The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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‘Bear Bryant’ makes appearance at SEC Media Days

Photo by By Alex Miller

Brothers Alton and Dixon White have been posing as legendary coach Bear Bryant for about seven years.

HOOVER, Ala. – Tuscaloosa lies just 50 miles southwest of The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, a suburb just south of Birmingham, and home to SEC Media Days.
The proximity to the home of Alabama football allows a large influx of Crimson Tide fans to gather when the team makes their appearance at the four-day extravaganza. With large numbers in attendance, added with the fact its Tide fans paves way to unique characters.
Among the standouts are Alton, 82 from Birmingham, and Dixon White, 79 from Springville, Ala., or as they’re recognized as, legendary coach Bear Bryant.
“I was in Branson, Missouri and a man told me, I was only wearing the [Bryant] hat, you look like Bear Bryant,” Dixon, an Alabama alumnus, said. “So I came back home, I saw this [crimson jacket] hanging in a thrift store and bought it.”
His older brother, Alton, hopped on board with the look-alike several years back.
“Well, I didn’t look like Nick Saban,” Alton said. “So I decided to dress like Bear Bryant.”
The brothers’ fame began to rise in 2011 when the Crimson Tide hosted Penn State.
“I was at the Penn State game, the last one Coach [Joe] Paterno coached against Alabama,” Dixon recalled. “Everybody wanted to take a picture with me because they said I look like Bear Bryant. I made over 300 pictures that day.”
Both Alton and Dixon recollect Bryant coaching at Alabama and added that his stint at Texas A&M gave him the boost he needed to rise to prominence.
“He left Kentucky and went to A&M and at A&M he really got A&M moving,” Dixon said. “I believe it was a giant stepping stone for him.”
Dixon said that A&M Heisman winner John David Crow only added to Bryant’s prestige.
“John David Crow, he was a great football player,” Dixon added. “He deserved the Heisman Trophy and I believe it really boosted Bryant’s notoriety as a football coach.”
Alton added that it was Crow’s selflessness that helped him claim college football’s top honor in 1957.
“He was a team man, not just an individual,” Alton said of Crow. “He played for the team.”
Dixon concluded with a memory an old friend who played for Bryant at Alabama once told him, attesting to The Bear’s toughness.
“He said that when they went in the weight room and they heard Coach Bryant coming down the hall singing ‘Shall we gather at the river,’ it was going to be a rough practice.”

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