Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant Carried a Prayer in His Wallet-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant carried an inspirational prayer around with him in his wallet.
It’s true that an inspiration prayer was found in the wallet of legendary college football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant upon his death.
The Paul W. Bryant Museum at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa has confirmed that Bryant carried a poem around in his wallet titled “A New Day” that reads:
“This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss — good, not evil. Success, not failure in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”
Bear Bryant used to carry the poem around in his wallet and was known to read it to his players. The museum, which hands out free copies of the poem to visitors, also has a video of Bryant’s former players reading the poem posted on its website.
The poem was written by Heartsill Wilson, a motivational speakers and accountant from Texas.
John “Hog” Hannah, a former player for Coach Bryant, explained the meaning of the poem and its author to Bryant in his book, “Offensive Conduct: My Life on the Line”:
The author, Heartsill Wilson, was an accountant in Texas who also worked on the sales staff of Chrysler. Considered one of the finest sales consultants of that automotive industry, he was one of the most respected motivational speakers of his time.
One of the greatest gifts Wilson had, which I now believe probably appealed most to Coach Bryant, was his ability to see the best in people and get them to see their own value and talents. His philosophy of leadership was often referred to as “peopleology,” a term loosely defined at he art of seeing things from someone elses’s perspective, and in the world of sales, his mantra was “to sell Jim Brown what Jim Brown buys and see Jim Brown’s needs through Jim Brown’s eyes.”
I also personally think now that Coach Bryant carried that poem as a gut check or a reminder to balance his leadership style every now and then away from being a total dictator and a chronic, often punishing, masochistic football coach with exercising encouragement and positive praise of a player’s strengths rather than constantly harping on his weaknesses…
So, rumors that Coach Bryant carried around a prayer in his wallet are true.