Alabama sophomore running back Mark Ingram had carried or caught the ball 321 times in his college career without giving up a fumble, so when he lost the ball in the fourth quarter of a tight game against Tennessee, he took the turnover particularly hard.
His father, also named Mark, had watched the Crimson Tide’s last game from the Queens Correctional Center in New York and called, as always, to discuss the game. Talking through it with his father helped immensely.
“I was kinda beating myself up about it,” the son says, “and he just said, ‘They just made a great play.’ I’m over it now. You have to live and learn.”
The son uses the same phrase to describe how difficult it has been with his father, a former NFL wide receiver and 1987 first-round draft pick of the New York Giants, facing perhaps close to 10 years in prison.