The Tide's Coming In Again
Thank you for recognizing the good season Alabama is having (' Bama's a Bear Again, Oct. 26). Still, it is time America realizes that Crimson Tide fans do not bow five times daily toward Bear Bryant University.
Does anyone realize that Alabama was a football powerhouse before Bryant? Wallace Wade won three national championships (1925, '26 and '30) during his tenure as coach, and Frank Thomas won two ('34 and '41). Alabama has played in more bowl games (44) and won more of them (24) than any other school. The Tide has won almost 700 games, only 232 of them under Bryant.
Probably 90% of today's sports fans know that Bryant coached at Alabama, but I'll bet only 30% know that the first three Super Bowl MVPs played there ( Bart Starr in Super Bowls I and II, and Joe Namath in Super Bowl III). They probably don't know that Raider hero Kenny Stabler went to Alabama, not to mention Ozzie Newsome, Dwight Stephenson and Derrick Thomas.
We don't worship Bryant; his 232 wins and six national titles speak for themselves. We have a tradition of great players, great teams and great coaches.
Kudos to Ed Hinton on his brilliant analysis of the reemergence of Alabama football. It caught the spirit of the "crimson-clad masses" and our adoration of Bear Bryant. Coach Gene Stallings is definitely one of Bryant's cubs. He was the perfect choice to get the Tide rolling again.
I disagree with E.M. Swift's POINT AFTER (Oct 19). The penalty shot in hockey is not the most exciting play in sports. The breakaway is. During a penalty shot the shooter comes in at his leisure. During a breakaway, he's being chased and must use whatever speed he has.
How do you encourage more breakaways? Eliminate the red line at center ice. I've seen the most exciting play in all of sports whistled dead too often because of the two-line-pass rule.
This is a simple change that would increase scoring and emphasize the real beauty of the sport—speed.
For several months my organization has been proposing that the NHL implement some sort of two-point play. When a team can use one offensive play to go from being behind to gaining a lead, it adds the ultimate ingredient for TV appeal, excitement.
Hockey is the only major U.S. professional sport that doesn't have a tiered scoring system. Perhaps that is why hockey is the only one without a major television contract.
President, Pop Life Marketing
Newton Centre, Mass.