On this day in sports history

BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE

The Greenville Standard

 

The first A-Day I attended was in 1970. A lot of changes have happened in Tuscaloosa since then.

On that particular day, I met Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for the first time. Eight years later, I worked as a student equipment manager at the A-Day.

At the A-Day game in 1970, the All-Sixties Team was presented. Lee Roy Jordan was named Player of the 60’s.

This year’s A-Day event, thanks to Coach Gary White, I was able to follow Lee Roy, Benny Nelson, Gary Martin and Carlton Rankin play golf for several holes. They were playing in the A-Club Golf Tournament.

My daddy and I attended 1971 A-Day game along with Ben Whitley. Joe Namath was involved with spring practice that year.

Howard Cosell was on the sidelines that day. The next day, there was a golf tournament at the University Golf Course. I found out Coach Bryant and Joe Namath were playing. I found their foursome and followed them. I got close enough to Joe to where my daddy said “Colin, there’s Joe, you ask him that question.”

Joe heard what my daddy said. In the 1965 Orange Bowl, there was a controversial call against Texas. One official said Joe (Alabama) scored, another official said he didn’t. The referee said no touchdown. Alabama lost 21-17.

I asked “Joe, did you score in the Orange Bowl?” Joe answered, which was good, “No, but I was over”. Then he said he had a bad game. That was not true; he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in that game. Normally, The MVP is on the winning team. The next morning, Joe signed a $400,000 contract with the New York Jets. At that time, it was big money.

I have a lot of memories of A-Day. Next year I will tell you more.

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