The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

May 13, 2008

Bryant’s first game coaching Alabama night to remember

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s 13-3 loss to LSU on Sept. 27, 1958, in Mobile is full of historical markers. It was coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s first game in charge of the Crimson Tide, and one that flashed promise for a rebuilding program. For visiting LSU, it was an early step toward an undefeated season and national title.

Yet the most prominent memory of that night, especially for longtime Mobilians, is of the stands collapsing at Ladd Stadium.

A section of wooden bleachers in the north end zone, softened by recent heavy rains, crumpled late in the first quarter under the weight of about 1,500 fans. More than 70 were injured, though miraculously none were in critical condition.

A front-page story in the next day’s Press-Register reported that the stands “collapsed like an accordion.” A “series of popping noises similar to small arms fire” was followed by “a loud hollow sound as the supporting braces completely gave way.”

The fence separating the bleachers from the field was toppled by fans in the front rows rushing from the falling planks.

“You knew what was going to happen,” victim Elizabeth Armand of New Orleans said at the time. “But you didn’t know whether you’d end up under the pile, on top, or where.”

The game was halted for at least five minutes. Players took a knee and watched fans being pulled from the wreckage and carted away in ambulances.

“It scared us all, let me tell you,” said Bobby Jackson, Alabama’s quarterback and former local standout at Murphy High. “Coach Bryant was not very happy, but he didn’t get real mad. He stayed in there with us, and we looked a lot better than we could have looked.”

Once the game resumed, Alabama carried a surprise 3-0 lead into intermission before a deeper, more talented LSU team bowed up with two touchdown drives in the second half. The second score was a 12-yard run by Billy Cannon, who won the Heisman Trophy the following season.

Text Only
Sports
  • Manning getting used to new faces on Broncos

    The quarterback who thrived on the familiarity of playing with the same receivers is now having to adjust to a revamped offensive roster to start his third year in Denver.

    July 24, 2014

  • Auburn's Nick Marshall pays citations in Georgia

    That means Marshall won't have to appear at a September court hearing.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jaguars sign former Crimson Tide DB Belue, waive RB Blankenship

    Deion Belue played two seasons at Alabama after beginning his career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He started his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide, totaling three interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 7 1/2 tackles for loss.

    July 24, 2014

  • CEO: Sterling staying on a 'disaster' for Clippers

    Coach Doc Rivers has said he'll resign from the Los Angeles Clippers if Donald Sterling remains owner, the team's interim CEO testified, saying such a move would be a "disaster" for the franchise.

    July 23, 2014

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys.

    July 23, 2014

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO Richard Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the NBA looks to force Donald Sterling from the league over racist statements.

    July 23, 2014

  • dunk.jpg Tedford, Potts take on the South

    While the North team has a lengthy winning streak in the basketball series, Tedford and Potts will face a tough battle against three players already committed to SEC schools on the South team.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arkansas State player earns conference honors

    Qushaun Lee led conference in tackles with 134 —the sixth most tackles in conference history and most by an Arkansas State player since 1991.

    July 22, 2014

  • Clippers' future on line as probate trial resumes

    The future of the Los Angeles Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes Monday in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust.

    Sterling, the volatile owner of the team, agreed to the sale but then tried to revoke consent in spite of a signed letter instructing his wife Shelly Sterling to sell for the highest price she could get.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tuesday could be time to 'play ball' for Biloxi

    July 21, 2014

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee