I enjoy the old stories that former players like to tell, especially those who played for legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant. I’m hoping you do, too, and for that reason, I’ll relate one that former defensive back Benny Perrin told me today while I was working on another story.
Perrin played for Alabama during 1978-81 and then spent four seasons with the NFL’s Cardinals before neck and knee injuries forced him to retire.
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but it’s been a long time, so it should be OK,” Perrin said, laughing. “I always tell people that the wishbone offense that we ran was the greatest defense around.”
The greatest defense?
“Yes, defense,” Perrin repeated. “I remember some times we would get the kickoff, and our offense would drive down the field for a touchdown. We ran the ball all the time with the wishbone, and our offense would take six or seven minutes off the clock. It would be 7-0 Alabama before I even got on the field.
“Then we would stop the other team, make them punt and watch our offense drive down the field with that wishbone and score again. By then, it would be the end of the first quarter, and I had played only three plays. That’s why I say the wishbone was the greatest defense.”
When asked about what he considered his greatest accomplishment at Alabama, he didn’t hesitate: “I was part of two national champions and three SEC champions, and we never lost to Tennessee, Auburn or at Bryant-Denny Stadium in my four years there. How many guys can say all that?”