More Than Just A Game
It’s often times like these I’m reminded sports are more than just a game. As Alabama baseball’s season comes to a close, I can’t help but feel such a bittersweet sadness. Any enthusiastic sports fan dreads the end of a season, but for me the feeling goes a little deeper than the ending of a NCAA tournament run.
I moved to Tuscaloosa last September to go back to school and move away from home after dealing with some personal things. I had visited T-Town only a handful of times to attend basketball games with only a handful of people I had just met. I’ve said many times before to those that know me, I had that gut feeling every time I was here that this is where I’m supposed to be. I had no direction and no plans. I just knew I needed a change of scenery, a new purpose, and a fresh start.
It wasn’t until this semester I really found my place and niche- being with the Alabama baseball community that embraced me so well.
I had no official affiliation with the program or school. I became a self-proclaimed beat writer, reporter, and talk show co-host for all things Crimson Tide baseball here at Tide 100.9, along with some other spectacular colleagues. I went to every home game this season except for one. I attended every single game played this year in Hoover at the SEC Tournament. Rain delay or blistering heat, I was there. Absolute blowouts and nail bitters, I stayed the whole game. Even after games ended, I sometimes hung around for a bit just to take everything in. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted it to be over. I cannot express my gratitude for the people and opportunities this program has indirectly given me. It may sound crazy to some, but as our final game ended, I found myself in tears.
I’ve never felt closer to such a large group of people I have never actually met. Being at every game, screaming and yelling through all the highs and lows, and meeting coaches and families, will truly hold a special place in my heart forever. I was at such a low point in life personally and as I previously mentioned, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going.
To anyone reading that was involved in any way at all, please know I will never be able to repay you for making me feel like a part of something so much more than a baseball game or program. I found a home and family amongst some great people here. Every week, all I looked forward to was seeing familiar faces at The Joe and cheering on The Tide. For those three hours, nothing else mattered. No matter how rough of a day I was having, I was instantly greeted by smiling faces, hugs, and unmeasurable knowledge. I am beyond sad this season is over, but ecstatic for the memories I have made.
To players staying and moving on, thank you for giving me something to believe in. This is just a small piece in all of our lives, but I hope you take the trials and tribulations you’ve endured this season and continue to learn, grow, and keep faith.
To Coach Bo, I’ve only been around this season so I will not pretend I know much history. I have heard from many how far you’ve taken this program and I can’t wait to continue to watch it grow. It is my promise to you and everyone else to build up our fan and student presence. I promise you I will be working on that this off-season and already have many ideas in mind. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to pour your life and time onto others. I can assure you; you’ve inspired more than just those around you.
To everyone that has followed along with me on Twitter, thank you as well. I am merely a fan among everyone else that tweets some crazy things and sometimes overshares. But because of all of this, I have found such a renewed sense of passion and direction with my time here in Tuscaloosa. I am truly blown away by the support I have here and would have never thought in my wildest dreams my gut feelings would bring me to where I am today.
So, here’s to the future and thank you all again! Roll tide!