We Want ’Bama: A Season of Hope and the Making of Nick Saban’s Ultimate Team

Grand Central. Nov. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781538716298. $28. SPORTS
Journalist Goodman writes a true believer’s look at University of Alabama football. The book purports to make the case that the 2020 Alabama College Football National Championship team is the greatest unit in sports history A large portion is devoted to politics, which will induce many readers to skip over the pages of polemics or close the book altogether. Even when the political slant diminishes about two-thirds of the way through, Goodman’s hyperbolic gonzo journalism style makes the book largely unreadable. In this non-chronological grab bag of the author’s stream of consciousness, it’s hard to get a sense of the 2020 season or of the Crimson Tide’s magnificent accomplishment on the field. Goodman ambitiously tries to provide a comprehensive discussion of racism, Southern and Alabaman customs and history, the state’s passion for football, the school’s financial dedication to the sport’s preeminence, the coach’s obsessive attention to all details, several remarkable key players, and some peripheral local social media stars. In execution, however, it’s a dizzying mishmash that fails.
VERDICT Confounding, overblown rhetoric dooms this intended salute to the most recent college football national champion.
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