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Time interviews Bryant - 1961

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#1
Noah

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Friday, Nov. 17, 1961
A Bear at 'Bama

Football coaches, like television cowboys, fit neatly into two categories: the good guys and the bad guys. Alabama's Paul W. ("Bear") Bryant, 48, is by choice one of the bad 'uns. He is a shrewd recruiter, an admitted plagiarizer of football tactics, a chronic weeper, and a flagrant headline chaser. He drinks Salty Dogs (lime juice and gin), runs up scores, browbeats sportswriters, cusses his players, and believes in corporal punishment—usually, a size 12-D shoe applied to the seat of the pants. He also collects slogans: "A moral victory is like kissing your sister." "It requires little effort to be a loser; anyone who tries can be successful." "Winning isn't everything, but it beats anything that comes in second." An arrogant professional who guarantees results and brooks no meddling by faculty or students, Bryant is college football's most controversial coach.

He may also be its best. Says former Georgia Coach Wally Butts: "In Alabama, an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in Bear Bryant."

There are few nonbelievers. Since he chucked a $105,000 contract at Texas A. & M. in 1957 to sign on at floundering Alabama ("Mother called," he explained), Old Grad Bryant has compiled a won-lost record of 27-6. In 1959, the still-building Crimson Tide went to the Liberty Bowl and lost to Penn State 7-0; last year, once-beaten Alabama was ranked ninth in the nation, played Texas to a 3-3 standoff in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Last week, on the strength of its crushing 66-0 victory over Richmond, Bryant's unbeaten, T-formation squad topped the Southeastern Conference and was pressing No. 1-ranked Texas for the national championship.

Carte Blanche. Seldom have a school's football fortunes improved so abruptly: in the three seasons before Bryant took over, once-proud Alabama had won only four games. Armed with a ten-year contract (at $17,500 a year) and carte blanche from indulgent university officials, Bryant moved quickly. "First we held a lot of contact practices for the holdover players," says Assistant Coach Gene Stallings. "We wanted to find out who could run and who could hit—who wanted to play football. It was plenty rough." When one battered youngster quit the team in disgust, Bryant raided his locker and threw his clothes out into the street. "I wanted the others to learn," says he, "that it doesn't pay to be a quitter."
Desperate for new grist for Alabama's busily churning football mill, Bryant and his ten assistants scoured a three-state area, staged coaching clinics, later even enlisted the assistance of Alabama's Governor John Patterson.

With each young prospect Bryant's approach varied: sometimes he was fatherly and cajoling, sometimes he was tough and terse. To wavering Tackle Prospect Steve Wright. Bryant rasped: "Steve, we were considering you, but I think I've changed my mind. You don't have the guts to play for Alabama." Wright begged for a chance to sign. To compete with such entrenched Southeastern powers as Auburn and Mississippi, Bryant upped the ante: he promised first-class meals and travel accommodations, persuaded Alabama officials to enlarge the school's stadium (from 32,000 to 43,000 seats) and build a stereo-equipped dressing room, a swimming pool, and a "hospitality house" for entertaining rookie prospects and their parents.

Gravy Train. Bryant's salesmanship paid off. A steady stream of sturdy stalwarts rode the gravy train to the oak-dotted Tuscaloosa campus, eager to knock heads and — in Bryant's words — "suck up their guts" for dear old 'Bama. Halfback Mike Fracchia (6 ft. 1 in., 186 lbs.) came from Memphis, Tenn., because "I wanted to play on a good team and I knew Coach Bryant was going to turn one out." Among Bryant's first batch of hand-picked recruits were two of Alabama's brightest stars: Quarterback Pat Trammell and Tackle Billy Neighbors— both strong candidates for All-America and standout pro prospects. An A student in predentistry, rangy (6 ft. 2 in., 193 Ibs.) Quarterback Trammell is a bruising runner whose accurate passing (54 completions in 93 attempts, only two interceptions) has even surprised Bryant. Blocky (6 ft., 229 Ibs.) Lineman Neighbors, iron man in Alabama's sturdy forward wall, has started 26 straight games, plays both offense and defcase, anchors a rugged defensive line that has allowed opponents only 130 yds. a game.

Granite-faced Bear Bryant (he earned the nickname wrestling a bear at the age of eleven) reports for work each day promptly at 5:30 a.m., sometimes spends the night sacked out in his spacious office in the Alabama gym. On the practice field he is a relentless, brutal taskmaster who orders players, managers, trainers and coaches alike through every drill on the dead run. Off field or on, he lives, eats and breathes football with an angry fervor that few rival coaches can pretend to understand. At 7 one morning, so a Bryant legend goes, Bear picked up his phone and dialed Auburn University's athletic office, trying to clear up a ticket hassle. "Let me speak to Coach Ralph Jordan, please," he asked. Jordan was not yet in. Neither was Ticket Manager Bill Beckwith. "Hmmm," said Bear Bryant, "you people don't take your football very seriously over there, do you?"

Find this article at:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,939336,00.html
After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah

#2
CrimsoNation713

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Nice find noah.
"Whenever I see those crimson jerseys and crimson helmets, I feel humbled to have played football for Alabama. Other players in the NFL talk to me about their schools and their traditions. I just smile knowing the immense love Alabama fans have for our school and its football program. I'm proud to be a part of that Crimson Tide heritage."

-- Derrick Thomas

#3
Noah

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All Along The Watchtower Jimi Hendrix -

All Along The Watchtower

There must be some kind of way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
Theres too much confusion
I cant get no relief
Businessman they drink my wine
Plow men dig my earth
None will level on the line
Nobody of it is worth
Hey hey

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke but uh
But you and I weve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hours getting late
Hey

Hey

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Bare-foot servants to, but huh
Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were approachin
And the wind began to howl
Hey
Oh
All along the watchtower
Hear you sing around the watch
Gotta beware gotta beware I will
Yeah
Ooh baby
All along the watchtower

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After everything is said and done, more is said than done. - Noah