There wasn’t a nicer on-campus stadium for college football in the entire country than the one in Tuscaloosa.
That’s what I thought about Bryant-Denny before the $107 million renovation. Now? Now, I understand the psychology of those Egyptian pharaohs of old. They wanted eternal homes worthy of not just kings, but gods amongst men.
No. 2 Alabama reopens its palace of Southern power on Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. home game against No.13 Texas A&M. It’s a fittingly symbolic matchup of wealth and extravagance. Texas A&M might have the most money of anyone in the SEC, and the Aggies’ Kyle Field is an experience more than place, but Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium is a monument to an entire state’s uncompromising, unapologetic love for college football.
We do it better than anyone, for good or ill.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is a house of worship, a source of dreams and a place of business. It’s where Tennessee goes to die every other year, and where Crimson Tide glory lives forever. It’s where Paul Bryant built a legacy, and Nick Saban enriched it and made it something better.
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Without guilt or journalistic compromise, I can say that I share in that love of Alabama football even without being a fan of Alabama football. Same goes with Auburn. I’m a proud Alabamian, and for me those teams represent the greatness we can achieve as a state when we work together.
It sure is a complicated love, though, and that seems especially true after this past summer. That’s why I want to reflect for a moment, and pause and say thank you.
On Saturday, I’m going to sit in a brand new press box that was