Alabama is playing Oklahoma University, and it is my birthday. And I am writing you.
As it happens, I was born during an Alabama game. Coach Bear Bryant’s final match. The Liberty Bowl was playing on the television in the corner of the delivery room the moment I drew breath.
The fighting Illini and the Crimson Tide were locked in heated battle. And by the third quarter, the doctor was holding me by the feet, swatting my white hindparts.
The score was 12 to 14. The University of Alabama was barely ahead.
They tell me that my father almost dropped me when Oliver Williams scored a touchdown for Illinois that nearly tied the game.
He was so upset that he removed his surgical cap, threw it on the ground, then shouted.
My mother says the first thing my infant ears heard was the voice of my father saying…
Well, use your imagination.
The truth is, my father hadn’t wanted kids when he was a younger
man. That’s what my mother told me.
He’d had such a lousy upbringing that he wasn’t going to have children. The details don’t matter, but his childhood was no cakewalk.
But, his best friend’s three little daughters changed his mind. My mother says he came home one night from a barbecue and announced, “I wanna have a baby.”
My mother answered, “Great. Let me know if you need any help.”
They tried, but nothing happened. My mother had a two miscarriages. The doc told her she was barren.
Then, one day my mother saw a greasy televangelist on TV who hollered:
“There’s someone out there who wants a baby, God hears you! Believe, and ye shall have a child!”
That’s all it took. My mother learned she was pregnant with me shortly thereafter, and the televangelist went down in history for being a…