Wishbone Wisdom: Emory Bellard tells his story


The celebration in the home team locker room of Jackson’s Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium was a raucous one. Players were hugging, high-fiving, and yelling.

No. 1 Alabama suffered a shocking 6-3 loss to heavy underdog Mississippi State on Nov. 1, 1980, and the Bulldogs had no reason to be quiet. And then they did.

Legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant walked in.

“A hush came over us and everybody took a knee,” recalled John Bond, then an MSU freshman quarterback. “He was dressed just like in the pictures.”

Bryant took off his Houndstooth hat, and with help from a state trooper, stepped up on a folding chair. To the players who had ended his hope of winning a third consecutive national title, he spoke.

“He said simply, `You whipped us,'” said Emory Bellard, then State’s coach. “There weren’t any excuses. On that day, I had to agree.” source

Emory Bellard. State folks loved him.

Even when the rest best and brightest offensive minds of the college football world had abandoned the wishbone set, Emory Bellard was still refining and tweaking triple option football, and bringing a no-excuse toughness to the Bulldog nation.

After his stay at MSU, Bellard returned to Texas high school football.

Now he tells his story as the author of “Wishbone Wisdom, Emory Bellard: Texas Football Visionary” (as told to Al Pickett, State House Press, $19.95 trade paperback).

I think I’m going to have to read this one. If you love real football as much as I do, you’ll want to read it too.

And, to John Bond and his family, our hearts are breaking for you. Know that thousands of hands are clasped in prayer for y’all.

6 Responses

  1. […] Originally posted here: Wishbone Wisdom: Emery Bellard tells his story « Nuke Gingrich […]

  2. Ol’ Emory changed football with his offense, when he inverted the old T formation. At about the same time at UofH, Bill Yeoman was running the Veer, which was essentially the same offense without the fullback behind the QB. I don’t know of any high school teams that still run the Wishbone, but several still run the Veer, and in some schools, the old Wing T.
    Things are changing fast though, and I expect to see more of the A-11 offense. This offense is so unique, it may eventually get the jersey number restrictions for position players removed.

  3. […] previously:  Wishbone Wisdom […]

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