A Bright Star story

Gene Stallings at the Bright Star

Gene Stallings speaking at the Bright Star
By Hunter Ford

You never know who you’ll see at The Bright Star restaurant in Bessemer.

I was walking in to the Bright Star Wednesday when I saw a guy who looked a lot like Gene Stallings sitting in a chair in the lobby. Lo and behold it was good ole Bebes! He was there to give a lunchtime speech to a group called Coaches Outreach, something similar to FCA.

Coach Stallings told a story about Coach Bryant and the FCA.

“Coach Bryant called me up one day when I was at Texas A&M,” Stallings recalled. “He said ‘Beebes, you know what is the worst thing to happen to Alabama football since I’ve been here?’ No, said Stallings.

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“It’s the FCA,” Bear said. “They got everybody lovin’ on each other and huggin’ each other and nobody wants to hit anybody!”

The crowd got a big laugh out of that. Stallings said Bryant called him back later that same year with a different point of view.

“Bebes, you know what is the best thing to ever happen to Alabama football since I’ve been here?” Bear asked. No, Coach what’s that?, replied Stallings.

“It’s the FCA,” Bryant said with enthusiasm. “They have really got the boys working together.”

Stallings has a little more gray hair than he used to, but he still looks to me like he could coach if he wanted to. I really miss his short sleeved button down shirts and the tirades he directed at the referees.