I love Alabama football.
I attended the University in the early ‘60’s when Bear Bryant was winning football games just as Nick Saban is today. By the way–even the Bear lost a game or two every once in a while.
My claim to fame is that while eating at the Little Cookie, a burger joint in Tuscaloosa, Joe Namath asked me to pass the salt.
And I take great pride in our University’s growth.
When I was in school, Alabama had 9,000 students and Denny Stadium could seat about 35,000. Today the University has more than 35,000 students—greater than the total capacity of the entire stadium when I attended—and Bryant Denny Stadium seats 102,000.
So why is everyone so despondent when Alabama loses a single game?
Why does our self-esteem crumble when our hopes for a national title are at risk?
Truth be told, Birmingham’s future hinges not on the University of Alabama—but on UAB.
Ole Miss may have upset Alabama last week, but in the same week, UAB was awarded two major grants.
UAB was awarded a $49 million grant to help boost college hopes of low-income students and then the next day UAB won a federal grant for nearly $3 million to help reduce the gap in chronic diseases between blacks and whites in Birmingham.
If we could choose the success of only one institution—we would be wise to select UAB.
Alabama may or may not lose any more games, but UAB will continue to earn grants, hire people, build buildings, and improve the image of Birmingham.
Even better, UAB is also actually winning football games this season.
Heck, my self-esteem is already doing better.
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David Sher is the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising Agency and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).