News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Roll Tide, but go Spider-Man

Regina insisted that Emma Grace must have a University of Alabama cheerleader outfit as we neared campus. Wright, I said, needed an Alabama football jersey.

So with American Express card in hand, we dropped $52 before we ever saw Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Saturday the Tide played Florida.

Emma Grace and Wright Deas are grandchildren and their parents, Mary Grace and Kirk, didn't try to stop us from our foolish spending.

Wright needed his No. 12 jersey to wear to the game. Emma Grace needed her outfit to be properly attired as we took turns pushing her stroller across the Quadrangle.

At 4 and a couple months, Wright is not really into football, but his dad is a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and I thought it was time for him to see a big Alabama game.

I hadn't counted on Spider-Man. Crimson Tide football was no match for the inflatable Spider-Man bouncer set up on the Quad.

"It's 20 minutes until game time," I told his parents.

"Dad we can't leave until Wright gets through bouncing," Mary Grace said. "He will cry."

Five minutes later I gave the 15-minutes-to-game-time alert.

As Wright interacted with Spider-Man, I told his parents I was leaving, and they could find me in the stadium.

"Time to go," Kirk said to Wright, who wailed and wailed and fell down in the grass where he wailed until his father slung him over his shoulder like a sack of feed.

His protest was to sleep through the first half, the halftime show and the opening kickoff of the second half.

He wasn't impressed that Alabama was up on the No. 5 team in the country by 21 points, or that Brody Croyle was hot with his passing.

"When can we go back to Spider-Man?" he asked, when he awakened. And he wanted his sister, who stayed with Regina, and who he suspected was somewhere near Spider-Man on the Quad.

Wright will outgrow Spider-Man, so maybe the crimson and white jersey was a good investment. Who needs a yellow jacket?

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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