For once, it really is about something good for the kids.
Instead, it essentially took another month for the magnitude of what had been accomplished to start becoming apparent.
It was Oct. 10. Georgia was playing Tennessee, and Bulldogs star running back Nick Chubb suffered his horrific knee injury near the sideline. In addition to the replays, CBS had an overhead camera and another nearby that caught every moment as the medical staff tried to help him. Chubb‘s agonizing pain was on full display for the world to see, even after being helped to the bench.
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Later that evening, Alabama was hosting Arkansas, and Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland was shook up during a play. As he headed toward the sideline, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe zeroed in when the tent sprang up.
“Her jaw just dropped,” Allen said.
Ragland turned out to be OK and returned to the field, and the tent became the story. When she finally got a chance to talk with Allen near the end of the game, her first question was, “What in the world is that?”
It was an immediate hit with the players.
“I love having that privacy,” senior linebacker Reuben Foster said. “I don’t want anybody from back home worried about me or nothing, or somebody to say the wrong thing because it’s really nothing. Just go out there, get an oil change and just come on back out.”
The tent had other advantages that had not been anticipated. As the season progressed, Allen and the other Alabama trainers found that the players were more comfortable and honest when shielded, and fans weren‘t yelling for them to “suck it up” and get back on the field. He especially saw a difference when dealing with concussion issues.
Fans can be such a classy bunch.