Summarized by Kent Larsen
Men on mission
Birmingham AL Post-Herald 14Dec99 S2
By Ray Melick: Birmingham Post-Herald
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA -- Redshirt freshman Jay Stubbs has played in
nine of the Crimson Tide's games this year, but has yet to catch a
pass. Along with his teammates, he is hoping for a victory for No. 6
Alabama over No. 8 Michigan in the Orange Bowl on January 1st. And
since he will be gone from the team for the next two years on an LDS
mission, a catch in the game would be even better.
Since Jay Stubbs is the son of Alabama quarterback coach Charlie
Stubbs, you would think that a catch could have been arranged. But
Jay says his dad is too busy coaching to get him favors during games,
"He gets so focused during a game, he doesn't even know when I'm in
there. But maybe this time...."
Stubbs leaves on his mission on February 2nd, and will spend the next
two years in Spokane, Washington. He says he has gotten mixed
reactions from his teammates, "Especially next year, with all the
players we have coming back and the talk about winning a national
championship. But I've known this was coming. It would be tough if
I'd just made the decision. But I knew all my life I'd do my mission
when I was 19. I knew I'd play two years, then go.
"People ask me why I'm doing it, but I'd already made the decision.
This is what I'm supposed to do. Some of the guys (on the team) are
excited for me. Some say they'll miss me. They tell me when they win,
I'm still part of it. But I think most of them are excited for me.
And hopefully, when I get back, Alabama will still be winning, and
I'll be part of that."
And Jay has an older brother who has gone through this already. Troy
Stubbs just returned from a mission to St. Petersburg, Russia, and
will report back to the Air Force Academy, where he is also a wide
receiver, on January 3rd. He says that the mission has been helpful
in some ways, "I have a greater desire now, along with an
understanding of work ethic and a better focus on what it takes to be
successful in football. At the same time, it's definitely an
experience I wouldn't trade. I learned a lot about myself, about
people around the world, about their beliefs and cultures and the way
they think. I saw change come to people's lives.
"I found out what I was made of. I look at it as a turning point in
my life. I realize who I am and have a better understanding of my
role in life."
Their father, Charlie Stubbs, agrees, "I don't want my children to be
one-dimensional. I want them to be well-rounded."