I just needed to, by “HT.”
I’m no blogger…… My writing consists mainly of to-do lists these days. But there are moments in your life when you’re so overcome with emotion that you just need to write. Helen Keller once said, "Character cannot be developed in ease & quiet. Only thru experience of trial & suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved"…. Nobody knows this better than Coach Mal Moore.
Saturday, we lost one of the last links to the days our grandpas always told us about. This generation has learned to equate the phrase, ‘The Good Ole Boys’, with smoky back room corruption and hundred dollar handshakes. And that’s not entirely a myth…
But Mal Moore represents the best of us. He loved this university like no one else. He served this university like no one else. I could go on and on about his 10 national championship rings, his overwhelming devotion to his beloved wife, Charlotte, his forward thinking that has made our athletic program a dynasty. I could…. But I’m gonna leave that to the real writers.
Instead, I want to enlighten you with ‘The HT’ perspective….
Before last May, I’d had limited dealings with Coach Moore. Okay, let’s be honest. I had seen Coach Moore in the hallways a few times while serving as a recruiting hostess for the athletic program back…. Well, a ‘few’ years ago. But being the ever devoted Bama fan and low-man-on-the-totem-pole booster, I always try to catch Crimson Caravan each year. My mom and I made our way down 280 and into the conference center. Armed with a glass of wine, I was feeling exceptionally bold. Backstory: I’ve been to every one of these and yet to meet Nick Saban. These people are for real. I didn’t camp for the new iphone, I didn’t camp for….. Well, I don’t camp. So needless to say I wasn’t standing in that nonsensical line.
As I’m going thru this whole diatribe to my mom, when what to my wondering eyes do appear? Coach Mal Moore, y’all….. The man who can be argued as the most important person in the history of our athletic program is walking right by me. Seriously? I got this….
So here I am, in retrospect, looking more like Harvey Updyke than I probably should have. After all the pleasantries, I asked him, “Coach, what would you have done had Saban not boarded that plane?”. His response, “Miss Heather, I’d be in hiding on some foreign beach”… He then went on to discuss our program for at least 15 minutes. The conversation ended and my very weak knees managed to find our table.
Hours later, as we were leaving the conference center, I spotted Coach Moore on the sidewalk alone. In good humor, I said, “Coach Moore, do you need a ride home?”. His response, “Ms. Heather, you’re so kind. But my ride is pulling up.”
Coach Moore never needed acclamation. He just had a love for his gorgeous wife Charlotte, backup quarterbacks, and all things Crimson……
P.S. Any man that remembers your name, let alone adds Miss to it, listened to his mama somewhere down the line….