The Storm and the Tide: Tragedy, Hope and Triumph in Tuscaloosa

Sports Illustrated. Aug. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9781618930972. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781618939586. SPORTS
The book opens with the April 2011 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa, AL, taking the lives of 53 people. Included amongst the dead were six University of Alabama students, a couple of whom had close ties to the Tide's football team. Anderson (Carlisle vs. Army) perceptively examines how the devastated town and surrounding area forged a symbiotic relationship with the team to draw inspiration and sustenance from one another as Alabama rolled to national championships in both that year and the next. The book abounds with in-depth profiles of players, students, fans, and grieving parents. Most notable is the surprisingly favorable picture that emerges of Coach Nick Saban, a figure usually depicted as a gloomy, deceitful automaton, but one who took a leading role in turning the tragedy into a rallying point for all.
VERDICT Should be of wide interest to nearly all readers.
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