In our society, there are many ways to show excitement and jubilation in response to something favorable. The world of sports uses many gestures that suggests to the viewer that something amazing just happened, and the reactions given only enhance the feat. For Michael Jordan, it was the fist pump. Barry Bonds would take a long pause and everyone knew then his ball was likely headed to McCovey Cove. In the 1988 NBA three-point contest, Larry Bird put one finger in the air as soon as he shot his final ball signifying the shot was good before it reached the basket.
In fewer instances, celebrations rarely happen before said feat has been accomplished — unless your name is Lane Kiffin.
If we rewind back to last season, there were several instances in which the Alabama Crimson Tide‘s offensive coordinator seemingly predicted a touchdown as soon as the ball was snapped. Take for instance last season’s Iron Bowl against the Auburn Tigers in which a play designed for Amari Cooper was executed to perfection, and Kiffin was so confident, one could see him signaling touchdown before the ball was ever thrown.
Now, that takes boy genius to another stratosphere. It’s not uncommon for coaches to feel a certain way about a play they called, but to have that feeling, that inkling that what you drew up is an indeed certainty is enough to have opposing defensive coordinators on the lookout for Kiffin’s gesture.
Let’s be clear, this wasn’t something Kiffin did from day one. After last year’s starter Blake Sims continued to establish himself as the outright leader of the offense and one Kiffin could trust to orchestrate his home run shots drawn up during a timeout, his brewing confidence turned into an outright swag that manifested itself into message board chatter about what play Kiffin will use his telekinetic powers on next.
As things stand now, there is a two-way battle for the top quarterback spot between Jake Coker and presumably Alec Morris or Cooper Bateman. Unlike Sims, Kiffin has had these three quarterbacks under his tutelage for now going on two seasons. The trust he may not have had in Sims early on will be on full display starting tonight against the Wisconsin Badgers when at least two of the above names will likely take snaps depending on the flow of the game.
While many in Tide nation are expecting a heavy dose of Derrick Henry along with the other running backs, don’t be surprised to see a few downfield shots to some very talented receivers.
And if the feeling is right, don’t be surprised to see the outstretched arms of Kiffin signaling what all Tide fans hope to see early and often. For all of the teams on Alabama’s schedule just know this, when you see Kiffin throw his hands in the air, that’s yo behind.