Jackie Walker’s true 1969 Tennessee story forgotten and unjustly overshadowed by 1970 USC-Alabama folklore

Although no one in the documentary says it, there seems to be a feeling that Southern Cal’s rout of Alabama was the shock that the University and a majority of the fans needed to support integration of the football program. But in fact, that same shock probably came the previous year when the Tennessee Volunteers, the team that Bryant always regarded as the Tide’s most bitter foe, thrashed the Tide 41-14 at Legion Field in Birmingham. (I know—I…

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College football integration lore, in the form of traffic, has been steered to a fairytale exit

PHOTO: Pro-southern historians in the 1920s captured the narrative of the Civil War, and Robert E. Lee's statue stood over Richmond, Virginia, streets until it finally came down in 2021. A comparison can be made to Bear Bryant apologists and USC fiction writers capturing the college football integration narrative. Visit my website homepage, TomShanahan.Report “History writes people out of the story. It’s our job to write them back in.” — David Maraniss, Pulitzer prize-winning biographer By TOM SHANAHAN I’d…

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The ‘Time’ magazine face that launched a thousand Bear Bryant myths

Visit my homepage website, TomShanahan.Report — Part I: Did Bear Bryant protest facing Michigan State’s Horace Smith? — Part II: Bryant’s second deception and something missing from 1980 “Time” story — Part III: Scripted in Hollywood, unaware of South’s timeline — Part IV: Black Historiography --- More on Bear Bryant mythology: One year before USC arrived at Legion Field in 1970, integrated Tennessee, led by All-American linebacker Jackie Walker, embarrassed the all-white Crimson Tide 41-14 at Legion Field. Walker sparked the rout…

Continue ReadingThe ‘Time’ magazine face that launched a thousand Bear Bryant myths