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"Shaun Alexander before Seattle's 34-14 NFC title triumph over Carolina.

"I think whenever you play football, at any time it could be your last play," said the University of Alabama's all-time rushing leader. "That's the great thing about this sport. Every week and every play, you have to play like it's your last."

President Ronald Reagan describing Bear Bryant's legacy in a statement on Jan. 26, 1983: "Today we Americans lost a hero who always seemed larger than life. ... Bear Bryant gave his country the gift of a life unsurpassed. In making the impossible seem easy, he lived what we strive to be."

"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, 1999.

*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 reported.

"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 touchdown.

"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 Alabama.

"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 early 70's.

"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 Times.

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 with Tennessee.

"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 Coach Bryant.

"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 points.

"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 offices yet.

*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 the rewards."


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