I am diehard Crimson Tide fan, and in 2011, I was saddened by the devastation that a tornado caused in Tuscaloosa on April 27th. I remember hearing the news reports that a Crimson Tide player, long snapper Carson Tinker, had been ripped from his house by the storm and was later found in a field across the street. I was shocked when I learned that his girlfriend had been killed in the storm. The tornado wreaked havoc on Tuscaloosa and its inhabitants. So, when I saw that Carson Tinker had written a book about it, I was eager to get my hands on it.
In Tinker’s own words, the storm was terrifying in its intensity and devastating with its aftermath. Left injured and bereft, his book is one about healing, coming to terms with loss, and turning to his faith to get him through the hardest time of his life. I didn’t realize how badly he had been injured, how, without dedication and tenacity, his football career could have ended on April 27, 2011. Instead, Tinker persevered through surgeries, wound treatments, and rehabilitation. He even underwent a skin graft in the locker room after a game. Now that is a man who wants to play some football!
Tinker’ story eventually moves from his healing to the 2011 football season, and I love this part of the book. I remember that season, watching the games. Feeling anticipation build with every win and knowing in the back of my mind and all Tide fans’ minds that the words “national championship” were quietly rolling around. Tinker takes the reader through each game. He gives insights into his teammates and coaches, especially Nick Saban and his approach to the team and the game. He explains Saban’s “process” and how the focus is never on winning or losing. I thoroughly enjoyed the firsthand account of what was happening on the field and off, what was going through the minds’ of our players, and what each victory meant to Tinker and the Tide overall.
But this book is about so much more than football. It is about one man’s approach to life and to discovering how he wants to live that life, the path he takes to achieve his goals, and the decisions he makes to live his life in the manner that best suits him. Carson Tinker (as the title suggests) is man of deep faith and that faith plays a huge role in the decisions he makes and the way he lives his life. I’m not a religious person, so I did find the book to be a bit preachy when it comes to faith and God, but, in spite of that, I enjoyed Tinker’s personal account the of storm and playing on a championship team. He definitely has a great outlook on life and quite a bit of wisdom to share.