Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Dick Coffee was about more than Alabama football
by Mark Edwards
Alabama superfan Dick Coffee Jr. died Friday at 91 years old, which means his streak of attending 781 straight games will end.

Yes, Dick Coffee loved his Alabama Crimson Tide and was always there when they played, even when he needed a wheelchair to get from his car (and the special parking spot Alabama provided him) to the stadium.

But Dick Coffee was about so much more than Alabama football.

He was a devoted husband to Nora Coffee for nearly 60 years. He loved his hometown of Decatur, and although he spent most of his life in Birmingham, he always kept up with his friends from the River City.

He and Nora raised two terrific children – Dick Coffee III and Laura Coffee Ramsey, two people who are as nice and kind as their parents.

He fought in World War II in Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, earning a Purple Heart.

He supported children's charities in his role as a member of Birmingham's Monday Morning Quarterback Club.

He supported Alabama basketball, too, even back in the days before C.M. Newton arrived and made Crimson Tide hoops relevant in the 1970s.

He never forgot football ultimately is just a game. He was a proud Alabama graduate, but he always had a smile and a warm handshake for friends and strangers, even after a Crimson Tide loss. And that’s saying something. Don’t forget the streak began in 1946, which means he not only saw every game of the Bear Bryant era, but also every contest coached by J.B. “Ears” Whitworth, Mike DuBose and Mike Shula.

The University Alabama lost a devoted football fan, but our state lost a great person.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at or 256-235-3570.
© 2013