College football is a cultural dynamo, the sport that like no other taps into Americans’ martial spirit and evokes the fervor of religious faith. Further, it has been a fulcrum of social change; its schemes date back to Hannibal; and some of its themes are drawn from military history and Shakespeare’s tragedies. In the great battles of history and contemporary times, great warriors make great coaches; weak and irresolute generals never win the battle of the gridiron. Author Brandt Ayers uses the occasion of the 2013 BCS National Championship game to explore these themes and to highlight the football legacies of the universities of Alabama and Notre Dame.
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About the Author
From the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first, the Ayers name has been synonymous with progressive journalism. Brandt Ayers, the current publisher of the Anniston Star, graduated from the University of Alabama and later studied at Harvard and Columbia. He served as Washington correspondent for the (Raleigh) News and Observer and covered Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department for a news bureau serving newspapers in the South and Southwest. He later led the Star during the turbulent civil rights era. He was one of the founders and president of an institutional expression of the New South movement, the L. Q. C. Lamar Society.