It’s a Bama Thing! overflows with joy as Rob Lewis blends biographical information with two great loves: his worship of God and his enthusiasm for the state of Alabama, particularly the University of Alabama’s football team.
Lewis divides his chapters thematically and then braids in information from his life, religious beliefs, and appreciation for home. In chapter three, for example (“Red Clay”), Lewis opens with biblical quotes and commentary about clay and how God “the potter” used it to shape him. He transitions into the red clay found in Alabama and its symbolism for development, growth, and strength—and then how he needed to find his place in the world while living in Alabama.
The University of Alabama’s incredibly successful football team, Crimson Tide, he continues, has “Strength of purpose and persistence, as well as character, and they hold up well under intense pressure.” Lewis compares this to the iron oxide found in the red clay. All of this, he believes, was “mixed, blended, and poured into me.”
A black man, Lewis also acknowledges that his state is far from perfect, with an ugly record of slaveholding and civil rights violations, while not dwelling on these issues.
At its heart, this is a book of Christian testimony, which others of the faith can appreciate and perhaps hope to emulate. The author writes in an engaging way as he includes benefits and challenges of Alabama life.
People who are not Christian, however, may find the Bible quotes and mini-sermons unexpected (and perhaps unwelcome) in a book that, from the title and cover, appears to be about the author’s passion for life in Alabama.
Nonetheless, those who appreciate the state and/or its outstanding football team should enjoy his devotion to the Tide, including his “silent prayers” that many football fans will recognize: “Please don’t miss that field goal!”
Also available in hardcover and ebook.