Filed Under:

To Love, Honor And Cherish ... 'Bama

Play associated audio

Let me tell you about the day my husband bolted into the room and asked, "Are you free for lunch on Sept. 21?"

It was the middle of July, and I'm not Oprah. Usually, I can be booked for lunch at a moment's notice. But I played along. I flipped through my virtual calendar, scrolled down to the very date in question, and gave it a good stare.

'Yup, I'm open!' I told him.

"Good," Ken said, 'because I got us tickets to see Coach Saban."

That's right! Our important date was with Nick Saban — the man who has coached the University of Alabama football team to two national championships in the past three years.

Nick at Noon is held on Fridays before home football games for donors who pay $50 for a buffet and a chance to hear the coach speak and ask him a few questions.

Goodbye summer, hello football season!

Da Hubs has long considered himself an unofficial, unpaid member of the coaching staff. If that's the case, then I am his unofficial, unpaid assistant.

I got the job 11 years ago, when I said I would:

Love, honor, and cherish football Saturdays,

Attend football games while richer or poorer, and

Support Alabama football whether the program is on or off NCAA probation.

Being a fan's wife is that serious.

My husband has held season tickets for 27 years. And if you get on the waiting list today, you'll be lucky to take your grandkids to a game.

Once, when Ken was considering his mortality, he told me he wanted me to have the tickets. No problem, I told him. There's this little thing called community property, and I assured him that if anything ever happened to him or me, I would keep the tickets in the family: Roll Tide!

Unofficial, unpaid assistants like me know when to encourage the players from the stands. "Let's go, 'Bama!" We know how to scream at the television or otherwise throw an absolute and total fit when something doesn't go our way. I'm told I like to boo the officials. It's what assistants do.

Assistants can analyze a play with the best of them. If we're within inches of the goal line, it's better to run the ball. If we've got a few yards, it's best to throw the ball. The point is to protect the ball, move it down the field, and when all else fails kick the thing through the uprights!

Oh, yeah, I will be at the Nick at Noon luncheon, armed with a question or two just in case I feel the urge to get all chatty with the coach and give him my, I mean, our suggestions for how best to pummel Saturday's opponents.

As the assistant, it's the least I can do to make Coach Saban appreciate my husband's hard work.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.