The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Who Is This ‘David Hookstead’ Person, and Why Does He Hate Success?

Posted on | September 4, 2021 | Comments Off on Who Is This ‘David Hookstead’ Person, and Why Does He Hate Success?

This afternoon, the University of Alabama begins its football season against Miami in Atlanta at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and Friday night it just happened that I saw a Daily Caller headline: Releases Chilling Alabama Hype Video

So I clicked and watched the video:


Awesome video, but I also read this in the Daily Caller article:

I’m not an Alabama fan at all, but I’ll be the first to admit that the hype video above might be the best one I’ve seen during week one.

WHAT? How can you not be an Alabama fan, unless you’re from Auburn? And I immediately wondered, “What scumbag wrote this?”

David Hookstead
Sports And Entertainment Editor

Freedom lover, king of Wisconsin Badgers athletics, college football expert, diagnosed as a Detroit Lions fan at birth and cold beer enthusiast.

Oh, a Wisconsin fan. Remember the 2015 season opener, boy?

ARLINGTON, Texas — Derrick Henry rushed for 147 yards with three touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama ran away with a 35-17 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin in the season opener for both teams Saturday night.
Jake Coker got the starting nod at quarterback for the Crimson Tide, and was 15 of 21 passing for 213 yards and a touchdown while playing until late in the third quarter.

That was a great season, although it included one of the most painful experiences of my life, when we lost to Ole Miss. We had the whole family watching, and it nearly killed me to watch ‘Bama lose that one. Of course, the Crimson Tide bounced back from that defeat, went on to win the SEC Championship, and eventually won the National Championship by defeating Clemson 45-40 in a thriller, where Kenyan Drake returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and ‘Bama got an onside kick.

That was our fourth National Championship in seven years and, depending on who’s counting, the Crimson Tide has won somewhere between 13 and 18 national championships over its football history.

How can you not be an Alabama fan, unless you hate success?

Ignorant people (among whom David Hookstead must be categorized) may wonder why Alabama (and the South in general) is so crazy about college football, and the answer is, history. We need not go into a lengthy recap of the causes of “The Late Unpleasantness,” as polite 19th-century Southerners sometimes called what was otherwise called The War (there was no other war worth speaking of, in their memory), but the result was defeat — a shameful and humiliating defeat that wounded the pride of a martial people. And the aftermath of that defeat was two generations growing up amid near-universal poverty. It took more than 100 years after The War for the South to recover from the economic devastation wrought by invasion and conquest. America’s history books have generally ignored the vast economic gap between North and South during the decades after The War, as if the dire poverty of the rural South were a phenomenon requiring no explanation, or without historical significance.

When you talked to people of my parent’s generation — my father was born on a farm in Randolph County, Alabama, in 1923 — and asked about how poor they were, they’d laugh and say, “But we didn’t know we were poor — everybody was poor!” Sometimes I hear people talk about their impoverished immigrant ancestors from Poland or whatever, and I’m like, don’t tell me about how bad they had it in their shtetl, my folks grew up in Alabama during the Depression. Like the children of Jewish immigrants, my generation grew up with a heavy load of parent-inflicted guilt about how easy we had it, there in our middle-class suburban homes, compared to the hardships of Alabama farm life.

So the South was defeated in war, and plunged into decades of grim poverty, but then they discovered college football.

On New Year’s Day in 1926, Johnny Mack Brown caught two touchdown passes to lead the Crimson Tide to a stunning come-from-behind upset victory over the Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

This was arguably the most important game in football history:

It was more than a football game. It was the chance to avenge the South, to reclaim the valor and honor of the Lost Cause. No longer would this land be known for its hookworm and illiteracy. It would be the home of the best damn football in the nation!
“The 1926 Rose Bowl was without a doubt the most important game before or since in Southern football history,” says Birmingham News sportswriter Clyde Bolton. . . .
Once in California, Alabama coach Wallace Wade feared that his team was being distracted by the photo opportunities that had been arranged by Hollywood press moguls. So he sequestered his players and put them through some of the toughest practices of the season.
Meanwhile, Champ Pickens, a tireless Alabama promoter, began predicting an upset and constantly reminded the players about their obligation to history.
“He wired all the presidents of the civic clubs in Tuscaloosa and told them to send telegrams out to the Alabama players that the honor of the Confederacy was on their shoulders. They had to avenge losing the Civil War by beating these Washington Yankees,” Bolton explained.
No matter that the Yankees in the state of Washington had nothing to do with the South’s defeat in 1865. Even Wade played on loyalty to the region when Alabama went into the locker room at the half trailing 12-0. “And they told me Southern boys would fight,” was all he told his team. . . .
“You can look at the 1926 Rose Bowl as the most significant event in Southern football history,” said Andrew Doyle, a history professor at Winthrop University who has written about the sport. “What had come before was almost like a buildup, a preparation for this grand coming out party. And it was a sublime tonic for Southerners who were buffeted by a legacy of defeat, military defeat, a legacy of poverty, and a legacy of isolation from the American political and cultural mainstream.”

“Remember the Rose Bowl we’ll win then”it’s still in our fight song.

Looking back over the many decades since that first National Championship for the Crimson Tide, and considering everything that has transpired in the history of Alabama and the nation at large, it is remarkable what a role college football has played in uplifting the formerly downtrodden. What a stunning thing to consider how a boy who grew up as the 11th of 12 children in a farm family in Cleveland County, Arkansas, could go on to play for the finest football team in the whole country — undefeated Alabama won the 1935 Rose Bowl, beating Stanford 29-13 — and eventually become the head coach of the Crimson Tide. Yes, I’m talking about Paul “Bear” Bryant, who famously said of his legacy, “I ain’t never been nothing but a winner.”

Damn your eyes, David Hookstead, how can you not be an Alabama fan? Who can be a conservative, after all, and not love tradition?

Even as I write these words, Alabama girls are picking out their gameday wardrobe to include black-and-white houndstooth in memory of Coach Bryant, who died 20 years before they were born — tradition!

My parents met and married at Tuscaloosa where my Dad was Class of 1950, so I was raised up on that tradition. Many a childhood Saturday, we’d travel to Legion Field in Birmingham, where Alabama played most of its big home games in those days. I learned the kickoff ritual of that chant starting with a low rumbling, “Rollll” that crescendoed up to a mighty roar: “TIDE! ROLL!” The finest football team in the whole damned country, and my Dad was an alumni, thanks to the G.I. Bill. Every Saturday now in the fall, my brothers and I will call each other after Alabama scores a touchdown and shout, “Roll Tide!” My kids have continued the ritual of this traditional greeting.

You hate us ’cause you ain’t us, David Hookstead.

In more than 130 years of football, the University of Wisconsin has won exactly one National Championship, and 1942 was a long time ago.

Envy is an unworthy emotion — Wisconsin fans just hate Alabama because we win National Championships and you don’t. You’re scapegoating the Tide for the failure of your own sub-standard team.

Well, I’m an old man and this Hookstead character is an impudent young whippersnapper, but if God grants me another three years of life, I’ll be watching on Sept. 14, 2024, when the Wisconsin Badgers travel to Tuscaloosa to face the might, mighty Crimson Tide.

So we’ve got three years of trash-talking ahead of us, me and Hookstead, and there ain’t no trash-talking like SEC trash-talking.

Oh, hey, sorry to hear about your racist rock, Wisconsin. Y’all so “woke” up there, it’s no wonder you don’t know how to play football. Team probably spent halftime arguing about their pronouns, while they were getting beat by Northwestern last year, and then you played in the Mayonnaise Bowl — what a prestigious honor! — where you managed to beat a 4-4 Wake Forest team. I mean, c’mon, Wake Forest? They’re the Vanderbilt of the ACC. Not a real football team, even by ACC standards.

Wisconsin lost three games last year. Alabama hasn’t lost more than two games in a season since 2010. So who is this David Hookstead, to say that he’s “not an Alabama fan at all,” as if that’s a point of pride?

Well, we’ve got to wait three years to make that son of bitch regret it, but fortunately I married into a family of Ohio State fans, so I’ll get a chance to cheer for the Buckeyes to beat the Badgers if — and it’s a big “if” — Wisconsin can make it to the Big 10 title game. On the other hand, if God is an Alabama fan (and we’re pretty sure he is), then a curse will fall on the Badgers because of the way David Hookstead dissed the Tide, and Wisconsin will suffer a season of defeat and shame.

Drown ’em, Tide!
Every ’Bama man’s behind you, hit your stride!

But we take ’em one game at a time, and today we’ve got beat Miami. I told my brother Kirby, I’ve got a bad feeling about this game.

“What do you mean, a bad feeling?”
“I don’t know. Maybe a terrorist attack.”
“Terrorist attack? At a football game?”
“Well, I don’t want to say the L-word.”

If jihadis drive a suicide truck bomb into the stadium, that would be bad, but not as bad as . . . Well, can’t say the “L-word” on gameday.

Click here to order your Bear Bryant houndstooth fedora.



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