Like any football fan who watched the National Championship game on Monday night, Justin Thomas was in shock with what he was seeing. But unlike Thomas, most of us were enjoying watching the Tide get rolled. Thomas, who played golf at Alabama for two seasons, was not having fun.
As Nick Saban's team got run out of the building by Clemson on Monday night, Thomas began to go through the gamut of emotions on Twitter. First there was panic, then a little bit of good old-fashioned ref-blaming (he had a point), then pain and then finally, acceptance of what had just happened. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Alabama had lost just three total games before Monday, each one taking a herculean effort from the opposition to beat them. In 2015 it took a few freak plays for Ole Miss to pull off a 43-37 miracle victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The year after Deshaun Watson went full Superman in the title game to edge past the Tide by four points. The year after, Auburn, with the help of its home crowd and some dreadful quarterback play from Alabama's Jalen Hurts, beat their rival 26-14.
But Monday night was unlike any of those losses, a complete and utter dismantling of the mighty Tide that left Thomas and Bama fans everywhere scrambling to make sense of it all.
This was when the game was still competitive, which shows you the psyche of the Alabama fan. Any time they are not up by at least 14, panic sets in. That's just the standard Saban has set.
At this point, Alabama was down big, but as they showed in both this year's SEC Championship win over Georgia and last year's National Championship win over Georgia, no deficit is too large when you have as much firepower as the Tide. Tua Tagovailoa got Alabama down near the end zone to try and cut into the lead, but a couple of no-calls on clear pass interference and defensive holding penalties robbed the Tide of a chance to get back in the game. But no one was going to cry for Bama besides Bama fans.
Tough night for the nine-time tour winner and the rest of the Alabama faithful. But, and Thomas already knows this, he shouldn't worry. A loss like this will only make Bama bigger, stronger and faster. And until Nick Saban leaves, they'll be back in this spot this time every year for many more years to come. Can't win 'em all.