From the Publisher
"To be Crimson Tide is an honor because of the history and tradition. I never felt I did anything except be with a great bunch of guys. But being any part of it makes you humble because of the greatness that was there. And to be a small part of it makes you want to know about it, to learn about it. And you appreciate what other people have done." Joe Namath, quarterback, 19621964 "I think coach Bryant, at the heart of things, was a teacher. He wanted to impact young men, and I think he understood the greater worth of the game. His motivation was to win. That was his highest motivation. But his second was to have a positive impact on players, and I think he did a good job of that." Johnny Musso, halfback, 19691971 "It may be that the reason I was so comfortable here was that the people were themselves. No one was trying to put on a face for you. It was, This is Alabama. This is what we are about. It was so natural and made you feel real, real comfortable. Youd go to other places and people were going out of their way to impress you. Think about it in terms of people you meet. Would you rather be with someone who was trying so hard to impress you, or someone who was just himself, natural?" Mike Shula, quarterback, 19841986, and head football coach
From the Inside Flap
Excellence in college football is measured in many ways. By just about any measure, however, The University of Alabama ranks at or near the top: wins, national championships, SEC championships, bowl appearances, bowl victories, number of All-Americans, 10-win seasons, top-10 finishes. This impressive list would not have been possible without the contributions of some extraordinary men. And none was more extraordinary than former Alabama player and head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, the man who has come to define Alabama football and all its greatness. In What It Means to Be Crimson Tide, former football coach Gene Stallings has brought together many of these extraordinary men. From every decade since the thirties, they share their stories in their own words, describing Bear Bryant, Alabama football, and one of the most memorable times of their lives. Alabama legends Bart Starr, Lee Roy Jordan, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Ozzie Newsome, Mike Shula, Cornelius Bennett, Ray Perkins, and Harry Gilmer reflect on their years in Tuscaloosa. But this book is not limited to the All-Americans and stars. As Bryant once said, "Alabama hasnt won because of its All-Americans, but because of the men who werent All-Americans but didnt know it." In this spirit, What It Means to Be Crimson Tide also includes stories of such unsung players as 175-pound nose tackle Terry Rowell, tackle-eligible pioneer Jerry Duncan, and Mal Moore, a career backup quarterback at Alabama who came back to the school and created the wishbone offense. Two themes recur throughout the book: the deep sense of pride each individual has for Alabama, including the honor he felt in wearing the Crimson Tide uniform, and the profound influence Bear Bryant had on the university, an influence perhaps unmatched in college athletics. There are some fresh insights and anecdotes about Bryant that will delight and enlighten even the most die-hard of Alabama fans. What It Means to Be Crimson Tide is a moving, evocative, revealing, and highly entertaining tribute to what makes Alabama football such a special experience.