Standing on the field in the waning moments of recent Bowl Championship Series finals, I watched Alabama and Auburn fans rejoice. I couldn’t help feeling happy for them.
It took me back to a December night in Chattanooga in 2002. This hoarse Western Kentucky graduate delighted in the final moments of Western’s 34-14 rout of McNeese State in the Division I-AA national championship.
I still have a yellowing copy of the next day’s edition of my hometown newspaper, tacked to my divider wall.
I say all of that to say that I’m happy for Dick Coffee. I never met the decades-long Alabama super fan who passed recently, but I’m happy at what he saw in his final years.
The guy who attended 781 consecutive Tide games from 1946 on saw Alabama win three national titles in his final four years. From his wheelchair, he saw Alabama release decades of pent-up frustration against Notre Dame for the Tide’s most recent title.
His final score: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14.
I would wish Mr. Coffee to rest in peace, but I suspect he’s doing just that.
Contact Sports Columnist Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org.