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THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF CRIMSON TIDE FOOTBALL

No team in college football can match the unique history of Crimson Tide football. From its humble beginnings in 1892, the University of Alabama has left an indelible mark on college football with its legendary coaches, celebrated players, and a passionate fan base unrivaled in sports. The Complete History of Crimson Tide Football assembles an unprecedented group of university icons that brings readers onto the field and into the locker room, telling the story of Alabama football in their own words. These adventures come alive through more than 300 photographs from the University of Alabama’s official image archives that document the school’s greatest achievements. Filled with championship glory and Alabama pride, The Complete History of Crimson Tide Football is an overwhelming chronicle of football dominance.

The indicia featured on this product are protected trademarks of the University of Alabama.

JOB:22335-13 SLIPCASE

ARTIST: CHRISTA 10-15-13 REV: CHRISTA 10-21-13

FOREWORD BY

JOE NAMATH

INTRODUCTION BY

BILL BATTLE

AFTERWORD BY

NICK SABAN

WITH ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY

Paul Bryant Jr.

Bill Oliver

Van Tiffin

Gene Stallings

Lee Roy Jordan

Don Salls

Ozzie Newsome

Kermit Kendrick

Shaun Alexander

Linda Knowles

Harry Gilmer

John Hannah

John Mangum

Barrett Jones

Jerry Duncan

Cecil Ingram

Murray Legg

Philip Doyle

Eli Gold

Woodrow Lowe

INKS:

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK PMS 201C


Bully VandeGraaf punts against Sewanee, circa 1915.


John Mitchell (97) was a two-time All-SEC selection on defense and later earned two Super Bowl rings as a coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Head Coach Nick Saban holds the AFCA National Championship Trophy after beating LSU 21–0 on January 9, 2012.


table of conteNTS

A Tribute to Mal Moore by Kirk McNair

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Foreword by Joe Namath

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Introduction by Bill Battle

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The Early Years: 1892–1922

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The Roots of Alabama Football Steve Townsend

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The First Championships: 1923-1957 The Third Saturday in October Don Salls

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Bama Born and Raised Cecil “Hootie” Ingram

The Last Rose Bowl Harry Gilmer

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The 1934 Rose Bowl Paul W. Bryant

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Mama Calls: 1958-1982 Legacy Paul W. Bryant Jr.

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Tough Love Woodrow Lowe

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The Beginning Bill Oliver

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Alabama Class Ozzie Newsome

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The Fruits of Labor Lee Roy Jordan

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End of an Era Murray Legg

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Opportunity Knocks Jerry Duncan

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Inside the Office Linda Knowles

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Playing to Your Strength John Hannah

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PARADE OF STARS: 1983-1996 Keep It Simple Van Tiffin

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Peaks and Valleys Philip Doyle

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A Good Deal Kermit Kendrick

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Follow the Plan Gene Stallings

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Enemy Territory John Mangum

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Conference Rivals Antonio Langham

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RETURN TO GLORY: 1997-Present Embracing the Pressure Shaun Alexander

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Mission Accomplished Barrett Jones

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This Is Alabama Football Eli Gold

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Afterword by Nick Saban

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Acknowledgments

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Foreword by Joe

Namath

I

t sounds corny, but football is about life to me—and life is a team effort. That’s one of the things I’ve taught my children. When we’ve done something great, how would we feel if there wasn’t someone to share it with? Or if we mess up, what if there wasn’t someone to point us in the right direction? It’s about “us,” not about “me.” There’s a place for individual responsibility, of course, but life is ultimately about “us.”

I learned that from playing at Alabama, and from playing for Coach Bryant. He educated us, in football and in life, and there are things he said that I still use today—like “The hay is in the barn.” The first time I heard him say that it was 1962, the morning before I started my first game with the varsity. Coach would always take his quarterbacks for a walk, privately, after the team pregame meal to talk about the game. I was the youngest, a sophomore, and I’d won the starting job for the season opener against Georgia. “Joe, have you got the plan?” he asked. “Yes, sir, I think so.” “You what? You think so? Hell, son, it’s time to know. The hay is in the barn.” “Yes, sir, I know so! I know it. I know the plan.” Legend has it that I threw a long bomb for a touchdown on the very first play in the first game I started, but in fact the first play was a quarterback sneak. Back then the quarterback called all the plays, and I called a sneak because I needed to get hit. I was so nervous I had to get hit just to settle myself down. It was a couple plays later that I connected on that long bomb to Richard Williamson for a touchdown, and we went on to beat Georgia 35-0. “The hay is in the barn.” I’ve never forgotten that. I made it a habit after that—as an athlete, as a professional— to go into any practice, any game, any work endeavor, and to know. There wasn’t any “I think so” stuff. I’d work hard to prepare. That’s helped me to this day. Anything I’m going to do, I want to research and to find out everything I can about it. I want to know as much as I can to help me perform at my best, whatever it is. Coach taught us other basic things about living life, like if you say you can’t do something, you won’t. You can apply that to so many things in life, and it’s always stayed with me. He taught us about being honest to yourself and about being honest to those around you, too. These things helped me in more ways than I ever knew at the time. Remember, I was an 18-year-old kid when I arrived at Tuscaloosa. I was from Western Pennsylvania, and I had never even been to Alabama. It was a culture shock for me. I was consumed with sports—football, basketball, baseball—and I didn’t know anything about the world’s issues. But it dawned on me later that Coach was sensitive to that. He previously coached two other Western Pennsylvania quarterbacks, George Blanda and Babe Parilli, before I got to Alabama. And from working with them, Coach understood where I came from. He knew what kind of transition I was going through. And he helped me tremendously. Coach was very sensitive and close to the background of all his players and their parents. He made it a point to do that.

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At a freshmen team meeting, Coach said, “A lot of folks are going to be patting you on the back and shaking your hand because you’re a ballplayer. Don’t hang out with a bunch of clowns; hang out with somebody smarter than you. Hang out with some folks that will help you learn some things and help you grow.” When it came time for me to make a decision about pro ball, he didn’t tell me to go to New York [with the American Football League’s New York Jets]. He didn’t tell me to go to the NFL or the AFL. He told me to make my decision based on the people that I was going to join. He told me to get to know them, beginning with head coach Weeb Ewbank. And that’s how I ended up in New York. Coach did those things for all of us at Alabama. I often wonder why he once called me the greatest athlete he ever coached. It certainly is a great compliment. But when I look at the players that I competed with, and certainly at the fellows after me, I saw athletes that were more gifted than me. If he felt that way, I’m humbly thankful for him having said that. I feel like that was his way to encourage and support me. He would do that for us. He loved his players, and he did everything he could to help us. And we, in turn, came to love him. Not initially, but it developed over time. We wanted to please Coach—it all started with him. And out of that grew our love: for him, for the traditions, for the university, for the fans, for everything that combines to fill our hearts with Crimson. You’ll hear from a lot of Coach Bryant’s players in this book, and from players who strive to live up to the ideals he weaved into the fabric of Alabama football. They’re passing on their stories because they have great respect for what they experienced, and because they appreciate how someone cared about them. Maybe you’ll learn something from it, and you’ll see another point of view of not just how things are, and how they can be. It’s all positive to me. None of us is perfect, not even Coach. But he was trying to be his best, and worked hard to help us be our best. It was a team effort. We’re all a part of the University of Alabama. And it’s a part of us. Joe Namath was the starting quarterback and a captain on Alabama’s 1964 national championship team. He was the first overall pick of the AFL Draft by the New York Jets, with whom he won a Super Bowl championship in 1969 and was named MVP.

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hen the University of Alabama officially opened its doors in April 1831, there were ninety-four students enrolled and four instructors to teach them. Determined to provide higher education in a frontier state, the school set high standards. During the next twenty-five years, the student population expanded, and in 1860, as civil war loomed, the university was reorganized as a military school, training troops for the Confederacy. The student body became the Corps of Cadets, the first line of defense when Union soldiers invaded Tuscaloosa in April 1865. Wilson’s Raiders overcame the cadets and torched the campus, destroying all but seven buildings. One that survived was the President’s Mansion, built in 1841 and still the home of the campus CEO, only a stone’s throw from where Bryant-Denny Stadium stands today. Rebuilt after war’s end, the university reopened in 1871. By 1892, it included a law school, a college of engineering, and 167 students. One of them was William G. Little, who introduced the eastern game of football to the most athletic young men on campus. There weren’t many games at first, and not much fanfare, either. In 1897, the Board of Trustees declared that all athletic events had to be held on campus, resulting in only one game that year. Infuriated by a lack of support and the no-travel edict, the university shut down the football program a year later. A writer in Corolla, the campus yearbook, observed, “We have seen that it is useless to attempt to put out a football team so long as we are compelled to play all of our games on the campus.” However, several football-loving professors endorsed the students’ aims, the program was revived, and, almost magically, Alabama’s evolution into one of the most storied sports teams in college football history was under way.

The Early Years 1892-1922

opposite Alabama’s 1906 team finished the season 5-1 and included victories over Auburn and Tennessee. Auxford Burks, the school’s first star running back, is at the top of the letter A.


Alabama fielded its first team in 1892 under its first football coach, E. B. Beaumont, seen here under the dapper derby.


The historic 1907 Alabama-Auburn game, played at the Alabama State Fairgrounds in Birmingham, marked the final contest between the two teams until the series resumed in 1948.


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The Roots of Alabama Football by Steve

Townsend

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If Bill Little is regarded as the Father of Alabama Football, perhaps the man most significant for the growth of the university as well as the sport is George H. Denny, who assumed the presidency of the school in 1911, when there were only 400 students at The Capstone. The visionary young president believed that football would not only serve as a unifying bond among the students and alumni but would also bring positive publicity to Alabama—both the university and the state. Denny’s dream of making Alabama a national power and playing in the Rose Bowl probably seemed far-fetched to even the most ardent supporter, but that was his vision, and it would soon come true. There were high-tide moments before the 1925 team would earn that first Rose Bowl invitation. History notes, for example, the Alabama-Tennessee game of 1913, when Alabama’s first AllAmerican player, W.T. “Bully” VandeGraaf, refused to leave the field, despite having his ear almost ripped off. How important had football become? That game was being played on Friday afternoon. As the day darkened, the teams and fans refused to leave until the game was completed. Spectators with automobiles drove them up to surround the playing field, turning on their lights to illuminate the field. Alabama would win 6–0, and VandeGraaf, with his ear bandaged, would finish the game, too. Alabama’s first great coach was arguably Xen Scott, a former sports writer, who had come south from Ohio to lead the team to 8-1 and 10-1 seasons in 1919 and 1920. He, too, fielded some gifted players, including Riggs Stephenson and Joe Sewell, both of whom would go on to long and legendary Major League Baseball careers. Coach Scott would have one final hurrah before his sad and untimely death in 1922 from throat cancer. His team stunned the college football world that year when the Tide beat Penn 9–7 in Philadelphia. After the win, Scott and his team received a spectacular welcome from a crowd some estimated at 25,000 who had gathered at the old train depot at Tuscaloosa. When Denny hired Wallace Wade to succeed Scott in 1923—with the expressed intent of taking the Tide to the prestigious Rose Bowl— he could not have imagined that he was building the foundation of a football dynasty whose coaches and players through the decades would be nationally recognized and forever remembered for their dominating influence on the history of collegiate football.

hen William (Bill) Little enrolled in Exeter-Phillips Prep School in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1890, the teenager had never seen a football, much less played the sport that was rapidly taking hold in the Northeast and spreading quickly across the country. His older brother Jimmy had graduated from the University of Alabama, but Bill’s term at the prep school was intended to prepare him to enter Yale University. While at Exeter-Phillips, the Livingston, Alabama, native had become mesmerized by the new pastime, and because Little weighed in at around 220 pounds, Yale’s coach convinced him to join the football team. Before he had the opportunity to begin his studies at Yale, Little received a telegram with the sad news of Jimmy’s unexpected death. He packed his uniform, a pair of cleats, and an oval football and boarded a train for home. It would forever alter his life, as well as the history of the University of Alabama. Although still in his teens, Little introduced the game of football to Tuscaloosa in fall 1892, setting the stage for the school’s first game, on Veterans Day, when the university team manhandled a collection of the best athletes from Birmingham high schools 56–0. Prophetically, Little told his fellow students that year, “Football is the game of the future in college life. Players will be forced to live a most ascetic life, on a diet of rare beef and pork, to say nothing of rice pudding for dessert, for additional courage and fortitude, to stand the bumps and bruises they’ll certainly incur while playing.” Little, named the team’s first captain, was eventually proclaimed “the Father of Alabama Football.” E.B. Beaumont was enticed to come south from the University of Pennsylvania to be Alabama’s first coach, leading the school team to a 2-2 record. Among Little’s noteworthy teammates were William Bankhead, who would become the Speaker of the US House of Representatives in 1936, and Bibb Graves, future two-time governor of Alabama. Alabama took to football just as Little had hoped, and the school set matches with other football-minded schools in the region. However, Alabama’s matchups with Alabama Polytechnic Institute, later known as Auburn University, unceremoniously ended in 1907, due to a reported dispute over player per diem payments and increasing animosity between the fan bases. The university lost a memorable rivalry (at least until 1948) but acquired a nickname: the Crimson Tide. Writers had often called Alabama “the Thin Red Line” because of its uniform colors, but Hugh Roberts, sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald, assigned the team its legendary moniker for the way it responded to playing in a field mired in red mud during the 1907 Alabama-Auburn contest.

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Steve Townsend served as an associate athletic director with the University of Alabama and is the author of three books on the Crimson Tide: Tales from 1978–79 Alabama Football: A Time of Champions; Season of Champions; and Talk of the Tide: An Oral History of Alabama Football Since 1920.

William G. Little brought football to the University of Alabama in 1892.

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Bama’s rough-and-ready 1910 team, coached by Guy Lowman. This unit went 4-4, including narrow victories over Tulane and Washington & Lee.


Bully VandeGraff (left) was the University of Alabama's first All-American in 1915. University of Alabama President Dr. George H. Denny, circa 1912, the year he was hired.

Above opposite

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In his senior year, 1915, Bully VandeGraaf shows his characteristic determination. (Note the era’s helmet-optional playing style.)


Joe Sewell, one of Alabama’s first great two-sport athletes (shown above and opposite in 1919) is enshrined in both the College Baseball Hall of Fame and the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Around the time of World War I, this ensemble was a precursor of the Million Dollar Band.


Xen Scott (above), Alabama’s head coach from 1919 to 1922, called fullback Riggs Stephenson (pictured opposite) “just as good a football player as Jim Thorpe.”

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Xen Scott (top right) led the 1922 team that defeated Penn and established Alabama as a college football power.


Pages from the university’s yearbook, Corolla, touts Alabama’s 1922 win over the heavily favored University of Pennsylvania. The 9–7 road victory put Bama in the national spotlight for the first time.

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More than 25,000 partisans gathered at the train station in Tuscaloosa to cheer the victorious Crimson Tide on its return from Philadelphia.


The university’s visionary president, Dr. George Denny (shown here at the 1926 Rose Bowl), believed football would bring fame to the school and the state.


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Return to Glory

hen Gene Stallings retired after the 1996 season, which featured a 17–14 bowl win over Michigan and an SEC West championship, he completed a seven-year run that included seventy victories and the 1992 national championship. Mike DuBose, a star on the 1972–74 teams and Stallings’s final defensive coordinator, assumed the head-coaching role during the 1997–2000 seasons. His 1999 team, behind All-Americans Shaun Alexander and Chris Samuels, defeated Florida 34–7 in the SEC championship game to not only the win the league title for the Tide, but also to return Alabama to its first major bowl since the 1993 Sugar Bowl win over Miami. Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, and Mike Shula succeeded DuBose during a time marked by a series of peaks and valleys. When Athletic Director Mal Moore started his search for a new coach after the 2006 season, there was really only one person that he wanted to hire: Miami Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban. However, odds were long that the one-time national championship coach at LSU would accept the challenge of resurrecting Alabama from the ashes, not unlike the phoenix rising in mythology. Moore had long been a fan of Saban’s, telling one of his most trusted confidants in 2003 that Saban’s teams played just the way Alabama did back when Moore was an assistant under Paul Bryant. On a sleeting January morning in 2007, as he boarded a private plane heading from Tuscaloosa to the Miami area, Moore had the goal of persuading Nick and Terry Saban that the fifty-six-year-old West Virginia native was the right man at the right time to reestablish Alabama as a preeminent national power. Saban said later that Moore’s sales spiel and unvarnished love for the university ultimately persuaded him to accept the challenge. When Saban hoisted the crystal football after the BCS win over Notre Dame in 2013, the third national championship in four years for Alabama proved that Moore’s mission had been more than accomplished.

1997-Present

opposite During the drive to the 2009 national championship, running back Mark Ingram became Alabama’s first Heisman Trophy winner.


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After leading the Tide to the 1999 conference championship, Mike DuBose was chosen as the SEC Coach of the Year. Defensive ends Reggie Grimes (98) and Kindal Moorehead (54) were star playmakers for the 1999 SEC championship team. Opposite Quarterback Andrew Zow passed Alabama to an SEC title in 1999.

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Tailback Ahmaad Galloway (29) rips through the Auburn defense during the Crimson Tide’s 31–7 Iron Bowl victory in 2001.


Trevis Smith lines up to stop LSU during the 1998 season.

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Tailback Shaun Alexander on the run against Florida in 1998.

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Wide receiver Freddie Milons was a man on the move during his Alabama career, especially during the 1999 season, when he was the MVP in the SEC Championship win over Florida. Opposite Defensive tackle David Daniel and linebacker Saleem Rasheed make a stop against Auburn in 2000.

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Above Quarterback Tyler Watts starred for the Tide in a 10-win season in 2002. Head Coach Dennis Franchione confers with quarterbacks Tyler Watts and Andrew Zow during the 2001 season.

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Embracing the Pressure by Shaun

Alexander

I

this game, I’m going to leave a mark.” I finished that night as Bama’s single-game rushing leader with 291 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. A mark that night was left, but we also lost the SEC Championship that year to the Florida Gators. My sophomore year, we were 4-7. My junior year, I left a mark with five touchdowns against BYU in the opening game, but we lost our bowl game. After that season, most people told me to go in the NFL draft. But I shocked everybody, even my mother. It was simple for me: If I left after my junior year, I would’ve been just a good player with a couple of marks but no legacy—we hadn’t won a championship. I wanted to stand on the platform and hear them say that the champions are once again “Alabama!” And Big G, Reggie Grimes, a defensive end and my first roommate, told me, “We ain’t done, SA.” Big Sam, offensive tackle Chris Samuels, was in the same situation I was in. He called me and said, “I’m staying. Let’s do this.” I was all-in, and that Crimson blood showed up. I love those guys like family. There were nine of us left from our recruiting class, and we wanted to leave our mark, pass the torch, and carry on the legacy. And we did: We beat thirdranked Florida, who were undefeated for six years at home. We beat Auburn for the first time in Auburn. We beat Florida again to win the SEC championship. We left our mark, we passed the torch, we added a little patch to the great Bama Blanket. When fans look at our patch, I hope they get these three messages: 1) Jesus wins. 2) Embrace the pressure. 3) Alabama ain’t nothing but a bunch of winners.

’ve always believed that the convictions of one person could ignite a crowd, the passion of one person could change a team, and the belief of one person could shake a city. This person comes to most campuses every blue moon. But at the University of Alabama, this man is common. This is the bloodline of a Bama Man. I think about how I almost missed it. I was such a huge Michigan fan, thanks to Desmond Howard. I actually thought about signing when I left their summer football camp before my high school senior year. And my older brother, Durran, went to Notre Dame and believed this guy named Lou was the greatest coach ever. But Alabama kept calling. My family and I drove through a blizzard to get to Michigan, and that ended that. The Notre Dame campus was too small, and something didn’t feel right. I would talk to Notre Dame’s coach and then talk to Coach Ivy Williams, and it was easy to see who was the perfect running back coach for me. I was right about Coach Williams and Alabama. Coach Williams coached me hard and refused to let me be anything but the best. He was the kind of good, strong father figure I needed at that time. One of the things he used to say was, “There is no waiting here at Bama. We have to win. Win everything, every time. Win now.” And I liked that. Looking back, I think it was more stressful playing football at Alabama than in the NFL. Alabama’s expectation for winning is tough for some players. Only certain types of people can play at Alabama, and that environment was perfect for me. You have two choices: Leave your mark on the program by becoming part of the winning tradition or just be forgotten. That’s it—no in between. Football is the focus for everyone in T-town: on campus, in classes, and around the town. It’s a lot of pressure—and fun—to carry on such an amazing torch like this. When I first got to the NFL as a rookie with the Seattle Seahawks, I missed the intensity. I remember that my first preseason game with Seattle had about 40,000 people in the stands. We’d have 70,000 fans at Bama for scrimmages. It was things like that that brought the pressure. But it was the same thing that fueled me to want to leave a mark with this great legacy. In November 1996, my redshirt freshman year, one thought was on my mind as I drove into the stadium in Baton Rouge to play LSU. I was the third-string tailback, but I thought, “If I somehow get into

Shaun Alexander holds the Crimson Tide record for rushing yards in a game (291) and in a career (3,565). He was a first-round choice in the 2000 NFL Draft, and went on to be named the 2005 NFL Most Valuable Player when he led the league in rushing and set the singleseason record for touchdowns scored.

Shaun Alexander rushed his way into the hearts of the Alabama fans and into the record books of the SEC during his 1996–99 collegiate career. inset Alexander, 1998.

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Antonio Carter explodes against LSU. He was a mainstay receiver in the Tide’s drive to the 1999 SEC championship. Bottom Wide receiver Dre Fulgham (3) makes a move on Mississippi State in 2003. Opposite Running back Shaud Williams sprints through Mississippi State defenders during the 2002 season.

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Head Coach Nick Saban’s championship run at Alabama began when he took over the program in January 2007.


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Javier Arenas was an all-star as a defensive back and nearly unstoppable as a kick returner. Here, he breaks loose against Tulane in 2008. Above The hard running of Glenn Coffee, shown here powering past Florida in the SEC championship game, sparked Alabama’s return to championship form in 2008.

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Leigh Tiffin earned All-American honors in 2009 when he helped kick the Tide to a championship season. That year, he also broke the school record for most extra point conversions formerly held by his father, Van Tiffin.

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Nose tackle Terrence “Mount” Cody (62) blocks a Tennessee field goal to preserve a 12–10 victory over Tennessee in 2009.

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Marquis Maze makes a one-handed grab against Kentucky in 2008.

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Wide receiver Julio Jones became a crowd favorite en route to all-time greatness during his 2008–10 career at The Capstone.

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Mission Accomplished by Barrett

Jones

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was a redshirt freshman in 2009, when we beat Florida 32–13 in the SEC championship game. Out of all the great games in my Alabama career, that’s the one that stands out as my favorite. It’s my favorite for a lot of reasons. Florida had beaten us the year before in the SEC championship game, it was my first championship game as a starter, and they were ranked No. 1 and were supposed to be unbeatable. But more than that, it’s because we worked so hard to get back to that point. I had looked around at a lot of programs coming out of high school, and when I visited Alabama, Head Coach Nick Saban talked how we were going to change the culture here. That was the sales pitch. He said, “We’re going to change the way people view Alabama football, and we want you to come be part of it.” Going from high school to college was definitely a big transition on the field. Obviously, the players are a lot bigger and a lot faster. And in high school, you pretty much know what the other team is going to do: They’re going to play four down linemen and three linebackers and play a base defense most of the time. But in college, and now in the NFL, it’s totally different. Every team plays every defense. And not only that, things change so fast out there on the field that they might line up in one look and shift to another look. You need to have an extremely sound knowledge of your offense to make judgments quickly. It’s not just something you can memorize; it’s something you really have to understand. It takes a lot of film study, but it’s more than that. You have to know it so well that you can see it happen almost before it happens on the field, and you can make a change. And you’ve got to communicate it to your teammates in just a few seconds. It’s very difficult, but it’s something that you learn and something to which you adjust. Really, it took me a year to get acclimated, but that was my redshirt year. After I got acclimated to it, I was able to play at a pretty high level. Our offensive line coaches—first Coach Joe Pendry and then Coach Jeff Stoutland—really helped me understand the offense from different positions and get an overall conceptual grasp of it. Because of that, I could be flexible and play multiple positions. My first two years, I played right guard because that was the spot that was open. After that, we lost our left tackle, so Coach Saban asked me if I would switch to left tackle in my junior season. The next year, our center left, so Coach asked me if I would try that position my senior season. I was going to do whatever the team needed to be successful.

I changed every way during my career at Alabama. I matured as a person. Coach Saban taught us how to play football, but he also taught us how to become responsible men. That’s something that he really did for me. He taught me how to approach my life, and how to play up to a standard. At Alabama, we don’t just play to beat our opponents—we play to be our best, to play up to a standard. That’s what I learned how to do not only in football but also in my life: to set standards for myself in every area of my life. And I learned how to work hard to reach those standards. It was definitely a process from freshman year to senior year. I feel like I grew up a lot, improved physically, and became a much better player. Alabama prepared me very well for the next step. The NFL is a big jump, but the coaches taught us how to study film and how to play football and how to be responsible. Those were all good reasons to go to Alabama. But the biggest reason I went to Alabama was because of Coach Saban. He sold me on being part of the class that was going to help restore Alabama to greatness. Obviously, that was something that we accomplished. Barrett Jones was a starting offensive lineman on Alabama’s 2009, 2011, and 2012 national championship teams. He earned the Outland Trophy in 2011 as a left tackle and the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center in 2012. In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Jones was named the 2012 Academic All-American of the Year and earned the William V. Campbell Trophy for academic excellence and exemplary community leadership.

Barrett Jones earned both academic and athletic All-American honors at Alabama, becoming the first collegiate player to start at three positions on three national championship teams. inset Barrett Jones, prior to the Tide’s national championship face-off against LSU.

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The Crimson Tide returned to the scene of its first national championships when it met Texas in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl for the BCS Championship Game on January 7, 2010. Coach Saban’s 2009 team brought Alabama back to title contention with an undefeated season and the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram. On defense, linebacker Rolando McLain won the Butkus Award, and six Tiders in all won All-American honors.


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Mark Ingram (22) scores Alabama’s first touchdown in the Tide’s 37–21 victory over Texas in the 2010 BCS Championship Game. Above Freshman Trent Richardson looks on as Coach Saban exhorts his players in Pasadena against the Texas Longhorns.

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Mark Ingram kisses the crystal ball after being voted MVP in the championship game win over Texas.

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Cornerback Dee Milliner leaps into Michigan’s end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown during the 2011 Capital One Bowl victory. Opposite Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze races down the field against Auburn in 2011 in the Tide’s 42–14 victory.

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The first time Alabama faced LSU during the 2011 season, it was in the “Game of the Century” that the Tide lost in overtime 9–6. The second time these two teams met that season, it was in the BCS Championship Game, and this time the Tide shut out the Tigers in the Superdome 21–0. That season, Alabama’s offense was formidable, but it was the defense that led the nation in every major statistical category, featuring players such as Dont’a Hightower, Mark Barron, and Dre Kirkpatrick.


Alabama’s mighty mascot, Big Al, greets the crowd during pregame activities.

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Alabama’s broadcast booth during the early 2000s, with Kenny Stabler and Eli Gold calling the action. Above The Million Dollar Band marches to Bryant-Denny Stadium on a Saturday afternoon.

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This Is Alabama Football by Eli

Gold

Y

ou haven’t seen college football until you’ve seen a game in Tuscaloosa. I say that not while I’m wearing crimson-colored glasses. I mean that honestly. I’ve broadcast the Stanley Cup. I’ve broadcast Game 7s. I’ve done the NFL. For thirty-eight years, I’ve done NASCAR on the radio, and this atmosphere is unlike any other. In my mind, it’s the most gorgeous stadium in the country, on a beautiful campus, with tradition and pageantry that go back nearly 200 years. I tell people that it’s a Super Bowl and a Game 7 in their favorite sport, all rolled in together. That’s why folks get there at the crack of dawn. That’s why RVs are showing up for a Saturday game on Tuesday. That’s why we’re on the air for three hours before a game. Everyone wants to be a part of Alabama football. The fans are such a part of it, with all the noise, and that’s what Nick Saban preaches, too. You’ve got 100,000 people with tickets, and another 30,000 or 40,000 outside the ballpark without tickets. It’s the same people who tailgate in the same places and sit in the stands with the same folks for decades. These people might not see each other but for those few days a year. It might be the guy from Mobile sitting next to the guy from Huntsville, and their chance to catch up happens at the game. In our state, this is what we’ve got. People talk Alabama football— or Auburn football—365 days a year. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s a fact. So, when you have only seven or eight home dates, it’s like the high holy days of football. Even when things weren’t going well in Tuscaloosa, game days were remarkable. But here of late, with all the championships, there have been a lot of nerves injected into the mix, because every game is so huge. For someone coming here for the first time, I would say, make sure to go to the Paul W. Bryant Museum. Then go visit the Dreamland restaurant and experience what real good Southern barbecued ribs are all about. And I would tell them to then just walk around, take in the atmosphere, be out in front of the stadium when the team arrives on the buses for the Walk of Champions as they come down to the locker room. I’m certain you could show up five minutes before kickoff and watch the game and enjoy the heck out of it. You could miss the atmosphere and still love the game. But to miss it would be criminal. I always like to see the players from the other teams when they look around on game day. Many times, the coaches will bring their teams to Tuscaloosa early Friday, and they will go visit the Bryant Museum

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to embrace what is going on. If people can put their cheering interest aside—which is very tough to do—they can appreciate it. I loved going to Notre Dame because you couldn’t walk a few feet without bumping into tradition. It’s the same in Tuscaloosa. For someone not to get caught up in it, even if they’re a fan of the other team, the only reason could be that rigor mortis has set in. It matters not who the opponent is. What makes it a special situation when the opponent might not be a big name is that often, some fans will give away their tickets to people who have no other way to get them. So often, a family with their sons or daughters will walk in, and they might be going to a game at Bryant-Denny for the very first time. It’s great to see the look on the faces of the kids when they walk in—their jaws drop. They’re at a place that they’ve only heard about or seen on TV or listened about on the radio. I talk to a lot of folks who say they’ve been to this school for a football game or that school for a game. And I tell them that now they have to come to a game in Tuscaloosa to see what it’s really all about. Eli Gold, who has served as the radio play-by-play voice for University of Alabama football since 1988, is a four-time Alabama Sportscaster of the Year, as voted by his peers in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Eli Gold has been the voice of the Crimson Tide since 1989. inset Eli Gold with analyst Kenny Stabler before a game in 2007.

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Running back Trent Richardson (3) breaks away for a touchdown run in the Tide’s 21–0 rout of LSU in the 2012 BCS Championship Game. Above Safety Mark Barron (4) and linebacker Courtney Upshaw (41) starred on defense during the Superdome showdown with LSU.

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Trent Richardson (3) holds the 2012 championship trophy while teammate Dre Kirkpatrick (21) celebrates.

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When a devastating tornado swept through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, current and former Crimson Tide players joined to help the community recover.

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In the killer storm’s aftermath, former Head Coach Gene Stallings lead a group of former players in a prayer before they get to work.

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Above Linebacker

Dont’a Hightower makes a tackle in Alabama’s 49–7 win over Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. A.J. McCarron prepares to throw another pass during his record-setting career.

Opposite Quarterback

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Another Alabama Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium spells victory for the Tide.


Alabama’s 2012 national championship was the first since 1979 to be a repeat. The Tide rolled to nine straight wins before a loss to Texas A&M and its freshman phenom, quarterback Jonathan “Johnny Football” Manziel. Maintaining poise, the team rebounded to beat Georgia for the SEC championship and earn a matchup with Notre Dame in the BCS title game, which the Tide won handily 42–14. Standouts on the 2012 team included quarterback A.J. McCarron and center Barrett Jones, and five players were selected to All-American teams.


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Above Linebacker Opposite Tight

Trey DePriest and safety Robert Lester take some fight out of the Irish during early action in Alabama’s win over Notre Dame in Miami. end Michael Williams gave Alabama a two-touchdown lead with his catch on the Tide’s second drive of the 2013 BCS Championship Game.

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Quarterback A.J. McCarron exits the field after leading the Crimson Tide to its first repeat national championship since 1979. Above Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart celebrate in the dressing room after the Notre Dame victory. Opposite Linebacker Nico Johnson (35) awaits a Notre Dame snap in the 2013 championship game, won by the Tide 42–14.

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Coach Nick Saban and his players bask in confetti dropping from the Superdome sky after Alabama’s 21–0 victory over LSU in the 2012 BCS Championship Game.


THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF CRIMSON TIDE FOOTBALL

No team in college football can match the unique history of Crimson Tide football. From its humble beginnings in 1892, the University of Alabama has left an indelible mark on college football with its legendary coaches, celebrated players, and a passionate fan base unrivaled in sports. The Complete History of Crimson Tide Football assembles an unprecedented group of university icons that brings readers onto the field and into the locker room, telling the story of Alabama football in their own words. These adventures come alive through more than 300 photographs from the University of Alabama’s official image archives that document the school’s greatest achievements. Filled with championship glory and Alabama pride, The Complete History of Crimson Tide Football is an overwhelming chronicle of football dominance.

The indicia featured on this product are protected trademarks of the University of Alabama.

JOB:22335-13 SLIPCASE

ARTIST: CHRISTA 10-15-13 REV: CHRISTA 10-21-13

FOREWORD BY

JOE NAMATH

INTRODUCTION BY

BILL BATTLE

AFTERWORD BY

NICK SABAN

WITH ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY

Paul Bryant Jr.

Bill Oliver

Van Tiffin

Gene Stallings

Lee Roy Jordan

Don Salls

Ozzie Newsome

Kermit Kendrick

Shaun Alexander

Linda Knowles

Harry Gilmer

John Hannah

John Mangum

Barrett Jones

Jerry Duncan

Cecil Ingram

Murray Legg

Philip Doyle

Eli Gold

Woodrow Lowe

INKS:

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK PMS 201C

Excerpt: The Complete History of Alabama Crimson Tide Football  

www.rolltidebook.com

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