Monday, October 13, 2014

Ole Miss Road trip> Organization

I spent 12 years with the US Navy, plus I taught a year at USMA, West Point, NY.  I have made a lot of trips with the military, with NASA, with CRU, with lots of organizations but NOTHING compares to this trip with the U of Alabama Intercollegiate Athletics department.  I have never seen any trip as well organized as this one.

We got to the Tuscaloosa Airport an hour before takeoff.  I saw some old friends and made some new ones.  We had come to the airport via our own autos, but the team was coming via buses.  We boarded the plane, and a short while later the team came on.  I watched as one by one they tall guys ducked to avoid smacking their head on the overhead monitor.  One of the last guys, and a tall one, but not too tall, smacked his head.

Everyone had assigned seating, with the Athletic Director and those of highest status in First Class, and the rest of us, including coach Saban, back in coach with the team.  We took off very close to on-time, not always true in the airline industry.

At the Memphis Airport, the 5 large Gray-hound type buses were waiting for us.  We deplaned and loaded quickly and headed for Olive Branch, MS.  We made the 25-30 min bus ride with a police escort, but more on that later.  Upon arrival at Whispering Woods motel, we grabbed our bags and walked into the lobby where all the room keys were organized by "group type".  I easily found my envelope with my Name, room number and key, ready to go.

I carried my stuff to my room and took a look at the small laminated schedule I had been handed.  It listed every activity and every time.  The next real evolution was dinner.  At the appointed hour, Coach Saban walked through the doors into the huge dining area. Everyone quickly followed. Thirty minutes later, most everyone had eaten and left.

About 45 minutes later were meeting for the offense and a separate one for the defense.  Everybody was on time and all business.

And so went everything.  All on time, all organized.  No one messing around or messing up.  Like clockwork.


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