A Bear of a Man

September 11, 2009
By

Before this day became known as a day of infamy in American history…
A day when Islamic Terrorists..
Hijacked a hand full of commercial aircraft and murdered thousands of innocent Americans…

It was a day that many of us remembered for entirely different reasons
It was a special day…..
Remembered fondly, as the Birthday of a Bear of a Man

1978NC
Much has been written and reported about the life and times of Coach Paul W. Bryant.
I will not reproduce or copy anything that has been written previously about this great man.
There is no need to..
His accomplishments and the lives he touched throughout his life speak for themselves.

But I want to say he was larger than life and still is…..
When you were around him, you knew you were in the presence of a Legend.

He set a standard in College Football that will stand for as long as they play the game…
He loved his God…
His Family…
The University of Alabama…
His Coaches…
And his players…
And sometimes not necessarily in that order…

I miss his deep gravely voice……

I have always believed his voice is what God will sound like……
I can make that bold claim…
Because I am certain God has a Southern accent…

I miss his single purpose…..
His steel determination and preparation….
His kind words and encouragement……
His lessons on life…
His concern about his players being better people and citizens……

I miss his unselfishness……

But mostly, I just miss him…..

Happy Birthday Coach…
Tell Miss Mary Harmon that we miss her too…

RTR
MEB

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6 Responses to A Bear of a Man

  1. Lee Anthony on September 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Mike,

    Thanks for remembering. Coach Bryant’s lessons on determination, commitment, and personal accountability are more relevant now than they were 30 years ago. It took years for me to understand that “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” I still miss him…

    Lee

    “We’re going back to work. All of you well-wishers and faint-hearted alumni, to hell with you.”
    – Coach Bryant, 1969

  2. MEB on September 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Lee –

    My Friend, you made my day with your comment…
    I couldn’t agree more…

    RTR
    MEB

  3. Kaye on September 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    When I took my first daughter to the U. of Alabama….we strolled around a bit. My younger daughter was with us. As we neared the practice field……..I asked a gentleman standing nearby….”Is that someone we all know and love up in that tower?” The gentleman replied, “Ma’am, there ain’t but one man that goes up in that tower.” The three of us were speechless and only stared in awe of that great man

    Thanks Mike for the memory

  4. MEB on September 12, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Thank you Miss Kaye…

    AWESOME story…

    RTR
    MEB

  5. Lee Anthony on September 17, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Mike,

    Our old friend Dave Snyder, Penn State class of ’71, witnessed one of the best stories I’ve ever heard about Coach Bryant. It occurred prior to the “Bama-PSU game in 1981 (won by ‘Bama, 31-16). Coach Bryant was leaning against the goalpost intensely watching the Crimson Tide warm-up (his standard pre-game spot) when a small boy wearing a PSU jersey approached him. Dave said the entire stadium went silent, almost as if they were scared for the safety of the child who interrupted the coach. Everyone watched as he held up a pen and notepad, and Coach Bryant knelt down, spoke with the boy for a couple of minutes, autographed his paper, and shook his hand. As the boy happily ran off, the entire stadium came to its’ feet and applauded Bryant entussiastically for several minutes.

    With the exception of the “shortened” end zone in 1983, I always thought our series with PSU was one of the best in college football, and look forward to it resuming.

    Lee

  6. MEB on September 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Lee –

    You made my day with that one sir, I thank you

    RTR
    MEB

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