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So many are sharing a Mal Moore story today.
OK, here's mine.
In early 2004, I was hired by the Decatur Daily as the University of Alabama's beat writer. Less than two years out of college, still very wet behind the ears, I boldly called up and asked for a sit-down interview with the AD. Moore met with me immediately.
Odd that his office at that time was in a trailer outside Coleman Coliseum, as the school was in the process of upgrading (among other things) what would become the Mal Moore building that now houses the football program.
I had some questions ready for him, including some fairly tough ones. I asked them. He answered. But then the recorder clicked off and I noticed he wasn't getting up to walk me out. We just kept chatting. This scene would repeat itself through later meetings with Moore over the years. That's just who he was. He'd much rather talk to you as a person to a person than as an athletics director to a reporter.
But on this visit, I got the sense he was sizing me up a little. He asked where I was from, and I told him I grew up in Birmingham. He asked where I went to school. I told him I'd graduated from Georgia.
He perked up a little at that, steering the conversation to the facility upgrades being conducted for numerous sports around campus.
"Let's go have a look," he said, standing up and grabbing his car keys.
So for the next hour or so, I rode around Tuscaloosa in the company of Mal Moore.
He took me out to construction of Old Colony and the new golf complex, the new tennis facility and softball stadium. I wrote at the time that he seemed like a proud papa. And he did. These projects were not football-related. But you could tell they were so important to him. He wanted to show them off. More than once, he asked me how they stacked up to what they had over there at Georgia.
At the time, I thought it was special he would take the time to do that for some reporter he'd just met who worked at a smaller in-state newspaper. It was special, but that was just Mal. I've covered other ADs at other places and liked them as people. Mal, in his own way, was just different from all of them. This story doesn't compare to many I've heard and read in the past 24 hours. They have been remarkable and yet not surprising in the least. This was a great man.
About five years of my career have been spent covering Alabama, and I never -- not one time -- met a person I believed loved that University more than Mal Moore. He was in all ways an institution and a legend.
I'm sad today to see him go.
GET AT ME ----- E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org ----- TWITTER: @GentryEstes247 ---- FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/dawgs247
Per usual, great work.
Ok, so how did they stack up against UGA's in 04'?
Thanks Gentry for sharing your story about CMM.
Why does it not surprise us?
And he had you in his corner after that, I am guessing. And vice versa.
Thanks again for sharing.
This post was edited by grgolson 13 months ago
Great story, GE...thanks so much for sharing.
I have a few good ones concerning Mal and my family as well, all really good. He was a wonderful person.
I don't know of anyone who didn't like him. None. Some may have disagreed with him or his decisions from time to time, but he was one of the most likable human beings on this planet. There are dwindling numbers of those, sadly. Alas, as each one like him passes, humankind moves more towards barbarism...
1960 Les Paul
Awesome, thanks for posting it!
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