VIEW FROM THE BOOTH - DAVID CRANE
September 10, 2007
It's been an interesting two weeks following the UAB football team. The trip to East Lansing, Michigan, to start the season was thoroughly enjoyable ... minus about three hours on Saturday ... for everyone who was fortunate enough to make the "travel roster." I had been looking forward to the kickoff of the 2007 season since July 1, my first day as a member of the Blazers ISP Sports Network. The opportunity to be the "voice" for a Division I-A school was something I had dreamed about for almost 20 years.
I was lucky enough to figure out what I wanted to do for a living when I was still in high school in Decatur, Alabama. I started my career by doing interviews on the radio at halftime of Decatur High football games, and since that first interview with the President of our Student Council, I've called my fair share of football, basketball and baseball games ... but September 1st was different. It was an amazing afternoon for me, sitting in the press box at Spartan Stadium, trying to soak everything in, and also remember those trivial little things like time, score, down and distance! I still look around and make sure I'm not dreaming ... it is such an honor to be a part of this program and sit in the seat previously occupied by some incredibly talented men.
But enough about me ... the main focus of this "blog" is the UAB Blazers football team ... and what a difference a week can make. There were so many "firsts" associated with the game against Michigan State ... the first game with a new head coach and staff ... Neil Callaway's first game AS a head coach ... countless players seeing their first action on the college gridiron ... that the result was disappointing, but not discouraging. The main reason there wasn't "gloom and doom" on the flight home was due to the effort shown on the grass field in East Lansing. They may not have played well for 60 minutes, but the Blazers DID play for 60 minutes, and they played hard.
Fast forward one week ... last Saturday in Tallahassee. UAB was supposed to get annihilated by the Seminoles ... problem was, no one bothered to tell coach Callaway or the players. A week of hard work on the practice field paid dividends, and it nearly resulted in another major upset in week two of the college football season. If there was a team in America that made more progress from week one to week two than UAB did, I'd sure like to see it.
Now, the bottom line is this: the Blazers are 0-2. There are no columns for "moral" victories, and there shouldn't be. You don't celebrate coming close, but there's also nothing wrong with being incredibly proud of how your team played and recognizing, and appreciating, dramatic improvement. The challenge for this team and this staff is to continue that improvement into week three and walk away from Legion Field on Saturday night with a true reason to celebrate: a win over Alcorn State.
I sure hope to see you all at Legion Field this Saturday ... kickoff is at 6 PM, and the Blazers ISP Sports Network will be on the air starting at 4:30 PM, live from Blazer Village outside the stadium. We're counting on a big crowd to come out and support the Green and Gold!
Until next time, GO BLAZERS!!!