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Rolando McClain's self-imposed exile

Retired from NFL at age 24, he looks for peace -- and perspective -- in Tuscaloosa

Originally Published: October 30, 2013
By Seth Wickersham | ESPN The Magazine

AN OLD MAN approaches a table of three young men at a Tuscaloosa Applebee's.

"Roll Tide," says the old man.

"Roll Tide," the young men say.

The old man takes a seat. He warns everyone that he's been drinking. Crown Royal Black. "Smooth as a baby's ass," he says. He wants to talk Alabama football, a random drunk guy with stories to tell. The first game that he attended: 1958, against LSU. Bear Bryant's debut as coach. Blew a lead and lost. Still gnaws at him. Then one of the ...

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