News and Commentary

ROLL TIDE: After Cruel Prank On 7-Year-Old Fan, Alabama Answers With Special Gift
Helmet and ball bag during the college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State University Seminoles on September 02, 2017 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last weekend during the Iron Bowl Alabama-Auburn football game, which Alabama won decisively, 42-13, one devout Alabama fan posted a video of his 7-year-old son crying happily when Alabama scored their first touchdown on a 66-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mac Jones to wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

But as Cody Kirk’s wife Brooke related, someone called their family’s house, pretending to be an employee with the university and inviting their 7-year-old son Brody to come meet the team and Coach Nick Saban. When the family found out it wasn’t true, the Kirks felt terrible for their son.

But a happy ending resulted, as Brooke wrote on Facebook:

As many of you know, someone played a mean trick on our family a few days ago pretending to be an employee with UA and invited Brody to come meet the team and Coach Saban. The University of Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne, found out about it and talked to Cody Kirk. It upset him very much and he asked for our address so he could send Brody a surprise.

This “Bama box” came in the mail today! He included a football signed by Coach Saban and Mrs.Terry and an autographed picture of Coach. Such a blessing. Brody was so excited and so incredibly thankful for this sweet gift! This was just another amazing example of how God works all things for the good of those who love Him. He took this cruel prank that someone played on our seven year old and turned it into a blessing that made my sweet boy so happy. We didn’t avenge. God did. He got the last laugh and we got a Bama blessing. God bless and roll tide!

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, 69, couldn’t be on the sidelines with his team, as he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. ESPN reported that Saban couldn’t “talk to his team starting 90 minutes before kickoff though he still led the preparation during the week.”

“That was really hard, especially the fact that I feel great,” Saban commented.

After being diagnosed, Saban had stated, “We hate it that this situation occurred, but as I said many times before, you’ve got to be able to deal with disruptions this year, and our players have been pretty mature about doing that. We just want to carry on the best we can.”

“He said that he had a runny nose but none of what he described as ‘the cardinal signs of the virus,’ like a fever or a loss of taste or smell,” The New York Times reported.

Jimmy Robinson, a doctor for Alabama, and Jeff Allen, the football team’s head athletic trainer, issued a joint statement saying, “He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.”

The Times noted, “Saban has been among college football’s foremost proponents of recommendations to wear masks and adhere to social distancing, and he even filmed a public service announcement this year alongside Big Al, the university’s elephant mascot.”

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