If the gentleman above looks familiar to you, longtime college football fan, he should: it's Gene Stallings, former Alabama football coach and helmer of the Tide's undefeated 1992 national champion squad. Stallings was in town for a golf tournament when Tuscaloosa bore the brunt of what's since been declared the worst U.S. natural disaster since Katrina. So he did what he could, working the grill for hungry emergency workers.
Alabama's current coach also took the time Thursday to lend a hand, as Nick Saban addressed and encouraged a group of student volunteers before they went to work (video here):
“Being a part of the team is not always just being there on Saturday,” Saban said. “Being a part of the University of Alabama team is to help people when they need it and there’s a lot of people out there who need it."Saban would know, as it's not only Tuscaloosa and the South that have beent sent reeling by the tornadoes, but the tight-knit Crimson Tide football community as well. Though current Tide long snapper Carson Tinker will recover from his injuries after being thrown 50 feet from his Tuscaloosa home, Tinker's 22-year-old girlfriend Ashley Harrison, also in the house at the time, has passed away. Fellow Alabama student Loryn Brown, daughter of former Tide standour Shannon Brown, also lost her life in the storm.
So while the coaches' efforts are overwhelmingly welcome, much more is obviously needed. Please consider donating to the relief effort by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 or online with one of the charities listed here. On behalf of the Alabama native writing this post: thank you.
UPDATE: Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers are doing their part as well, traveling today to the stricken Alabama cities of Pleasant Grove and Cullman to aid and assist volunteers.
Photo via EDSBS.