Alabama Football: A Brief History

Some people say that God invented football, but those people are gall darn liars. God invented Bear Bryant, and Bear invented football.

A long time ago, before there was money, people in this country used cotton. This worked out well for people down South, because cotton was everywhere in Dixie. Up North, however, cotton was scarce. Northern people finally got discouraged with trying to grow the stuff and they built gun factories instead. This came in handy during the Civil War, which the South lost after we finally realized that we couldn’t shoot cotton.

After the Civil War the South was desperate for a way to regain its pride. One day a man named Bear Bryant was attacked by an actual bear, who I guess was blitzing. Bryant knocked the animal down and figured that that would make a good game—knocking people down. Bear Bryant hated Yankees more than anything else, so he gathered up a bunch of Alabama boys and went around knocking Yankees down. It was the first football season.

Back then there was only one bowl game, the Rose Bowl, and the other teams moved it way out to California because they hoped Alabama wouldn’t come out that far. But Alabama went to California and won a bunch of Rose Bowls against teams like Washington. Abraham Lincoln was King of America back then, and when he saw that the South was rising again he tried to outlaw the game of football. Alabama’s quarterback, Joe Namath, ambushed Lincoln at a Broadway play and shot him until he was dead. Ever since then he was known as Broadway Joe.

For the next thirty years or so, Alabama was the best team in the land. Many national championships were won. The exact number has never really been determined: some people say that Alabama has won thirteen national titles; others say seven. Auburn fans say that we haven’t deserved any of them, but you know how that kind is.

Bear Bryant was Alabama’s coach from 1865 until his death in 1982. After he passed away, the Crimson Tide lost a bunch of games. My great-granddaddy Elmo called this time “the wilderness”, like when Moses and the Israelites marched in circles in the desert for forty years. Except instead of manna, we were given Ray Perkins.

After a while a man named Gene Stallings arrived to coach the team. He understood that it was God’s will that Alabama win football games, and he accomplished this by signing Jesus’ younger brother, Jay, to play quarterback. Gene Stallings was grumpy and yelled a lot, like the football field was his lawn and the players were kids who needed to get off of it. Alabama won the championship in 1992 when they beat Miami in the Sugar Bowl. Everything was good for a few months.

Unfortunately, one of Stallings’ players cheated, and this led to the Crimson Tide being punished for the next decade or so. Things were so bad that Jesus’ youngest brother, Tim, wouldn’t even play for us. He went to Florida instead. If my great-granddaddy Elmo were still alive, he would have called this the Second Wilderness. And instead of quail, we were given Mike DuBose.

For a while Alabama let everyone take a turn coaching the team. First there was Mike Price, who got fired for trying to recruit a girl. Then there was Dennis Franchione, who got scared by Auburn and ran away to Texas. Then Mike Shula came in for a while. He was very handsome, but unfortunately he was also clinically dead.

That’s when a man named Nick Saban came to coach the team. He was very short, so he yelled a lot, and this reminded people of The Bear. He made the players run faster and lift heavy weights. In no time at all Alabama was the best team in the land. This made everybody happy again, except for the Auburn folks, but what can you do.

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