Check this out:
This is an Alabama Crimson Tide cocktail glass that belonged to my grandfather. I have four or five of them. I don’t drink from them often, but I make a point of it once in a while. Look closely at this shot:
These glasses commemorate the 1961 national championship. That’s 1961, as in Pat Trammell, as in Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first national championship team, as in the stingiest defense that ever played the game. Alabama allowed 2.3 points per game that year, and shut out six teams: Tulane, Mississippi State, Houston, Richmond, Georgia Tech, and Auburn.
I remember visiting with my dad once and gushing about the ’92 defense—a damned stout unit itself. It looked like there were 15 guys on every play, so quick and intuitive they were. Dad just took a tug on his ‘Turkey and said “yeah, they were good, but they weren’t ’61 good.”
I miss my grandfather. My biggest regret is that he didn’t live long enough for me to give him a good chess game, but a close second is that I missed the opportunity to talk football with him and pick his brain on his friendship with Coach Bryant.