Since it is Halloween and because I'm feeling more gutted than the two pumpkins sitting on my front porch, I thought I would give you the most frightening thing I've spotted over the course of the year. Ladies and gents, the man you see above is a true, unadulterated fanatic, Mr. Nathan Davis, formerly of Dothan, Alabama, now of Fort Collins, Colorado. For those of you not schooled in the ways of Deep South college football, that image on his back happens to be Paul "Bear" Bryant, the legendary coach of the University of Alabama and distant relative of yours truly. And it's not just the tat that gives Mr. Davis that frightening to the point of terrifying appeal. That happens when he explains his love of Alabama football and the Bear. A few select quotes:
"My co-workers and people at the gym are like, 'Why would you put a picture of another man on your body?'," Davis says. "And I'm like, 'That is not just another man. He is a disciple to me.' People don't understand. It's a religion."
"They showed a picture of Bear Bryant, and my grandfather said, `That's one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth beside Jesus Christ and General (Robert E.) Lee," Davis recalls. "Then I heard the coach talk, and I fell in love. I'll never forget it."
"I got divorced, and I would say 50 percent of that was because of my love of football," he says. "She couldn't take Alabama; she couldn't take football. And it is my life."
"One of these local Colorado men asked me, 'What has UA ever done for you?'," he says. "I thought on it for a second and said, 'Sir, my mama always told me it doesn't make a difference how you find God, as long as you find him. And through UA, Bear Bryant, and Van Tiffin, I have found God.'
"He then said, 'You people from the South are weird.'"
Seriously, if you see this man heading down your driveway to collect Halloween candy (I suspect he'll be wearing a houndstooth hat), lock your door.