No. 1 Alabama will face No. 2 Texas tonight in the BCS national championship game in Pasedena, Calif., and the Brooks family will be one of many local Alabama fans cheering the Crimson Tide.
But the Martinez family has taken its fanhood a step further. The birth of a son in November gave mom and dad the perfect opportunity to show just how diehard they are when it comes to the Crimson Tide.
In the final week of October, they watched Alabama defensive lineman Terrance Cody block two field goals to save the win against Tennessee and preserve an undefeated record. Sixteen days later, when their 6-pound, 11-ounce baby came into the world, the name was a no-brainer.
"When Cody blocked those two field goals against Tennessee, I told my wife we were going to name the baby after him," Steve Brooks said. "So we named our firstborn after Terrance Cody."
The new Brooks baby was named Terrance Bryant Brooks, the middle name in honor of legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
"It was going to be Nicholas Bryant Brooks, after (Alabama coach) Nick Saban," Steve Brooks said. "But after Terrance Cody blocked those two field goals, we changed it."
While the Brooks family sought to honor Bryant, another Augustan has closer ties to the famous coach. Steve Wright, a sales representative for Humana, played for Bryant at Alabama from 1960-63 before beginning a nine-year NFL career in the 1960s and 70s. The Augusta resident said Alabama's undefeated march through the SEC and chance at a national title has brought back memories.
"It really is good to see they've gotten their act together," he said. "You've got to give Saban credit. The coach is the glue that holds a team together."
Wright is a part of a growing number of Alabama alumni who banded together two years ago to form an Alabama alumni club in Augusta. Club president Jennifer Crumbly said the group has close to 100 active members and about 30 get together each Saturday in the fall to watch games.
"We go to Somewhere in Augusta and reserve the back room, but we might just take over the whole restaurant," she said. "We've all been so thrilled with what's happened this season."
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.