This is a letter from Alabama head coach Paul Bryant to sportswriter Murray Olderman in 1962. It references a series of ghostwritten columns Olderman produced for the Newspaper Enterprise Association in the wake of Bryant leading the Crimson Tide to the 1961 National Championship. These "as told to" pieces were relatively common at the time and Bryant's autobiography resulted from a similar collaboration with Sports Illustrated's John Underwood. I went back into the GoogleNews Archive and was actually able to dig up this series of articles (although it's unclear how much the paper cut them down from the original versions). One of them, Alabama's Call Postpones Bryant's Retirement, appeared on Oct. 20, about seven weeks after the letter above was dated. It's interesting for the revelation in the title -- Bryant claimed that until he was contacted by Alabama he was actually aiming to step down as a Texas A&M's head coach when his contract expired in '61 to "go into something less ulcerous." That piece was preceded by Bama Not Competing With Pros Who Don't Graduate Every Year and followed with Bear Bryant Gets Most Out of Ordinary Players. A fourth item, Bear Remembers Auburn Game, was published the first week of November.
Over at Remember the Rose Bowl, I've put up a post with this photo (and a few others) of Paul W. Bryant acting as the master of ceremonies for a beauty pageant. It was discovered by the guys at War Eagle Reader and passed along to me. Here's the problem, we know absolutely nothing else about it. The assumption is that it was taken while Bryant was a student at UA but I've done a decent amount of digging and have been unable to uncover anything about the pageant, the location, the date... absolutely zilch. So I'm turning to you, our loyal readership, to help figure out the story behind this photograph.
I was leafing through one of the Alabama football books I've acquired over the past few years and this bumper sticker fell out.
We're almost exactly a day away from Alabama football and the last 24 hours are always the hardest. If you need a fantastic diversion you might want to check out the photograph archive on the Bryant Museum's Facebook page. You'll find some great memories from the history of Alabama Crimson Tide football as well as some questionable sartorial decisions made by Coach Bryant and other folks during the 1970s. But, the fact is, when you are a winner, you can wear whatever you want.
Former Alabama Head Coach Gene Stallings has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A player under Coach Paul W. Byrant at Texas A&M, he was later an assistant under him at Alabama as well. Stallings went on to become the head coach at his alma mater, besting his mentor in the 1968 Cotton Bowl. After a stint as an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys, Stallings was the HC for the NFL's Cardinals. He returned to the college game as the head coach of the Crimson Tide in 1990 and lead Alabama to a National Championship in 1992.