As expected, many have weighed in with tributes to the life of Coach Mal Moore. Since his passing is without question the story of the day for Alabama faithful, it seemed appropriate to dedicate this week's edition to him. Some of the best quotes from the weekend:
"It never gets old, and the best part is seeing all these great Alabama people soaking it all up," said Moore, his smile as wide as the gaping holes the Alabama offensive line punched in the Irish defense that night. Seeing the immense pride draped across Moore’s face in both of those instances is something I’ll never forget. His love for Alabama was legendary. The same goes for the way he so selflessly and humbly served his beloved alma mater for more than 50 years.
"Mal was truly a special person in every sense of the word," the coach (Saban) said. "We can talk about all the championships Mal has been involved with, but I think what will be remembered most was the man he was. He always put the best interests of others ahead of his own, he carried himself as a first-class gentleman, and he helped bring out the best in those around him. "Mal was an outstanding leader in terms of all he did for Alabama athletics. Most importantly, he was a great friend to me and my family. Mal was the number one reason we decided to make the move to Tuscaloosa."
"I was on the coaching staff when he played at Alabama. Coach Bryant used to tell me on a number of occasions, 'Now don't forget, Mal Moore is just as good of a football coach as you are.' Coach Bryant had great respect for him..."
"One of the jobs I think he did that was just outstanding when I joined the St. Louis Cardinals. I was coaching at the St. Louis Cardinals and I hired Mal. He'd not had any professional experience at all, and yet within just a short amount of time he had earned the respect of those pros. Most of the time a professional player hadn't got a whole lot of respect for somebody who hadn't played pro ball. That's not always the case, but a lot of times it is. Mal earned the respect of the players there in St. Louis and Phoenix. Just did a fabulous job and just did an outstanding job of when we were together at Alabama."
Mal Moore was a gentleman. As a player, coach and administrator, he carried himself with a sense of class. When events didn't break his way -- and they often didn't -- he wouldn't show his frustration. He was analytical; he'd learn from his struggles and count them as blessings.
As much as Alabama meant to Bryant, if such a thing’s even possible, it may have meant a little bit more to Mal Moore. It may have been too much to live without. The terrible inevitability of Moore’s passing doesn’t soften the blow. It’s hard to imagine that you can go to an Alabama football game next fall and not shake his hand in the press box or share a word with him on the sideline. The place won’t be the same without him.
RIP, Coach Mal. Roll Tide.