Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gene Stallings

This is one my favorite pictures of my sister and I- sitting on the Bryant bench in Tuscaloosa with the Gene Stallings quote above our heads. The quote is so true- and funny- about Alabama fans.

Stallings coached at Alabama under Bryant during the 70s, then came back in 1990 and proceeded to lead us to a National Championship in 1992- in a HUGE upset over Miami. (He's got the ball! He took the ball away from him!)
And Stallings would have been welcome to stay much longer than he did, but chose to retire in after the 1996 season (and a bowl win over Michigan to end his career at Alabama).

But Coach Stallings left The Capstone.
To focus on "Another Season"- John Mark Stallings. John Mark is Coach Stallings's special needs son. He was born with Down Syndrome and battled congenital heart disease as he aged. Coach Stallings left coaching to focus on life with his son.
John Mark was one of those kids that was almost more famous than his famous daddy because everything that John Mark did was influential on his influential father.

John Mark passed away this past year at the age of 46. It made headlines in the state of Alabama and was on the cover of the UofAlabama campus newspaper, The Crimson and White. The story of John Mark's life was even made news here in Georgia. "Another Season" was written by Coach Stallings and Sally Cook- it's such a great story.

Alabama fans love Bryant, but I'm pretty sure most of us love Coach Stallings and John Mark too.

1 comment:

Bone said...

I bought this book for my Mom for Christmas last year.

Upon opening it, she started to tear up and said, "I just love this book."
My sister said, "Mom, you've never read it."
My Mom, completely crying now, replied, "I know, but I always wanted to."