Not much has changed in the last fifty years. College recruiting is still a cutthroat business, race relations in this country are still strained and Alabama is still the best football team in the nation.
With that said, in Rising Tide: Bear Bryant, Joe Namath and Dixie’s Last Quarter, Randy Roberts and Ed Krzemienski load us into their time machine by painting a vivid picture of high-stakes college football and racial disharmony in the South in the 1950s and 60s.
Their story begins with the tale of Howard Schnellenberger (yes, THAT Howard Schnellenberger) as he is sent up to Pennsylvania with one very important objective: bring Joe Namath back to Alabama. Negotiations between the University of Maryland and the nation’s hottest, high school prospect had broken down. The year was 1961.