As Homerism watched Texas Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy trot to the sideline in Thursday night’s national championship game–his golden arm rendered useless by a strange shoulder injury on his team’s first drive–it struck me that Alabama’s inevitable victory would make for a fitting end to an unsatisfying season.
Back in August, the 2009 season looked like it would be one for the ages. So many high-profile teams had stacked squads returning. Bragging rights across the country were on the line. Great individual performers like Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and McCoy would have one last shot to showcase their talents.
Yet, every time this season seemed ready to live up to billing, something fell through. It started with Oklahoma’s litany of early-season injuries, continued through ugly outcomes in supposedly big-time games in the regular season and ended with a match-up of unbeatens that was marred by the absence of one of the sport’s top performers.
So, yes, a McCoy-less national championship tilt pretty well summed up a down 2009 season. (McCoy’s postgame interview with Lisa Salters was both heartbreaking and admirably classy in one fail swoop.)
And the Crimson Tide seems like the ideal champion in a year in which simply surviving equated to success. Alabama’s hard-nosed grinders took some tough shots from the Longhorns and gritty young quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the second half Thursday night. In the end, ‘Bama was still standing after bullying Texas into submission.
This year, I guess that’s good enough.