Legendary Alabama football coach Paul William Bryant, better known as “Bear” Bryant, would have turned 100 years old today. The man isn’t arguably the greatest head coach in college football history — he is the greatest head coach in college football history. The University of Alabama is as rich in football history and tradition as the TFM Intern is incompetent, but even among their vast trove of lore and success, the Bear stands above all as their most esteemed icon.
When I attended the ’09 National Championship game at the Rose Bowl between Texas and Alabama, I was shocked at all the houndstooth attire I saw. Many fedoras were even sprinkled throughout the crowd (my seats were in the heart of the Bama section – it was unpleasant). It was all because of the Bear, the last man that could brazenly pull off a fedora.
He deserves to be honored today — on his centennial. Unfortunately for the Bear, though, he shares his birthday with perhaps the darkest day in United States history — the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And while every other soundly-minded American pulls out their red, white and blue today to honor and remember those fallen on that day back in 2001, the Alabama Athletics Facebook page is asking its followers to support the Bear.
You can guess what comes next: mass hysteria and ugly remarks via the comment section. The comments are 318 deep to this point, ranging anywhere from “RIP Bear! Roll by God Tide!” to “You have go to be fucking kidding me!” I’m paraphrasing.
Here’s one of the more tame comments, from an Auburn fan no less:
This Mark fella seems like a real gentleman. Others in there, not so much.
Image via Indian River Mag