The Crimson Legacy: Eli Gold and Bear Byant Define Alabama Football

Heath McGuffCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

We all heard the legends as young boys growing up, about how good a coach Bear Bryant was.

We never knew how or why he was so good, we just knew he was a legend. Now a days when I look back and read articles about Bryant, I get chill bumps because he was not just a great coach he was a great man.

Now a days when young boys hear Bryant's name, they think of 12 national championships, 13 conference championships and his 25 year tenure as Alabama's head coach.

There is no doubt about it he was a hard-nose type coach who demanded the best out of all his players.

He would not tolerate any type of disrespect towards himself or let the players disrespect each other. One of his famous lines was: "If you don't have discipline, you can't have a successful program."  

He was a living legend in his last years as Alabama's head coach. He accomplished many things at the University of Alabama and instilled a tradition that lives on in him today and that's Alabama football.

Another great thing Bryant accomplished during his legacy at Alabama was this: During his career as Tide head coach, there was much racial segregation, Bryant did not believe in this and often stood up for African-Americans.

For years, Bryant defended charges of racism by saying the social climate didn't allow him to go after black players. He finally was able to convince the administration to allow him to do it after scheduling the Tide's 1970 season opener against a strong University of Southern California team led by African-American fullback Sam Cunningham.

By 1973, one-third of the team's starters were African-American.

Now that we have taken a look at the past, let's look at someone who has made a lasting impression on Alabama football today.

His name is Eli Gold, he has been a sports broadcaster for years. In 2003 he joined the Sports USA Radio Network as a play-by-play announcer for NFL and college football games.

He has received many awards over the years, with one of the most impressive being named a four-time "Alabama sportscaster of the year."

For years, Gold has changed my view of Alabama Crimson Tide football. When I watch Alabama football, I turn off the volume of the TV and turn on the radio to hear Gold's play-by-play.

He will truly be missed by many when he retires soon, and I'm sure others will love to see him go.

I just can't wait to hear him next season, he electrifies the game with his great sayings and peculiar ways to phrase things.

I think Bryant and Gold have made their marks on Alabama football and created the start of a legacy forever to be remembered.