I see perhaps I opened a larger can of worms than I intended, so perhaps I should clarify my intent just a bit. Granted, perhaps the title is a little harsh, but I hope you'll spot me post-Iron Bowl fatigue (I spent several hours in several traffic jams headed home Sunday, and I'm still not fully recovered).
The point was not so much to single out our most recent former coach. I rarely mention his name because there was a time for awhile here where any mention of said individual was shut down and thread closed. Yes, those days are gone, but for some of us they're still somewhat fresh.
I was not, however, referring specifically just to what Shula did here; it was the alteration and hopefully a permanent one of the way of doing business here. Gene Stallings resigned on November 30, 1996; CMS was fired on November 27, 2006. The ten intervening years featured FIVE losing seasons, a major probation, and fans actually having to CELEBRATE winning the Weedwhacker Bowl in Shreveport. That might be an acceptable job at Oregon State (not to pick on them, the name just rolled off the top of my head); it is career suicide at Alabama.
I remember (however vaguely) every post-Perkins coaching search. In 1987, only two names really popped up - Bobby Bowden (and whatever mismanagement that involved) and Bill Curry. There were also few candidates in 1990. Bill Curry resigned January 7 and Stallings was hired January 11. IIRC, Bowden was again approached. Say what you will but it seems we basically took a narrow path and it worked out pretty well.
And most folks don't think of this, but consider:
Bobby Bowden: 75-10-1
Gene Stallings: 70-14-1
Steve Spurrier: 73-14-1
Tom Osborne: 74-11-1
Everyone thinks of how good those other three coaches were in the 1990s, but Stallings was right there with them.
My point was that a particular way of doing business hopefully died that day. How in the world did Mike DuBose ever get the head coaching job at Alabama? I remember all the support given Dennis Franchione who - let's face it - we got stuck with because we were staring at DuBose Era sanctions. Who thought he was a good idea, even before he dumped us?
Now a word about Shula - yes, given that he was hired in May 2003 and the alternative was to get accused of racism once we fired the only other candidate, we were stuck with him, too. Shula, I'm sure, did the best job he could do - the problem was that his best really didn't match up to the lofty expectations of Alabama fans. (Amazingly enough, we are always ripped for this - yet everywhere else in society you are EXPECTED to have major achievement. The Alabama head coach position is not a good example of dumbing down).
If CMS had gone 10-3 again in 2006 rather than 6-6, he would have been invited back on. But my point is that the farewell was to a way of doing business that failed us for a decade. That's all.
It was the dark before the dawn.
I'll always look back as I walk away
This memory will last for eternity
And all of our tears will be lost in the rain
Til I find my way back to your arms again
Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I'm one of them. Pick any day of my life, and I can tell you what I saw or heard.
The best example of "hands off" parenting was Darth Vader.
Never mind. I best not comment here.
Last edited by Huckleberry; November 28th, 2012 at 07:32 PM. Reason: thought better of it
Maybe in a decade or two people will finally be able to admit what a colossal failure Shula was and stop apologizing for him.
Most Alabama fans just love the University so much the passion of talking about former coaches really hits a nerve.
I will hold mine till after this season.
But I think or hope one thing we can all agree on is that we are so fortunate to have CNS & his staff working with these young men. Not just being a good football team but much more than that, good people. We will have afew go the wrong direction.
When we win Saturday, we have a shot at something only the Best Coach in the history of the world did at Alabama.
Lets Beat the Dog out of the Dogs & just be thankful we have a leader of the Best Program in the country running it.
This won't last forever & a lot of younger folks are getting the opportunity to see what us old folks did in the 60's & 70's
Personally, I thank all our sub par former coaches for their service only in that they managed to show us what we didn't want and spurred on the hiring authorities to finally remove their heads from their backsides and get it right.
"She is the last of her kind, she thought. No wars had ever touched her, and she had lived through three; nothing had disturbed that world of hers, where gentlemen smoked on the porch or in hammocks, where ladies fanned themselves gently and drank cool water." - Jean Louise Finch describing her aunt in 'Go Set a Watchman'
"I don't know what class is but I can tell when one has it, you can tell from a mile away"
-- Coach Bryant
"We always talk about playing 60 minutes but this is a 60-10 game: the 60 minutes of the game and the 10 minutes in the locker room after the game that you remember for the rest of your life."
-- Nick Saban day after beating Clemson
"I'm just a simple plowhand from Arkansas, but I've learned over the years how to hold a team together, how to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team."