Carson Tinker Reflects On Tuscaloosa Tornado Tragedy [AUDIO]
Jacksonville Jaguars long snapper and former Alabama football player Carson Tinker joined The Game on Wednesday night to talk about his book A Season To Remember: Faith In The Midst Of The Storm. The book recounts Tinker's personal experience following the tragic April 27th tornado that ravaged the city of Tuscaloosa, and how the Alabama football team responded by winning the 2011 BCS National Championship.
Carson Tinker was thrown from his house and suffered serious cuts and bruises as well as a severe concussion. His girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, was killed by the tornado. Tinker's book was written as an inspiration to all and he explained to host Ryan Fowler why he decided to write the book.
"The reason I kind of wanted to write a book is because I feel like only the wounded have the power to heal. I want the book to be a positive thing, but I know I have to go through the bad stuff that happened. In the book i take everyone through what is probably the worst part of my life."
He, among other victims, went through an incredible hardship that cannot be easily explained in words. Tinker saw the coaches, teammates, athletic department, and the city of Tuscaloosa come together to help rebuild the broken hearts of all the victims from the tornado.
"From day one Coach Saban, the whole coaching staff, and the whole athletic training staff supported me and just lifted me up. It wasn't just me; it was the whole city. The athletic department as a whole did a tremendous job. I am pretty sure we gave away over a million dollars in resources between money, Gatorade, muscle milk, protein bars, and bottles of water. Everything we had we gave it to the community."
"In terms of me, I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my coaches, training staff, and the whole Alabama football community. Not only physically but mentally."
All athletic teams at the University of Alabama stepped up to help the community. The Alabama football team was honored with the Disney Spirit Award, an award given annually to the most inspirational player or team. Carson Tinker accepted the award on behalf of the football team. He knew that the 2011 group was special for many reasons.
"It's a unique environment to be apart of. It's a part of every football team, but I felt like the level of courage we had that season was truly remarkable."
More than anything, Tinker wants his book to inspire others. He became a stronger man after this experience and he will forever be defined by his mental and physical toughness.
"We got hit with a huge tragedy, but we didn't want to be defined by that. I didn't want to be defined by the tornado. I wanted to be defined by how I responded. Tuscaloosa wants to be defined by how it responded," Tinker said. "This book was part of my vision. I wanted to help people, inspire people, challenge people, and motivate people."
Fans will have a chance to meet Tinker on Saturday, April 19. He'll be signing autographs at the SupeStore Tent on the Quad from 8:30a-12p and at LifeWay from 4-6p.