On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 29, 2013 #434 Up next…”’Don’t cost nuthin’ to be nice”
After further review…There’s a classic story that the legendary University of Alabama football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant used to tell on himself. In his first year as head coach with the ‘Tide, the “Bear” was on a recruiting trip to the southern part of Alabama. He was having trouble finding the athlete’s school and as lunch time approached he stopped at an old cinderblock building with a sign that read “Restaurant”. He walked in and sat at the counter—the only white man in the place on that day in 1958.
The owner approached and said, “You probably won’t like it here. Today we’re having chitlins, collard greens, and black eyed-peas with cornbread”. Bryant looked him straight in the eye and said, “I’m from Arkansas and probably eaten a mile of chitlins. Sounds like the right place to me”. Then Bryant asked about the young man he was looking for and needed directions to the school. When he finished his meal, the owner refused payment, but asked for an autographed picture from the coach. It arrived from Tuscaloosa the following week, signed and inscribed, “Thanks for the best lunch I ever had”.
Jump ahead a few years and Bryant is interviewing another athlete from that same area, who told the coach he was set on going to Auburn—Alabama’s arch rival. Two days later the athlete called Bryant and asked him “Coach, you still want me at Alabama?” “Sure do, said Bryant, but what changed your mind?” The athlete responded “When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no, he pitched a fit and told me I wasn’t going nowhere but Alabama. He sure thinks a lot of you and has ever since y’all met”. Over chitlins…
Segue to the NFL who held its draft this past weekend and as a media event was bigger than ever. But do you know who was selected as the last draft choice, the so called “Mr. Irrelevant”. I mean, who is more irrelevant than the last guy picked? This ‘honor’ is the brain-child of Paul Salata, who 38 years ago created the event “to do something nice for someone for no good reason”! Mr. Irrelevant gets a trip to Newport Beach, CA, a parade, and weeklong celebration closing with a banquet where he will be presented with the “Lowsman Trophy”. Go to www.irrelevantweek.com to find out more.
Will you never remember what you give, but never forget what you receive?