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This is the story of how George Wallace and all that he represented cost the Alabama Crimson Tide team of 1966 their rightful place in college football history.
- ISBN-13: 0312336837
- ISBN-10: 0312336837
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
- Publish Date: September 2006
- Page Count: 324
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 73.
- Review Date: 2006-07-31
- Reviewer: Staff
During the turbulent battles over issues such as civil rights and Vietnam in the mid-1960s, the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide football team, led by legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, had its own cause—becoming the first team in modern college history to win the national championship for three straight years. In this solid if somewhat overlong study of the Tide's quest, Dunnavant expands upon his earlier Bryant biography, Coach, to explore how national politics and collegiate sports inevitably collided. While the bulk of the book delivers insightful profiles of the team's working-class players and fast-paced looks at the team's unbeaten season, it also convincingly argues that Alabama's image as reflecting "establishment America" was skewed by "the poisonous climate" of Gov. George Wallace's segregationist policies. But in a provocative account of a late-season meeting with Notre Dame, Dunnavant names his story's true villains: Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian, who, as Dunnavant sees it, played for a tie, sitting "on the ball to avoid a turnover" instead of playing to win—"the most cynical act in college football history"—and the sportswriters who voted "media darling" Notre Dame the national champion over a team from "a state seen by many Americans as a national pariah." (Sept.)