Yesterday, I posted a retort to an article written by a Barn fan that was bashing Alabama. In my post I made some comments about what I called "the cult of the coach," meaning that some Alabama fans put an unhealthy emphasis on Bear Bryant's accomplishments. I should have known that my comments would be misperceived by some. I got the following email about the post:
I dont know who the hell you think you are talking about Coach Bryant like that but you had better watch your mouth...Coach Bryant is dead but as an Alabama fan I am very proud to say that I cheer for his team...he basically put this school on the map and on the top of the league. He is why we are still recognized as much as we are today. You tell me of a school that has had as bad a track record in football as UA(Coaches, recent season records, etc.) that still gets as much attention or credibility as we do. THERE ARE NONE!!! I cant understand why anyone who is a true Bama fan would ever say anything to degrade the respect and love of the UA fans toward Coach Bryant.
I am astonished at that passage or whatever it is and if that is how you feel about Coach Bryant and his fans then maybe you need to see if AU needs an "unofficial" webmaster.
I should have realized that agreeing with an Auburn fan (even vaguely) on that topic was going to draw the ire of fellow fans. When I was working in PR, we figured if you got one angry letter or phone call about something that there were at least 10 more just as angry that didn't write or call.
Please allow me this opportunity to publicly show my reply and to try to clarify what I meant in my original comment:
Thanks for writing. I had a feeling my comments would be misunderstood (more than likely due to the fact that I didn't provide a clear enough explanation.) I LOVE Coach Bryant and even though I didn't see my first Bama game in person until 1984, I remember watching the Bear Bryant Show on Sundays with my dad as a little boy.
The point I was trying to get across is there are two ways to approach a legend like Coach Bryant.
1) To honor his accomplishments by naming a stadium after him, naming the museum after him, as well as high schools, roads, etc. and use his brilliant coaching accomplishments as a foundation to propel the team ahead in the future and to keep things going as well as possible and as much like Bryant did when he was at UA
2) There are those that are so devoted to what Bryant accomplished that they won't even give other coaches a chance and are so negative that they'll never be happy with what anyone does. I believe those type of people to be in the minority, but they're an obnoxiously loud minority. I think of people calling for Curry's head the year he won the SEC Championship or those that weren't happy with Stallings even after the '92 National Championship (Bockrath was such a dingbat.)
Please understand that I was in no way trying to denigrate Coach Bryant or those that honor his legacy, but I was speaking out against the vocal minority whose attitude is detrimental to our program.
Everything I've ever read about Coach Bryant portrays him as a tough but FAIR man, and I think even he would be appalled at some of the unfairness his successors have faced.
Thanks again for writing & I hope you continue to read the site