Dear Cade Foster,

Let me introduce myself: My name is Kaitlin Goins. I am a student at The University of Alabama. I am, also, a huge Alabama football fan. There was never another team when picking which fan-base to join, and there was never another university when picking a college. The University of Alabama is, in my opinion, by far the greatest and most wonderful place to attend school. Bryant Denny Stadium is like no other. No other stadium sways to songs like Sweet Home Alabama or Dixie Land Delight. No other stadium has fans standing during each and every play, filling every, single seat. No other team has more than 101,000 fans filling the stadium each and every Saturday. No other team is the University of Alabama.

But today was different because The University of Alabama’s fan-base became like the others.

Today, we had the most heart-wrenching defeat I have ever watched in my 20 years on this Earth. The Texas A&M game last year doesn’t even compare.

But you are not to blame.

You see, we Alabama Football fans pride ourselves in being the loudest and proudest fan-base there is. We fill the quad even on small games, we follow our team at home and away, and we support the Tide every way possible. But this weekend, again, was different.

Perhaps, it’s the rivalry that brought out the worst in some fans, but blame cannot be placed there. Blame, rather, must be placed on fans.

You see, real fans don’t boo the kicker off the field after missing a field goal at the most-pressured game in the year at the opponent’s stadium. Real fans don’t yell hateful comments about any team member, no matter what the error. Real fans stand behind their team all 60 minutes of every game AND every single day of the year.

And, especially in your case, real fans do not forget the back-to-back national titles you assisted in the past two years.

So, I want to apologize. I want to apologize for leaving the UTC game at halftime, no matter how cold I was. I want to apologize for wondering if a single game was worth attending, considering we would murder (insert team name here) anyways. I want to apologize for the frustration I showed after the first quarter of this game. I want to apologize for fans ‘booing’ you. I want to apologize for the hateful comments. I want to apologize for the death threats. I want to apologize for the future interviews. I want to apologize for the future comments.

But mostly, I want to apologize because your fan base did not stand behind you when you needed us the most.

This game was a game to us. Stakes were high, but in the end, other than the nagging comments of Auburn fans, none of us will at all be affected by this loss.

But, this was your last Iron Bowl. This was your last regular season game. This was your last chance to play for an SEC championship. And, unless the football gods favor us this year, this was your last chance to play for a national title.

And we let you down. We let the whole team down.

For four years now, you have sold your soul to Alabama Football. For twelve weeks out of the year, you have faced other players that would like nothing more than to break your legs in half. For 365 days of the year, you have practiced every day. You have focused every day. You have put pressure on your body that you will never ever be able to reverse.

And you did it for us.

And we could not give you a break for one loss. We couldn’t even give you a break for one kick.

So instead of criticizing you, Cade Foster, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for your dedication, your practice, your endurance, and your performance over the past four years, hit or miss, win or loss. Sure AJ McCarron played well, and he had a lot of pressure also. But there is not another player on the team that has the pressure of kicking the game-deciding goal, and that is a lot of pressure. You, Cade Foster, warm up by yourself. You are on the field before any other player, and you are the last off before kick-off, don’t think I haven’t noticed. Sure you have blockers and the ball holder, but it is you who has to be exact, kicking farther than ever before, being perfect every time.

You are the true hero. Without you, there would be no 7, 14, 21 or 28 point lead. Rather, a 6, 12, 18, or 24 point lead.

So Cade Foster, whatever you choose to do after you leave your collegiate career behind, I, Kaitlin Goins, will be behind you. If you chose to play in the NFL, I will follow your career. If I had a fantasy team, you would be my first pick. If you chose to work, I’m behind you 100%. If you chose to start a family, I hope you have the most beautiful kids and dress them in Crimson and White.

And I hope, if I cross your path one day, I will be able to give you a portion of my appreciation. Following your last down at the University of Alabama, and officially being released from the team, I would happily be your first paid autograph.

But even if I never meet you, Cade Foster, I want you–or at least the Alabama fan base to know–this is not the Alabama Football we advertise. This is not the support we gave you at the national championship, and this is not the support you deserve after a heart-aching loss.

So I apologize for all the fake Alabama fans. You have nothing to be ashamed for. And if anyone says you do, show them your two national championship rings and, with class, say, “I ain’t never been nothing but a winner.”

Roll Tide, Cade Foster, Roll Tide.

 

***Please understand any comments containing crude language will not be approved and deleted immediately. Thank you for keeping this blog family friendly.***

853 thoughts on “Dear Cade Foster,

  1. Bill says:

    WOW!!! Beautifully written, beautifully said…truer words were never written. Kudos to you Caitlin and to Cade and to both of your future successes.

  2. Fredrika White says:

    Well said Kaitlin! I’m a huge FSU Seminoles fan and we all have seen our so-call “fans” stoop to that level. Maybe your kind words will quite down the cowards.

  3. kevin says:

    An Auburn grad here. Morons say and do the dumbest things. Anyone threatening Cade should have their butt kicked from Tuscaloosa to Auburn and back. He is a young man who did not have things go his way. Sometimes that is just life. A cruel lessonn, it is too bad that it came at the worst possible time. I agree; give the poor guy a break. He, and the rest of the University of Alabama team demonstrated great dignity in a crushing moment in college football history. I am proud of my team’s biggest rival.

  4. Nick archer says:

    I love what you have done here. While I don’t have the same feelings toward Alabama I do respect what you have said and love that you have tried to open peoples eyes to the fact that he has done great things for your university and deserves the respect of all Alabama fans and all fans. I am a die hard Notre Dame football fan and last year was a tough one for me, but one thing that I will always do is respect greatness.

  5. Kaitlin, you put into words how I’ve felt about football for the last 30 years of my life. If you love your team you love your TEAM and you support them through the good and the bad. My heart ached for Cade because I knew how he would be treated by some of the Alabama football fan base. I am a tried and true New Orleans Saints fan even through the days when brown bags were worn over heads and people referred to our team as the Aints. We still showed up to the Super Dome to cheer our team on and support them. I am a Tuscaloosa transplant and I have come to love and cheer for the Tide and even when they play my beloved LSU I am torn and I cheer for both teams. I do not understand this fair weather fandom that goes on here BUT THANK YOU FOR EXPRESSING THESE WORDS TO THAT YOUNG MAN and the Tide Nation. You have a beautiful spirit and you embody the definition of The Capstone (The top stone or high point). Be Blessed! And again THANK YOU! You make MAKE US PROUD! P.S. This was one of the best games I’ve ever watched, and I’ve been watching football since I was six years old and I’m 40 now!

  6. Lisa says:

    Beautifully said! My heart went out to both kickers and I am an Auburn alumni. I just felt awful for them-you win and lose as a team and true fans do support their teams no matter what. All of my friends who went to Bama are wonderful people and true fans who are always gracious and courteous–as fans should be! Thank you for writing this. I loved reading your heartfelt support of a great athlete who had a tough game!

  7. Shannon Pugh says:

    I am an Auburn fan, but mostly I am a SEC football fan, and I love our great state!! I felt so bad for you because I can’t imagine the pressure you must have felt! You have nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has a bad game now and then and you have been an amazing part of a Great Team!. The people bashing you should be ashamed!! I am hoping that FL State and Ohio State get beat so we can have a rematch for the title =D if not, I just hope we can keep it in the state!! I apologize for the Auburn fans, and the others who have acted so badly! Thanks Kaitlin for giving us this way to give Cade our respect!
    Love from the top of the state,
    Shannon Pugh

  8. Jennifer says:

    I am an Auburn fan and I have to say that this is the best written statement about the Iron Bowl I have read. I was extremely surprised to hear that this young man had received death threats afterward. I couldn’t believe that some fans would resort to name calling and the sort. I have always been an Auburn fan, but yet I have also always respected Alabama team, the effort, and the fan base. It is a game that we have all grown up loving to watch and I wish the best for Cade Foster.

  9. I’m another Auburn fan (but I’ll yell Roll Tide in a heartbeat when it comes to Bowl Games other than the Iron Bowl). My heart goes out to Alabama fans who are saddened, but more over, the young men on the field who played their hearts out. It was an amazing game. Mistakes were made on both sides because we are all imperfect humans. To all the Real Football Fans, be it Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Tennessee, whoever, be a fan of your team and support those boys who give their all for their school’s team and their fan-base’s entertainment. Don’t bow out when the going gets tough. If you claim a team, be a part of it. Own it! But above all, fans, it’s a game. A much loved tradition, to be sure, but in the end, a game. Hold your heads high, boys. You’re a part of a kick-butt legacy.

  10. Adonis says:

    Kaitlin:
    As a Bama fan, I agree that Cade, like most college football players, worked his butt off during his Bama career. But that doesn’t erase the fact that when he was called on in the three biggest football games Bama played during Cade’s time at Bama, LSU 2011, 2012 SEC championship vs. UGA & 2013 Iron Bowl, he missed 8 FGs, 6 missed and 2 blocked. Three or four of the 6 misses weren’t even close. And don’t forget, Cade saw the field only once in the rematch w/ LSU in 2011, and Saban faked that FG. Now I don’t agree w/ death threats and things like that, but he was a Sr. who didn’t seem to improve at all. So, I’m sorry if I don’t agree with all the sympathy that he is receiving right now. I can see if this was the first time this happened, but it wasn’t. And I don’t want to hear, can you do better? No, I can’t because I’m not a trained FG kicker. I also don’t want to hear he’s just a kid that isn’t getting paid to kick. My reply to that would be if he was a professional, he probably would’ve been cut after the 2011 LSU 9-6 game; definitely after Saturday. Sorry!

  11. Amanda McDaniel says:

    I am so happy that someone said everything you just said. As Alabama fans we become accustomed to winning and when we don’t it’s devastating that some of the people in our Alabama family choose to stoop to such low levels. It’s great to see someone actually showing the true Alabama spirit.

  12. I too am an Auburn mom, but I will NOT say anything derogatory toward Cade Foster or any other Alabama player or coaches. Auburn came a long way from where we were last year. We endured many ugly comments, not only from other teams, but from our own fans. The state of Alabama needs to be extremely proud to have National Championships from both schools. I was delirious when we won the Ironbowl, but sad for Alabama, especially Cade Foster. He doesn’t deserve to be criticized. Other kickers have missed field goals. This game should show what real sportsmanship is. Both teams gave all they had to the very end. It was a nail-biting, breath-holding game every quarter and the end was nothing but spectacular. I always root for Alabama to win their games, except, of course, the Ironbowl I truly hope that Alabama fans will pull for us in the SEC game. WAR EAGLE and ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Good job Kaitlin Goins. Your letter shows class, character, and compassion. I don’t know you or Cade Foster but you have set a standard that the rest of us should strive for. And btw I am an Auburn grad. Thank you.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Kaitlin, you have just earned my utmost respect. That was so well thought out and worded. That young man did his best. He didn’t go out there and say, “There’s no way I can do this.” He tried his best. I can’t imagine the heartbreak he feels about the loss. It is too easy to pin the blame on that young man’s shoulders, but as someone said, “you win or lose as a team.”

    Am I disappointed in the result of that game? Absolutely. Am I going to mope about it, threaten a young man’s life? Absolutely NOT. And those that do are no better than the idiot who poisoned the trees in Auburn. Their poison is their words. Shame on you all! Shame on you who do not look at what those young men have accomplished and say well done!

  15. connor marceron says:

    Yeah that whole first paragraph can be swamped by looking up the Football Stadium for Nebraska Football. It trumps Bryant Denny Stadium. Very well thought out and brilliant piece though.

  16. Tatiana says:

    Bravo.!!! That was well said and very well put.! And being a student at UA as well, I could not agree with you more.! This is just what Cade Foster needed. A lot of the people that were taunting and criticizing him have never played a sport in their life, let alone football.! So I thank you for writing this letter, it goes to show that our school still does have some class about it.

  17. Tonya Wallace says:

    Very well spoken Kaitlin. I for one am a True Alabama fan for life. Win or lose. You won’t catch me ever bad mouthing any of our players for having a tough day. It happens folks! Could you imagine having the pressure on you that Cade did? Then the emotions this talented young man had when he missed. Im very proud to have gotten the chance to watch Cade . And no matter what happens, Im always a proud Alabama fan! Roll Tide

  18. Javier says:

    Well, I’m not a fan of Alabama nor Auburn. But Cade has failed to uphold his end. If he were your kicker on a fantasy team, you would never make a field goal if your team made it to the playoffs, since those games are so important, just like LSU and Auburn games. My point: Cade has failed. He’s let down his own fans and Alabama fans. Two years in a row, when he was needed most he put Alabama in trouble, and with some major luck, Alabama managed to get back in the National Championship. Unfortunately, this year is different. There’s no longer a loss that fans may hope for. His failures have led to the heartbreak and tears of all of those other seniors, and players period, at the sight of the title game slipping through their fingers. No rings, no titles, no ticket to California. They only have lost their opportunities at one final way to end their senior year with the ultimate payoff; National Championship victory. To go to practice every day to just kick for however long the practices are while everybody else is struggling through enormous output into the practices physically, he has also failed to keep his end held up for the team. They performed to the best of their abilities, and on several drives, they at least did their jobs to the fullest. Cade did not. He had one job. A job, in which, he failed to perform.

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