September 2, 2013
Well, Labor Day has passed and Fall will soon be upon us. It seems weird to think of Fall since Summer finally decided to make a very late appearance this year. The heat was almost unbearable this weekend. But soon the leaves will begin changing and we can look forward to some relief from the heat…
So, how ‘bout the Tide Rolling this weekend?! It may not have been a perfect win, but a win is a win and you take the good with the bad. I got a little aggravated listening to the commentators while watching the game critiquing Bama’s every move.
 Here’s my thoughts on it: This is a TEAM of humans, not MACHINES and there is always room for improvements. There was only one perfect man who walked this Earth so don’t expect there to be any repeats. These commentators can’t stand the fact that an SEC team is ruling the roost right now, so they seem to take every opportunity to knock them. So, our offense needs some work…well, now we know and we’ll grow from that…I promise you Saban is on it already.
Good ole’ Johnny Football must’ve been furious over that little wrist slap he got that made him sit out the whole first half of their season opener against Rice. That punishment was nothing more than a joke. He should be sitting on the sideline throughout at least the first half of the season, if you ask me. This a classic case of fame going to your head and Johnny Manziel needs to be put in his place. His inexcusable antics on the field Saturday earned him a much deserved unsportsmanlike conduct with his gestures of money,  pointing and taunting. His fellow players should have been allowed to put him over their knee and spank him just like a child. This dude’s head is so big I don’t see how he gets a helmet over it.
Manziel taunts the crowd with signs of money
Manziel taunts the crowd with signs of money
 The sad thing is this is one talented individual on the field. He is an amazing player, but his leadership qualities suck. Manziel needs to learn that your talents do not define you as a person. Just because God gave you that particular skill does not mean he can’t take it away from you in a heartbeat. Earn your title, Johnny Football and be the leader you were chosen to be. It’s not just how you play the game…being a true athlete comes from the heart. You should approach each game with raw, eager determination to prevail as a team displaying class and integrity. And that’s something you just can’t buy…
And while Mr. Manziel was showing his lack of class on the field, another quarterback was showing his abundance of class off the field. Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron was featured in ESPN College Gameday Profile this week. The profile by ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi tells the tale of a wave runner accident that left McCarron severely injured when he was just five years old. The left side of his face was crushed almost to the back of his head. His parents were told their son would not survive these injuries, and if he did he would be nothing more than a vegetable. But through the grace of God, AJ would prove them wrong and recovered from his injuries over time, leaving the doctors in awe of his progress.
Twenty years later, he would come back to Children’s Hospital, the same hospital where he almost lost his life as a child, on an entirely different mission. He would meet  four year old Cancer survivor Starla Chapman, a very special little girl who would change his life on Christmas Eve 2011, a day for miracles itself.
AJ and little Starla
AJ and little Starla
 McCarron was delivering Christmas presents on this day, when little Starla, a huge Alabama fan,  inspired him to wear a rubber bracelet labeled with a quote: #JustTrust, along with another bracelet with the words Team Starla. Just a couple of days later, her situation would turn grave. By December 27, 2011, the chemo had damaged Starla’s heart to the point that she was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
On January 3, 2012, Starla suffered a seizure and died. Medical personnel successfully revived her after two minutes of chest compressions, but her heart was functioning at only 6%; Starla’s doctors placed her in a medically induced coma. The reality facing this little girl was that her cancer and her cure were both killing her, and a heart transplant wasn’t an option due to the cancer. The doctors wanted to move her to Birmingham or Atlanta, but feared that she wouldn’t survive the trip. But survive she did… and by April 2011, her body was no longer racked with cancer…
 McCarron told how he and Starla formed a bond because he felt  they were both miracles. “We’ve both been through tough times,” McCarron explains in the video. “The doctors both told our families we were supposed to die. To me, we’re both miracles.”
AJ first wore the bracelet in the 2011 Championship game and has become a permanent fixture on his arm, even though Starla has since been declared cancer-free. He also has since been named the child’s Godfather. Their relationship has only deepened over time. Two miracles bonding together….
McCarron wears Starla's bracelet at BCS
McCarron wears Starla’s bracelet at BCS
McCarron is still wearing the bracelet as the Crimson Tide prepares to chase a third straight national championship. His show of support for this child is very endearing. And maybe you could even say it serves as a good luck charm for him as well. Two back-to-back championships ain’t too shabby.
This heartwarming story that has captured the hearts of millions shows that McCarron is a champion off the field, much as he is on. He is a true leader to his fellow players and displays a heart of gold. Isn’t it amazing how all it takes sometimes is just one little person to give you faith.
My hat’s off to AJ McCarron, because even if he does lose, he’ll still be a winner in my book….

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