2016 Title, Along With Auburn’s Fall, Is Redemption For Bama Fans
It took a little more than two years, but Alabama fans can finally erase the misery of the “Kick Six.”
The 45-40 win over Clemson to win the school its 16th National Championship is a sweet feeling for Crimson Tide supporters, who have been suffering a hangover since the lowest moment in program history since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa.
Not only was the Kick Six a kick in the fanny from the arch rival that propelled Auburn into the National Championship game, but it surely denied what Bama fans had anticipated that entire 2013 season – a title.
The 16th championship was supposed to have been won that year, establishing the Crimson Tide as the greatest dynasty in college football history.
That would have been three straight titles – something no other school has ever done, although Alabama came within losing poll votes to Notre Dame in consecutive decades in the Bear Bryant era – with no end to winning in site.
Yet it all faded that late afternoon on The Plains. For the next year and even into this year, just about every time a Bama fan turned on ESPN, or whenever an Alabama game was telecast on CBS, there was either a mention or replay of that field goal return.
Ever since that moment, Bama fans have been looking to capture another title to kind of make up for that lost one. The Tide came close in 2014, making it to the College Football Playoff, but fell apart against Ohio State.
So the buildup this year was intense, magnified by the loss to Ole Miss. Players, coaches, media and fans knew Alabama could not lose another game and the Tide went on a tear to put itself in the championship game agains Clemson.
That turned out to be a very close game with a play – a perfectly-executed on-sides kick – that will go down in team history along with the Goal Line Stand. For fans, winning such a close game in such dramatic fashion was not just a relief for this year, but also “we don’t care as much about the Kick Six anymore” feeling.
Of course, it helped that while Bama soared in 2015, Auburn flopped. The Tigers finished 7-6 and played in the Birmingham Bowl. After many picked them to win the SEC and even the national title.
Now, Auburn people can talk all they want about the Kick Six without it bothering Bama fans. After all, the Bama fans have a National Championship parade to attend.