Certainly the Lord seemed to be with Birmingham. Running Back Charlie Harraway, the ex-Redskin who is probably the Americans' highest-paid player, says, "The Birmingham opportunity answered a lot of prayers I have said about things in my life. It was meant for me to come here." Wide Receiver Dennis Ho-man says he was once a hell-raiser but no more. "How can you be a witness for Christ holding a beer in your hand?" he asks. "I poured all my booze out. I know I got that garbage disposal drunk." Ho-man and teammate Denny Duron conducted nightly Bible readings at the team's training camp in Marion, Ala., where the team stayed until the day of the Sun game.
Nevertheless, would the good folks of Birmingham, who think Bear Bryant walks on water, support these parvenus? As one writer asked in The Birmingham News, "How can a dyed-in-the-wool Alabama fan root for somebody who once played for Ohio State or Nebraska?" Whether it was divine intervention or not, the Americans' only touchdown was scored on an interception by an Alabama graduate, Defensive Back Steve Williams (just as the star of Jacksonville's running attack was the University of Florida's Tommy Durrance).
With the good Lord going for them and the promised arrival next season of such NFL standouts as L.C. Greenwood, Ron Jessie, Jim Mitchell and Mike Montgomery—not to mention Kenny Stabler from Oakland a year later—the Americans look like a good bet for the future, as does the WFL.
Boasts Birmingham Coach Jack Gotta, "When Tampa and Seattle join the NFL in 1976, they'll be playing with our Cuts."