A call from Coach Mike Price

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2003

I picked up the phone at home to check my messages last week, something I’m not exactly disciplined enough to do every day.

&uot;You have one voice mail message,&uot; the electronic woman said.

I pressed all the appropriate numbers and heard silence, a sure sign that the message was left by a telemarketer.

I started to hang up the phone when I heard a man’s voice come on the line.

&uot;Roll Tide! This is Coach Mike Price and I’m inviting you to attend our A-Day game this weekend. Come out and support your Crimson Tide.&uot;

I played it again, just to make sure I had heard it correctly. Mike Price, Alabama’s new coach, had called me.

Sure, it was a tape-recorded message and he doesn’t know me from the next Alabama fan. But still, his voice was on my phone.

I saved it and immediately called Greg, who, as I have mentioned before is perfect in every way except being an Auburn fan.

&uot;Guess who just called me?&uot; I yelled into the phone. &uot;Mike Price. The Mike Price. The football coach.&uot;

&uot;He called you?&uot; Greg asked rather incredulously. &uot;Why?&uot;

&uot;He wanted some information on how I thought the defense should operate next year and how we’re going to fill those holes.

&uot;We talked a bit about the offense, too, though I think he’s got that pretty much in hand. I did express my concern about the kicking game because that’s been a weakness in the past and with the lack of scholarships …&uot;

&uot;You did not,&uot; Greg said. &uot;Did you?&uot;

&uot;Well, maybe we didn’t go into all of that, but he did call me.&uot;

&uot;Was it a tape recorded message,&uot; he asked.

&uot;Um, yes,&uot; I replied. &uot;He was asking me to attend A-Day. But I’m sure he’s going to call back later and get more information on how I think the team should be run.&uot;

&uot;I’m sure he will,&uot; Greg smirked. &uot;Now if Bear called, that would be something…&uot;

Auburn fans. You can’t explain things to them.

All I know is Coach Mike Price had called my house.

OK, so it wasn’t like he dialed the number himself and actually spoke to me, but I’ve never gotten a call from an Alabama coach before.

The next day, I was at ball practice with my nephew and my brother, Lanny. My brother, like Greg, roots for that other team.

&uot;Hey,&uot; Lanny said, &uot;Did you get a call from y’alls new coach?&uot;

&uot;Yes,&uot; I replied, all ready to regale him with the details of my call.

&uot;I hear they sent out about 100,000 taped messages,&uot; he said.

&uot;Yes,&uot; I replied. &uot;But mine was special.&uot;

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Harselle Enquirer. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter