Enough mojo for a few more wins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A lot of people are under the misconception that Alabama’s football team is doing better this year because of the lifting of NCAA sanctions, more stable coaching and the return of injured players.

All those people are wrong.

Alabama is doing better this year because, after years of being lost, the Mojo Pom has returned. Let me explain.

The year was 1992 and Alabama’s team was on a roll toward a national championship.

Before the first game of the season, I purchased a red and white shaker outside of the stadium.

I went to most of the games that year and so did the shaker. It, like Alabama, was undefeated.

There were several close games that year, including the SEC championship game against Florida.

When I got nervous, I would tie the strands of the shaker into knots and it soon looked like it had developed something akin to mange.

Still, to me, the undefeated shaker deserved all the credit for defeating Auburn, Florida and then, in New Orleans that year, Miami.

The shaker went into the 1993 season with high hopes. There were even talks of a back-to-back national championship.

By this point, the shaker was nothing more than a ball of knots connected to a long white stick.

The stick, too, had broken and was held together by a combination of tape and a Band-Aid.

It made it through most of the next season and was confident heading into the annual matchup with Tennessee.

The game was a defensive showdown. In the end, the two teams were tied and as this was before the era of overtime, that’s how it ended – 17-17.

And while it may be like kissing your sister, it wasn’t exactly a loss.

That is, until at the end, the strands from someone’s shaker caught on the ball known as Mojo Pom and snapped it in two.

It went flying and the top part of the shaker was lost in the crowd. I was left holding a stick with a Band-Aid around the top.

Things were never the same since. We lost to Auburn, Florida and LSU that year.

We went on probation – twice. We did win an SEC championship in 1999 only to go 4-7 the next year. Dark days were ahead.

Then, right before the start of this football season, I was cleaning out an old box when I came across a white plastic stick with a Band-Aid on one end.

It was all that remains of the Mojo Pom.

I picked it up and added it to my collection of Alabama memorabilia.

During the first three games of this year, I have kept the remains of the Mojo Pom with me during each Alabama game. And, though it is broken, it seems to still work.

Maybe it has enough mojo left to carry us to another undefeated season.

But if it doesn’t, I hope it still has enough to beat Florida, Tennessee and Auburn.

It might seem a lot to ask of a broken shaker, but I think it’s about time we had some good mojo.

Leada Gore serves as publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at mailto:leada.gore@hartselleenquirer.com