"Travis (Carroll) was a part of this team
and it hurts to lose him, but the truth is, I was planning on starting
this year whether Travis was here or not." Marvin Constant #45,
*He knocked me woozy. I have never been hit like that before and
hopefully, I'll never be hit like that again.* Notre Dame QB Steve
Beuerlein after Cornelius Bennett's tackle of him in the 1986 game.
*Folks, this is the greatest individual defensive effort I have ever
witnessed.* CBS announcer Brent Musburger talking about Derek Thomas in
the 1988 Penn State game.
*I just want to thank God for blessing me with some athletic talent and
letting me play for the University of Alabama.* Derrick Thomas in
accepting the Butkus Trophy in 1988.
*Willie Wyatt is a walking nightmare for centers.* Coach Curry talking
about his nose guard in 1989.
*I just waxed the dude.* DB Rory Turner's explanation of his
game-saving tackle of Auburn's Brent Fullwood in the 17-15 1984 game.
"I don't know if that's a great team, but they most certainly were
great against us. I don't guess anybody has ever hit us that hard."
Auburn coach Shug Jordan, 1961.
"I can honestly say that I didn't come to the University of
Alabama because I thought it would be easy. No, I came because I knew it
would be hard." Former Tide player Tommy Wilcox.
"All I know is that we went out there in two buses and we came
back in one." Former Texas A&M player Gene Stallings, upon being
asked if Coach Bryant's first practices at Texas A&M were as tough as
"Here's a moment you dream about happening, and here it was
staring at us in the face. Gut-check time. Coach always preached it, jaw
to jaw, cheek tocheek. They weren't going anywhere." Former Tide star
Rich Wingo, of the goal-line stand in '79 for the National Championship.
"You'd better pass." Marty Lyons (to Penn St QB Chuck Fusina)
when he walked to the line of scrimmage to see how far the ball was from
the goal line just before the famous goal line stand play.
"Well, they're not blocking anyone, so I'd thought I'd see if they
could play defense." Former Tide QB Pat Trammel, explaining to Coach
Bryant why he had quick kicked on third down. This was in the days of the
"one-platoon system", when the same set of players played
offense and defense.
"I guess I'm just too full of 'Bama." Tommy Lewis, explaining
why he charged, bareheaded, off the bench to tackle Rices' Dick Moegle who
was on his way to a 95 yard TD run in the 1954 Cotton Bowl.
"The first fifty yards I was praying no one would catch me, the
last fifty yards I was praying that someone would." Lee Ozmint, after
intercepting a pass in the end zone and returning it 100 yards for a
"No man, I majored in Journalism, it was easier." Joe Namath
responding to a reporter who asked him if he majored in Basket Weaving at
"You never know what a football player is made of until he plays
against Alabama.", Former Tennessee Coach Bob Neyland.
"His ear had a real nasty cut and it was dangling from his head,
bleeding badly. He grabbed his own ear and tried to yank it from his head.
His teammates stopped him and the managers bandaged him. Man was that guy
a tough one. He wanted to tear off his own ear so he could keep
playing." Tennessee lineman Bull Bayer talking about his Alabama
counterpart and first All-American Bully VandeGraaf in the 1913 game.
"The game demonstrated the superiority of the Southern teams over
any aggregation that the damn yankees could send across the Mason and
Dixon Line." Sports writer Charles Israel of the Philadelphia
Bulletin after the Tide's 61-6 win over Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl.
"No one can help but be aware of the rich tradition that is
associated with this team and with this university. Tradition is a burden
in many ways. To have a tradition like ours means that you can't lose your
cool; to have tradition like ours means that you always have to show
class, even when you are not quite up to it; to have tradition like ours
means that you have to do some things that you don't want to do and some
you even think you can't do, simply because tradition demands it of you.
On the other hand, tradition is the thing that sustains us. Tradition is
that which allows us to prevail in ways that we could not otherwise."
University President David Matthews talking to an Alabama team in the
"I knew Coach Curry was leaving when he came in the squad room
with a blue jacket on and in its lapels were tickets to the Kentucky
Derby." Center Roger Shultz talking to the media the night Coach
Curry told the team he had accepted another job.
"The expectation level is high at the University of Alabama and it
should be.What's wrong with people expecting excellence?" Coach Gene
Stallings upon his hiring as head coach in 1990.
"I was determined to block that field goal. There was no way I was
going to let Alabama lose." Safety Stacy Harrison after blocking a
field goal in the Tide's 9-6 win over Tennessee in 1990.
"Alabama's cornerbacks don't impress me one bit. They're
overrated. Real men don't play zone defense and we'll show them a thing or
two come January 1." Miami Receiver Lamar Thomas before the '93 Sugar
Bowl. Thomas was involved in the Play of the Century.
"I wish Coach Bryant were here to see this defense play."
Defensive Coordinator Bill Oliver about the '92 defense.
"And believe me, to have been in the city of Tuscaloosa in October
when you were young and full of Early Times and had a shining Alabama girl
by your side--to have had all that and then to have seen those red shirts
pour onto the field, and, then, coming behind them, with that inexorable
big cat walk of his, the man himself, The Bear--that was very good
indeed." Howell Raines, a Washington correspondent for the New York
What People Say about Coach Bryant..."I don't know about the rest
of you, but I know one thing. Ole thirty-four will be after them. He'll be
after their asses!" Former Tide coach Hank Crisp, talking of Paul
Bryant the player, who had a broken leg and had not expected to play.
"Bryant can take his and beat yours, and then he can turn around
and take yours and beat his." Houston Oiler head coach Bum Phillips,
a former player under Coach Bryant.
"You go by that and they'll have to fire us all." Former
Auburn coach Shug Jordan on finding out that LSU coach Charlie McLendon
had been fired for not being able to defeat Coach Bryant.
"If I could reach my students like that, I'd teach for
nothing." An Alabama professor after seeing the players reaction to a
pregame talk by Coach Bryant.
"My biggest thrill in college was the first time he called me by
[my] name on the field." Former Tide WR Keith Pugh
"I'd do it again in a minute. If your a football player, you dream
of playing for Coach Bryant ."Former Tide defender John Mitchell, on
being the first black player to play football at Alabama.
"I can't imagine being in the Hall of Fame with Coach Bryant.
There ought to be two Hall of Fames, one for Coach Bryant and one for
everybody else." Ozzie Newsome, upon his induction to the Alabama
Hall of Fame.
"He literally knocked the door down. I mean right off its hinges.
A policeman came in and asked who knocked the door down, and Coach Bryant
said, "I did". The policeman just said "Okay" and
walked off." Jerry Duncan describing an irate Bryant after a 7-7 tie
"This must be what God looks like." George Blanda, who played
for Bryant at Kentucky, upon his first meeting with the coach.
"He literally coached himself to death. He was our greatest
coach." Former Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes at the funeral for
"We were in the first meeting with Coach Bryant and he told us in
four years if we believed in his plan and dedicated ourselves to being the
best we could be we would be national champions. He was right." Billy
Neighbors remembering Coach Bryant in 1958.
And what "The Bear" had to say..."I'll never forget
going to the Rose Bowl. I remember everything about it. We were on the
train and Coach Thomas was talking to three coaches and Red Heard, the
athletic director at LSU. Coach Thomas said, ?Red, this is my best
football player. This is the best player on my team.' Well, shoot, I could
have gone right out the top. He was getting me ready. And I was, too. I
would have gone out there and killed myself for Alabama that day."
Reminiscing about the 1935 Rose Bowl trip and Coach Thomas.
"How many people watch you give a final exam? [About fifty is the
reply.] Well, I have 50,000 watch me give mine - every Saturday!" To
English Professor Tommy Mayo (at Texas A&M) when questioned about his
emphasis on winning and his salary.
"Stephenson was a man among children - he didn't say very much,
but he didn't have to." About Dwight Stevenson, the center on the
Championship 1979 squad. Bryant also called Stephenson "the best
center I've ever coached."
*Lee Roy was the best college linebacker - bar none. He would have made
every tackle on every play if they had stayed in bounds.*Coach Bryant on
Lee Roy Jordan.
"Sure I'd like to beat Notre Dame, don't get me wrong. But nothing
matters more than beating that cow college on the other side of the
state." To a group of boosters before an Auburn game. This comment
was widely reported, and AU upset the Tide a few days later.
"I left Texas A&M because my school called me. Mama called,
and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running." On why he
had to leave A&M with six years left on his contract.
"You couldn't play four years and be good enough to cost the
University of Alabama thirty yards!" An irate Coach Bryant to a
player who had just received his second fifteen yard penalty of the game.
"He can't run, he can't pass, and he can't kick - all he can do is
beat you." Speaking of Tide QB Pat Trammel.
"This is the saddest day of my life." Coach Bryant on hearing
the news Pat Trammell had died in Birmingham in December, 1968.
"All I know is, I don't want to stop coaching, and I don't want to
stop winning, so we're gonna break the record unless I die." Bryant,
when asked if he would break Alonzo Staggs record of 314 college wins.
"I know one thing, I'd rather die now than to have died this
morning and missed this game." Coach Bryant after Bama's win over
unbeaten Auburn in '71.
"Hell, no! A tie is like kissing your sister!" After being
asked if he had considered going for a field goal when trailing by three
"Regardless of who was coaching them, they still would have been a
great team. I said early in the season that they were the nicest, even
sissiest, bunch I ever had. I think they read it, because later on they
got unfriendly." On his 1961 team.
"I didn't care if we ever quit practicing. I loved it. The only
other guy I ever knew who loved it as much was Jerry Duncan. He would beg
to practice even when he was hurt. I've actually seen him cry because the
trainer told him he couldn't scrimmage." On Jerry Duncan, his star
tackle in 1964-66.
"What the hell's the matter with you people down there? Don't
y'all take your football seriously?" Coach Bryant, upon calling
Auburn at 6 AM only to find out that none of the coaches were in their
*Woody is a great coach . . . and I ain't bad.* After the Tide beat
Ohio State 35 - 6 in the 1978 Sugar Bowl.
"Here's a twenty, bury two." Coach Bryant, after being asked
to chip in ten dollars to help cover the cost of a sportswriters funeral.
"I'm just a simple plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned
over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how
to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a
team." Bryant, when asked why he was so successful as a coach.
"What matters...is not the size of the dog in the fight, but of
the fight in the dog." *I ain't never been nothing but a winner.*
"If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and
never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are