|Bear Bryant - Gene Stallings|
Lou Holtz - Gus Malzahn
That isn't extraordinary in Alabama, where almost everyone you meet is either a fan of one or the other of the two major schools - Alabama or Auburn.
What is extraordinary is changing allegiance, or even more extraordinary, a fan examining their loyalties and discovering they aren't really loyal to their "inherited allegiance." Yep, that fan is me and if I'm extraordinary in nothing else, I'm extraordinary in that I've recently discovered that I'm not an Alabama or Auburn football fan.
I've realized I've never been the fan of any football team. I've always been a fan of coaches. Four of them. Since two of the four were University of Alabama coaches, it took me a bit longer to catch on to the truth of me and college football.
The four coaches are Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Lou Holtz, and Gus Malzahn. My coaches have some traits in common that put them on my rather short, all-time, best coaches list. These are things you don't find in every college coach, obviously, or my list would be longer. The key common elements are:
Integrity - Intelligence - Loyalty - Flexibility - Understanding
Now that I understand myself regarding my coach allegiance, if someone asks whether I'm an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan, my answer will be,
"I am for the coach who understands the game and loves his players above everything else."