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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT : THE GUMPSTER, PART TWO

No player interviewed on the Alabama team knew that the movie was based on a novel by Winston Groom. The book had a decidedly different twist to it but captured the true nature of Coach Bear Bryant.

In the book, Alabama is playing Nebraska in the Orange Bowl and falls behind, 28-7, by halftime. The Bear says: “Forrest, this . . . . has got to stop. . . . It is up to you, boy--so go out there and run like a wild animal is after you.”

The Tide battles back, 28-24, and the Bear says: “Forrest, you may be a . . . .-for-brains, but you has got to pull this thing out for us. I will personally see that you are made president of the United States or whatever else you want if you can jus’ haul that football over the goal line one more time.”

However, Alabama’s quarterback throws the ball out of bounds to stop the clock without realizing it is fourth down.

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Forrest then flunks remedial English and physical education. The Bear breaks the news: “Forrest, I regret awfully havin’ to tell you this, but you done flunked out of school. . . . Forrest, there has never been nobody like you ever played ball at this school, and there won’t be never again. Good luck, boy--now git your big dumb ass outta here.”

When told that Gump flunked out in the book, it didn’t make Stallings feel any better about taking his team to see the movie.

“We wasn’t reading a book, we was going to the movies.”

You sure wasn’t.

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