In review, Bear Bryant was an alcohol addicted high school drop out who fixed games. He is the epitome of class and a model citizen.
— War Eagle (@bama_jokes) April 10, 2012
The University of Alabama proudly treats Paul “Bear” Bryant as one of the greatest coaches that ever lived, because he was exactly that. And it’s true that when Alabama football is underperforming, some fans are quick to cling to the past.
Still, it’s hard to overlook the idiotic claims about Alabama’s former coach. I wasn’t alive when Bryant coached and Alabama is in a fresh new era of winning tradition, but saying hateful things about Bryant just because your team is in a pathetic downward spiral…
Are you serious?!
Bryant wasn’t perfect; none of us are. He lived in the public sphere and because of his fame, his every move was scrutinized and still is to this day. This is par for the course (see Joe Paterno). The fact that he suffered from humanity doesn’t lessen his coaching ability. While he was at Alabama, the Tide won six national championships and 13 conference titles. He held the record for most wins in college football for years.
When @bama_jokes says Bryant “fixed” games, he is referring to the accusation in 1962 that Bryant had not only encouraged his players to harm players from Georgia Tech in a game but agreed to “fix” a game against the Georgia Bulldogs. The magazine that published this information later had to pay out money due to a ruling of defamation. I don’t think that this provides hard evidence of the claim.
Bryant did elect to leave his high school in Arkansas early when he accepted a scholarship from the University of Alabama, but finished his credits at Tuscaloosa High School while practicing with the football team. He drank too much, and smoked too much. I’m not here to say he wears a cape or walked on water, but he created something at the University of Alabama that will live forever.
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