18" x 24" Giclée
“They were absolutely, by far, the fastest, biggest, strongest team we have played,” said Irish linebacker Danny Spond after Alabama’s BCS National championship win at Sun Life Stadium on January 7th, 2013. The Fighting Irish came into the game ranked #1 in the AP, coaches and BCS polls, sporting an undefeated (12-0) regular season lead by 2012 Home Depot Coach of the Year, Brian Kelly. Before the 2013 National Championship game, the high-powered dynastic football programs at Notre Dame and Alabama had only met six times on the field. After their seventh meeting, Nick Saban’s 2012 team brought home their second straight BCS championship, their third championship in four years, and their ninth AP championship overall.
The foreground features Alabama’s offensive lineup: QB A.J. McCarron (#10), who led the nation in passing efficiency, offensive MVP Eddie Lacy (#42), the William V. Campbell and Rimington Trophy winner Barrett Jones (#75), All-American D.J. Fluker (#76), Anthony Steen (#61), and All-American Chance Warmack (#65). Rick Rush painted Alabama’s first touchdown play as a microcosm of the entire game: the offensive line was able to subordinate Notre Dame’s defensive efforts with solid throws from McCarron and powerful rushes from Lacy. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o (#5) was offset by Anthony Steen’s powerful performance as right guard, which opened up the field for Lacy to maneuver and score the first points of the game. This seminal play set the tempo for the rest of Alabama’s offensive game.
The middleground features two vignettes showcasing the depth of Alabama’s talent. On the right side, Ha-ha Clinton Dix (#6) intercepts a pass deflected by Dee Miliner (#28). On the left, the play following the turnover is depicted as Amari Cooper (#9) is seen catching a 34-yard touchdown pass.
In the background, Coach Saban holds the National Championship trophy mid-chest with a rare grin spread across his face. To his left is his wife, Terry Saban, who stood with her husband and became the team’s symbol for unity. At the beginning of the 2012 season, Coach Saban didn’t think the Tide was in a position to make it to the National Championship after losing so many great players to the NFL draft. However, the team came together and overachieved, and as a symbol of the team’s perseverance and unity, Rick Rush decided to leave individual player’s faces out of the background to highlight the team’s effort as a whole. Coach Saban appears relaxed and at peace as he handles the trophy for the fourth time in his career. Above him, 15 hands indicate Alabama’s collective National Championship wins as Clinton-Dix’s hands reach for the 16th.
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