburn Fan when they are not playing Bama. I love football, any football except professional. They are too good and the games can get real boring. I love the game, a good close game. Run away wins are boring. So you see it is the game action I like. Do peopl;e realize how few of these young men will go on to play professional ball? All these young men are very hard working and dedicated individuals. I applaud all the kids in this country that are willing to take that beating to play. And I support them all. It would be a terrible thing to put down these or any other senior players, who will never play again, just because the game did not turn out the way we hoped. It takes real guts to come as far has they have. And I would hope they move on thru life with good memories. Win. lose, or tie. Thank you players and coaches for letting me enjoy another season of football.

  29. BIll

    December 5, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Let’s act all noble and write a letter that get’s shared. I liked the letter until you asked people to share it. Hope you get the number of likes you want.

    • Justin

      December 5, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Bill,

      Though I didn’t consider it necessary, I wanted to give you the courtesy of a personal response to your comment on my blog. I tried to first send it to the email you provided, but I came back undeliverable. So I will post it here instead.

      I’m sorry that you questioned my motives after reading the letter. I assure you that my intentions were not to gain a following or prestige of any kind. My hope was twofold. First, I wanted the guys who play football to actually get a chance to read the letter. I doubt that would ever happen without people sharing it with them. And second, I hoped that other people who read it would resonate with the truth found therein.

      As you stated in your comment, you liked the letter before you questioned my motives. If that was the case, then I can only guess that it was that truth found therein that resonated with you. You have every right to refuse to share the letter if you assume my motives were impure, but I would hope that you would still be affected by that truth that first grabbed your attention.

      When I wrote the letter, I had no clue how well it would be received by its readers. I am humbled, floored even, that it has been shared so readily. Yet my hopes haven’t changed. All I want is for those players to see it so they can be encouraged by it and for its other readers to keep the right perspective when it comes to our football games.

      I wish you the best in all your endeavors,

      Justin Hase

  30. Jean Wells

    December 5, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I totally agree that it is a game played by young men. I pointed this out several times prior to the game. I made no predictions as to who would win the game, as it is always a new season when these two teams play. I TOTALLY stand behind the Crimson Tide, it’s players, and it’s coach. I wanted Alabama to win this game, go to the SEC Championship game, and win three national championships in a row, as I’m a true University of Alabama fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I’m now 67 years old, so that is a long time being a fan. Now it just wasn’t to be, Auburn won the game and my comments to it’s fans after the game were: “Congratulations, go win the SEC, and then bring that crystal ball back to the State of Alabama for five years in a row and where it belongs. Fair weather fans need to grow up. Win with a celebration and lose with dignity. Roll Tide Roll

  31. Cece

    December 6, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Justin, I wanted to let you know that this is a wonderful letter. Also I shared this with @Sabansays on twitter! he has posted in the Tide Daily paper, as well have shared on twitter. Hopefully this will help you obtaining you goals.

    I feel this inspiring letter was to important not to share. Thanks again for a very truthful letter on a subject that greatly needed to be said.

  32. Steve W

    December 7, 2013

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    I think we all as members of The Crimson Tide Nation, from Coach Saban down to his coaching staff, down to their players on the team, down to the University faculty & students, and all the way down to us Bama alumni & Fans..We all felt that pressure of The Iron Bowl..And we fans feeling those pressures, pales in comparison, to what our Coaches & Players felt before, during, and after the game..And I feel bad for the un-needed pressure we put on those coaches & players..It isn’t fair to them & for that I apologize those kids..

    Cause it’s just a game, and win or lose, I’m proud of them for representing us with the class & pride they showed, I’m actually more proud of them for losing with class & pride, it’s a lesson us fans should learn from them..ROLL TIDE ROLL Boys!!!!!..You’re all class acts & thank you for the blood, sweat, & tears you all have shed for the Crimson Tide Nation..We do appreciate it..Even though we may not show it at times..I know I will become a better fan & representative of the Crimson Tide from that lesson we all should have learned after this loss..

  33. Marlon

    December 8, 2013

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    Alabama losing a game is not hard to accept when you know the other team won by being the better team because they played enough to win. But when you get beat by a LUCK play and to know that the particular play was by your rival is hard to accept. The SEC should put in a new rule that you CANNOT win a game off of some play in the last minute of a game that is considered such as Auburn did two weeks in a row(Even that is Luck)!!! I would not won’t Auburn to get beat by Bama on a luck play! If Bama is to beat anyone and especially Auburn it is to be done fairly from football skills and athleticism. Football is changing rules all the time. Therefore a new rule on Luck is not farfetched. If the luck rule had been in place people wouldn’t have said such things to Cade Foster. First of all fans who do say such to a player are either ignorant, immature, immoral, drunk or a non christian. A non christian is subject to do and say anything at anytime to cause hurt in mental, physical and emotional stresses on someone’s life! satan the great deceiver will use football as a tool for his evil ways to cause anger, rage, bitterness and hatred among people. We must be wise to his demonic ways especially at a sporting event because we usually see such ways manifested? *Bible tells us “satan walks around as a roaring lion seeking to whom he may devour; who is not steadfast in the faith.” KEEP THE FAITH…

  34. Caren

    December 13, 2013

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    I am a True Alabama fan and always have been and am proud to say that my son graduated from the University but my second thought is that I was embarrassed by the way that our fans took the loss. I am so glad that you put it all in perspective and said so many things that I have thought since the game. After all, it is just a game and these young ball players as well as the fans or supposed to be enjoying the experience win or lose but I am afraid that it has become an obsession to many and almost Idolatry. Things happen for a reason and maybe this will make many of us step back and take a second look at the way that we view the game and will continue to be great winners but also learn how to be great losers when we have to. We win as a team and we lose as a team, there is no in between and if we cannot say that and mean it then we are not True Alabama Fans…… : )

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