| FTBL The current status of Coach Bryant: "Why Bear Bryant is college football's Elvis." - ESPN

OldPlayer

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It was a lovely morning in March 1978 on the University of Alabama campus. That perfect hour of post-spring sunrise pop, when the azaleas awaken with the students, petals of color unfurling as the youngsters rolled out of their dorms and marched to class. Amid it all, Reggie Jackson, the New York Yankee who just five months earlier had hit three home runs in one World Series game, was in Tuscaloosa to participate in an exhibition against the Crimson Tide's baseball team on his way from spring training back to the Bronx. "The straw that stirs the drink" was at the height of his fame. He could no longer go anywhere in public without being mobbed. He starred in TV commercials. He was on magazine covers. He was about to launch his own candy bar.

As Reg-gie(!) took a tour of the Alabama campus, a pack of students stopped dead in their tracks. They pointed. They giggled. Had it been present day, they would have filled the memories of their smartphones with a hundred photos, but in this simpler time, they merely broke out into a spontaneous round of applause. Reggie Jackson raised his hand and tipped his cap. As he did, he realized that -- wait... oh, damn... they weren't looking at him. They couldn't have cared less that the freshly minted Mr. October was there in March. A sympathetic hand rested onto Jackson's pinstriped shoulder. "They aren't cheering for you," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner told his star player. "That's for our tour guide."

As Bear Bryant smiled and waved back at the Alabama students, The Boss continued: "Just so you know, if we were in New York right now, this same thing would have happened."

Continued...
 

im4uainva

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A great pair, The Tide and The Bear.

Roll Tide, and R.I.P. Coach Bryant.
 

It Takes Eleven

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And a happy birthday tomorrow, Coach Bryant.
 

rick4bama

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Great day for us tomorrow. But a bad day for all of us too.
 

sk33tr

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that was a great freakin' read, btw.

got me right in the feels and in the nostalgia button.
 

Bamabww

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Wow, that was a great article. Very well written. Thanks @OldPlayer
 

mando

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Loved the article. I was born in 1964 so I was able to observe the Bear as a fan mainly during the 70's. Love the story about Reggie Jackson. The clip with Reece Davis about the 1973 game with ND brought back some memories also (not good ones). That game is why I rate the 2012 national championship game as my personal favorite.
 

BamaFisher

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So I was watching something on SEC network this evening (believe it was Saturday Down South) and they were talking about how Bryant was an assistant coach at Vandy and was driving to Arkansas to interview for a job and heard about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor and immediately turned around and went and joined the Navy. I never knew that.
It was really interesting to hear about all soon-to-be SEC legendary coaches (Neyland, Bryant, Jordan are the ones I recall) and their respective military service during the era. One of the commentators said something along the lines of how a war changes a coach - football is great, but not the most important thing.
 

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