Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a "Lost" Wednesday: on Deaderick and trying to get back to the Island

By now, everyone knows about what happened to Brandon Deaderick, the sophomore who was shot during an attempted robbery (and I mean he was BEING robbed at the time). Fortunately he is relatively unhurt — as unhurt as you can be when you've been shot, I mean — and he'll be able to go on living and playing football for the University of Alabama. As offseason off-the-field incidents go, this one's not that serious.

Here's what bothers me, though, and it's something some others in the blogosphere have already discussed at some level: this entire summer has been one big negative story. Since A-Day wrapped up, Alabama fans have dealt with the following:
The Textbook Mess, resulting in more probation
The death of Bert Bank
The silly affair with Courtney Upshaw
Julio and Mark's fishing trip (which, by the way, isn't yet resolved)
• Deaderick's shooting

Now, nothing has happened this offseason even remotely approaching the level of Jimmy Johns' arrest for cocaine distribution, one of those moments that made us as fans embarrassed, sad and angry, all at the same time. And none of it has looked nearly as bad as what's been going on at Florida, where offseason thuggery has reached impressive heights even for the Gator program.
Put together, though, it means we as fans have spent all summer on the defensive, a place no one likes to be as a college football fan. We want our boys to win, but we also want to root for a classy team that represents us well on and off the field. That's part of what made the '08 team so special — they were good kids and we enjoyed rooting for them.

Here's hoping all this becomes a mere footnote to a fantastic season. For now, though, I can't wait to get back to the Island.

UPDATE: Gentry Estes posted a blog entry today about this very subject. Naturally, his list is better than mine.

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