Sunday, December 13, 2009

hold your head up, 22

Allow me to be the last 'Bama blogger to congratulate our Mark Ingram on his Heisman Trophy win last night, the first in school history and a very emotional moment for him and lots of others.

I'll be honest: the Heisman and the buzz that surrounds it gets more irritating by the season — the award is the only thing in college football more arbitrary and ridiculous than the BCS, and the media attention paid the award is just silly (personified by Kirk Herbstreit's piece on ESPN last night in which he actually broke down the voting by region, like he was talking about the Electoral College or something). And honesty also compels me to say that I've no idea whether Ingram was the most deserving candidate this season: I watched him all season and never once thought, "This guy looks like a Heisman Trophy winner." Furthermore, it's weird to think of an Alabama guy winning the Heisman — for some 'Bama fans, the lack of a stiff-arm trophy in Tuscaloosa has always been something of a point of pride ("Our boys don't care about individual glory — they come to Alabama to win championships").

That aside, it's hard to feel anything other than pride for No. 22 today. He worked his butt off all season, and has earned every bit of the accolades he got (it's a small victory for Auburn fans, too, since they get to say their defense shut down the 2009 Heisman winner).
For all he accomplished this season, one moment stands out over the rest of them: the fourth quarter of the South Carolina game, when the offense had been so putrid for three-and-a-half quarters (through a combination of horrible play-calling and horrible quarterback play) that the coaching staff basically gave up and said, "Let's just snap Mark the ball and see if he can do something." And he did.

So, congratulations, Mark. And Roll Tide. Your fans are awfully proud of you today.

Now go win that ring.

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