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On this day in sports history


The Greenville Standard


Today I will cover Friday Sept. 29, 1978. Why this day? I had two encounters with Coach Bryant.

The incentive for playing at Alabama was to make the travel team. If you did not, you scrimmaged in full gear for an hour.

That day I was out there. There was a lot of hitting going on. My job was to be there when the varsity came out to practice. I was heading back to coliseum and I said, “Hey Coach Bryant.”

The next thing I hear is “How did they do.” It was Coach Bryant.

I told him “First time with the offense, they fumbled the ball, the next the offense scored.” Then I said “They looked pretty good.” John Summerford, a fellow student came to the rescue. He told Coach Bryant, Tommy Wilcox and Charley Williams performed well. After Coach Bryant left, John told me, “Never tell Coach Bryant they looked good, the team can get better.”

I had to go inside to help the manager with the players turning in their dirty uniforms. Then I went back out on the practice field.

The varsity was in shorts and helmets. Coach Bryant blew his whistle and the next thing was footballs and dummies were scattered all over the practice field.

I was picking up balls and next thing I see is Coach Bryant offering me a ride in his golf cart. It scared me so bad I said, “No thank you.”.

That was dumb on two parts; turning down a ride from Coach Bryant and it would have saved me some time. The next day, Sept. 30, Alabama beat Vanderbilt 51-28.

Next week I will cover Oct. 7, 1978.


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