My man Nick Saban rolled to his 5th National Title in 9 years and kept the ROLL TIDE dynasty moving with an outstanding win in an unbelievable game. Some are saying it was the greatest game of the decade. It was pretty epic.
More than anything I was inspired and moved almost to tears by the actions of one player. The player that got benched. The player that had been 25-2 in his career coming into the game. The player who struggled.
Prior to the game I didn’t have much feeling for him one way or another. He was mainly a running QB playing on a team with a great defense and great tradition.
But on this night he didn’t have his best stuff. And when they went in at halftime down 13-0, he was playing poorly.
Keep in mind Hurts was the PLAYER OF THE YEAR the prior year in the SEC Conference as a true freshman. He was THE MAN.
But on this night he was benched. Nick Saban went into the locker room at halftime and told him and his back up (Tua Tagovailoa), “we’re gonna rotate QB’S in the 2ND half and Tua is gonna start us off”.
Wow. The National Championship and you’re benched at halftime. That’s gotta sting.
So how do you respond?
Well folks it was inspiring. He was the biggest cheerleader for the back up QB in the 2nd half. He was first off the sideline to congratulate him when he made a great play. He was totally ENGAGED with him on the sidelines. Keep in mind his back up was a TRUE FRESHMAN who was playing on a high school football field a year ago. You think it was helpful to Tua to have last year’s player of the year pushing him forward and encouraging him? Think it helped his performance? I think it did. I think it was a difference maker.
I know 40 year old’s who would have pouted if they got benched. This kid was in the GAME OF HIS LIFE, and he had the poise and inner strength to not make it about him………he made it about the team. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
And moreover, how come Jalen Hurts wasn’t rooting for him to not do well so he could get back in like so many other kids would? After all, Saban said “we’re gonna rotate in the 2nd half”…………… Well I’m not sure but I got the tape queued up so I can show my future children what being a great teammate looks like. Jalen Hurts showed us.
And it was so epic.