The other day I was scrolling through a bunch of quotes from the Bear and it hit me — This man was a walking, talking, ocean of wisdom.
As I read through them one by one I found myself enthralled with the timeless pearls of wisdom contained within, many of them relevant to the various aspects of everyday life. Unfortunately I didn't have the good fortune of seeing the Bear coach Alabama, instead relying on books and tales from old timers to learn about his legacy and the man he was. So, in honor of the man that means so much to the University we all love so much, we'll be doing a weekly post surrounding his very words of wisdom. Enjoy.
"My approach to the game has been the same at all the places I've been. Vanilla. The sure way. That means, first of all, to win physically. If you got eleven on a field, and they beat the other eleven physically, they'll win. They will start forcing mistakes. They'll win in the fourth quarter."
If I hadn't told you that quote was from Bear Bryant, would you have thought it came from Coach Saban? I know I would have. It's crazy how similar the two men really are. Reading through the Bear's quotes, he was focused on doing the right thing first, every man doing their job and playing to a standard. He believed in winning with class and being prepared for every situation that life (or football) would throw at you. Sound familiar?
Alabama has been trying to find a replacement for the Bear ever since the day he stepped down as Head Coach. Off the top of my head we have had eight coaches (including Saban) since the Bear retired. Is that true? How insane is that? But have we found the second coming of Bear Bryant in Coach Saban? Sure seems so. They don't look a like but they sure do approach the game the same way.
Hard nosed, physically and mentally tough, dedicated, sold out, and prepared would all be near perfect descriptions of both coaches football teams. And these characteristics are what makes Alabama great. Coach Stallings, Mal Moore and Frank Thomas all had this same aura. In fact, name me a coach who was successful at Alabama who wasn't built this way? Name me a coach who WAS yet didn't have success?
This week we asked could Alabama win a title with a sub-par defense? Maybe the question is could Alabama win without a coach like Saban, Thomas or Bryant? Imagine a run and gun offense or, gasp, Rich Rod at Alabama. Not that those offenses are bad or they aren't good coaches, but defense first, pound and ground, efficient football is what Alabama is known for. And when we have a coach that has this mindset, winning typically follows.
I just hope it doesn't take us another 25 years and 8 coaches to find the next Saban. : /