Players, particularly Nick Saban-coached players, like to downplay the role things like revenge play in the course of the football season. They claim it’s not about the externals, that rather, they simply focus on the next opponent and what has to happen on the 100-yard-by-50-yard grid where the game will be played on any given Saturday.
But players, and coaches, are merely human. They surely cannot turn off the satisfaction that arises from besting a previous conqueror, nor can they dull the hunger for such a triumph when an opportunity to undo a previous wrong arises.
At the dawning of the Saban Dynasty in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide was well on its way to being fully Processed. They had bought what their head coach was selling: discipline, relentlessness, resilience.