| FTBL How many of you are familiar with the name Walt Gary? ALABAMA's SuperFan has passed away

TerryP

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I caught a note earlier today that Walt will be on tomorrow. If you get a chance, it's likely worth the watch (Rinaldi story? I don't know.)

Here's a quick synopsis of Walt from Southern Living magazine.

In the South, there aren't many things that will bring people together (or tear them apart) quite like college football. Many of us grew up going to games and wearing team colors, and there are plenty of folks who might consider themselves the best and most loyal fan of their team. Unfortunately for all the University of Alabama fans out there, we’ve found the Crimson Tide's No. 1 fan. His name is Walt Gary, and he shakes head football coach Nick Saban’s hand every Thursday night as he gives the coach his score prediction for that week’s game.​
Walt has been going to Alabama football practice every Thursday night for 22 years, a tradition that started while Gene Stallings was head coach. He gives the coach his score for the week, and, even if it’s a tough game, he always picks Alabama to win. Walt has met and befriended more University of Alabama sports legends than we can count, and he even has a national championship ring of his own. Any University of Alabama fan would stare in awe at Walt’s wall of pictures and autographs in his room. Walt doesn’t own many (if any) clothes that aren’t stamped with an Alabama logo, and he picks out what he’ll wear to next Saturday’s game a week in advance.​
Walt has worked at the University’s book and supply store for more than a decade, and he knows every Alabama football player by name. When he’s not cheering on an Alabama sports team, you’re likely to find him flirting with pretty girls. Walt is 34 years old, and he has Down syndrome. To him, though, it’s “Up syndrome.” We can imagine that it might be hard for someone who’s undergone four open-heart surgeries to have a positive attitude, but Walt's contagious joy defies the odds. The only time he’s really unhappy is when a University of Alabama sports team doesn’t win. Even then, he’s always looking forward to the next game.​
Walt’s positive outlook on life has affected more people than we can imagine, and he’s got the friends to show it. Of all the countless friends Walt has, though, he says that his very best friend is God. “God will make sure that I go to work tomorrow and have a good day and smile. My saying is: The quicker He smiles, the quicker I smile,” Walt says.​
We know a lot of mega football fans in the South, but after meeting Walt Gary, we think he deserves the top spot. Some may even say he’s a legend.​
 

TUSKtimes

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I know about Walt Garrison, is that close enough?
 

rick4bama

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bamaledge

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There is a bit of dust in here!
Nice story.
 

rick4bama

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Now I remember him from last year? Someone here posted a video!
 

rick4bama

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Put a tears in your eye! :crying:
 

TerryP

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He was one hell of a fan.
 

BamaFan334

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Dang, sad news. Sorry to hear this. I really enjoyed the stories told of him and seeing other footage on Instagram. RIP buddy.
 

bama alum

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This guy with his "Up Syndrome" brought a smile to everyone with whom he interacted, especially at the UA football complex. God bless his family in this difficult time.
 

UAgrad93

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I had the pleasure of meeting Walt when I was doing my practice teaching at Verner Elementary in T’town. Walt was a 2nd grader and was the life of the class!!! It was never dull when you had Walt’s group!!! Dee Hicks, the PE teacher there at the time and my coordinating teacher, came to me at the end of class one day and asked if I would go get Walt. I told her that I would and asked where he was. She pointed toward a stand of trees. I said, “so he’s hiding behind a tree!” “No! He is IN one of those trees!” Dee answered.
I had to climb 12-15ft up into a sweet gum tree to get him! I had talked with him before going up, but anyone that has met a person with Downs will tell you that being stubborn is their #1 trait. Walt always had a way with the ladies, even then. His teacher was young and attractive and I explained that she would be upset if he stayed in that tree. After 10-15 minutes, he decided it was time to come down. I will always remember that moment with Walt and will cherish it forever. RIP Walt! You will be missed buddy!!
 

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