Finally, on the eve of their shot at Got 13?, the story behind the shirts in front of the Bama fans is told.
Former University of Alabama sports information director and current director of the Billy Graham Library (the irony!) Wayne Atcheson* recently told the Birmingham News that he essentially invented the claim to five pre-Bryant championships using the same sort of statistical end-arounds that would earn Auburn a claim to like, five of its own.
Fittingly, the Bama back office can’t even settle on when the revision took place; Atcheson says 1983, while the curator of the Bryant Museum claims it was with Bama’s 1986 media guide; both dates would imply that the hoax started as a morale boost in the long wake of Bryant’s death, which included Bama’s first losing season (1984) in decades.
But what is certain is that 99 percent of Bama fans, college football’s Flat Earth Society, are living an officially admitted lie.
“I want to say the right thing here,” Atcheson said. “I made the change because Coach Bryant had these 25 years and six national championships and they were emphasized so much. It was on all the stationery. And when I got there, it was a matter of seeing there were five others (before Bryant) and we should put them all together. It was as simple as that.”
God bless Jon Solomon for including that opening qualifier in the quote, God bless him.
“I tried to make Alabama football look the best it could look and just make it as great as it could possibly be,” Atcheson said. “I was a competitor myself with the other schools, and what they bragged about and boasted about, I wanted people to know the best about my school.”
And now, thanks to Atcheson, we officially know the story behind the worst.
* I actually once interviewed Atcheson for a story on his pianist-to-the-stars brother. Nice guy. Just sneaky, apparently.
Awesome. Now if only the Bammers could read this…
But it could be better. He could have admitted that Bryant only had five AP national championships — one was a B.S. UPI title given before a bowl game that they lost — and a couple of those AP titles were given before bowl losses too.
I just don’t get it. Four or five national titles is nothing to be ashamed of. Oh well, that’s why they’re Bama.
I’m gonna go make a crimson and white shirt claiming 12 Heisman trophy winners, and see how many Bammers buy it…
1913, 1957, 1983, 1987, 1993, 2004
War Damn Eagle !!
H E H
sub in 1914 for 1987
And you could make an 1 minute argument for 1958 too. We were the defending champs and we didn’t lose…
Bill Barrow '00 says
The University of Alabama is like the golfer who notches a double-eagle on a 450-yard par 5 only to scribble a “1” on his scorecard.
Argh! NPR just said that Bama won No. 13 last night. Fact check! Fact check!
“Now if only the Bammers could read…”
Fixed it for ya.
The crawl on the bottom of expn last night while kirk, lee, and for some unknown reason pete carroll (??) were interviewing nick saban read as follows “8th national championship in school history”
wonder if the few bammers that can read will blow up on ABC/ESPN over that.
Also interested to see if there is similar backlash to what Danielson got when he mentioned once in passing during a game that mark ingrams dad was in jail. I fast forwarded through a lot of the commentary last night and still heard at least 3 mentions of his incarceration.
Funny Guys says
Well, I love how Auburn fans Claim the 57 title as Jonesy does….. You were not allowed to play in a Bowl game by the NCAA due to paying a preacher’s son (actually twins) who played WR and QB. So what is new…… Auburn being Hypocrites? ’57 and ’10 you paid for players and won! I also have heard stories form the south that Bo Jackson was a “bank teller” while in school? And I am not a BAMA fan, I live 1000s of miles away and pull for another team in another conference!