Only in Arkansas: Paul "Bear" Bryant Stadium

Published 08/07 2014 06:16PM

Updated 08/08 2014 08:38AM

FORDYCE, AR - The grass is just like any other football field.

The stands this fall on Friday nights will be full just like any other stadium.

But what sets this gridiron 100 yards away from any other hallowed ground, are the two feet that took their running start in the game of football right here.

Anyone who knows anything about the man knows Paul "Bear" Bryant grew up in Fordyce, Arkansas.

"They say that's the home of Bear Bryant," says Dallas County Judge Jimmy Jones, adding that there's no other place like it. "Just knowing he came from such humble beginnings to where he is now, that's made him an icon not only in our county, in our town, but the nation," says Jones.

And now, the field where the legendary football coach played the game for the first time, has been placed on the Arkansas Register of Historical Places.

"It's an honor to be recognized," says Jimmy Jones.

"The field itself has remained the same for all these years," explains Donna Jones, who is on the State Review Board for Arkansas Historic Preservation. She adds that the decision didn't take much convincing.

"It's a lot of history there," she says. "We've ridden Bear Bryant's coattails for a long time."

"He made an impact on a lot of people," adds Jimmy Jones.

And now, while those that walk the sidelines today already know what sets this place apart, the official recognition is just a way to honor the man that walked the sidelines so many years ago.

"It's gonna be an honor for the state and for the community of Fordyce," he says.

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