"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."....Coach Paul W. Bryant
"You boys were eight and ten years old last time Alabama was on top. That was before any of you were paying much attention to it. What are you doing here? Tell me why you are here. If you are not here to win a national championship, you're in the wrong place. You boys are special. I don't want my players to be like other students. I want special people. You can learn a lot on the football field that isn't taught in the home, the church, or the classroom. There are going to be days when you think you've got no more to give and then you're going to give plenty more. You are going to have pride and class. You are going to be very special. You are going to win the national championship for Alabama."....Coach Paul Bryant in his first meeting with his first team at Alabama, 1958.
"They play like it is a sin to give up a point."....Paul Bryant talking about his
defense before the 1962 Sugar Bowl
"Alabama has won the Rose Bowl before, but, Alabama, you have never met
the likes of Southern Cal before. It will be a different story for you."....A West
Coast writer on the eve of the 1946 Rose Bowl
"There goes a great coach. I'll never forget what he did today. If he had
wanted, he could have named the score."....USC coach Jeff Cravath talking
about Frank Thomas after the 1946 Rose Bowl won by Alabama 34-14
"Plow, Bear, Plow."--Auburn students yelling at Bryant before the 1979 game
in response to Bryant's remarks he'd have to go back to Arkansas and plow if
his team lost to Auburn.
"Our winning drive (13 plays, 82 yards) was one of the finest I've ever seen.
We had to have it. I'm just thrilled to death with the win. We've got some
mighty fine plow hands on this team."....Coach Bryant after the 25-18 win over
Auburn in 1979.
"He can take his'n' and beat you'rn', and he can take you'rn' and beat
his'n'..... Florida A&M Coach Jake Gaither's evaluation of Paul Bryant
as a head coach
"If he'd kicked it straight, we would have blocked it."....Coach Bryant's
remarks about Tennessee's missed field goal in the 1966 game in Knoxville,
won by the Tide 11-10.
"I thought this must be what God looks like."....Former Kentucky star George
Blanda talking about his former coach Paul Bryant
"I didn't care if we ever quit practicing. I loved it. The only other guy I ever
knew who loved to practice 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."....Coach Bryant on Jerry Duncan, his
star tackle from 1964 to 1966
"No, man, I majored in journalism. It was easier."....Joe Namath responding to
a reporter who asked him if he majored in basketweaving at Alabama
"It's the greatest football team I've ever been associated with. It's the greatest
football team I ever saw."....Coach Bryant on his 1966 team
"There is no way to describe the pride an Alabama player feels in himself and
the tradition of the school."....All-time great Kenny Stabler
"Coach Bryant always taught us we were special and never to accept being
ordinary. I think that is one thing that has sustained Alabama through the
years. Players with ordinary ability feeling somehow, someway they would
find it within themselves to make a play to help Alabama win a football
game. There is no way to describe the pride an Alabama player feels in
himself and the tradition of the school.".....Kenny Stabler on tradition at the Capstone
"At Alabama, we expect to win." Alexander said "That's just the way it is." "I don't think it'll take long to get it back," Alexander said. I think tradition and pride will kick in... "You don't really appreciate this until after you're out of school, but it's really true: When you play for Alabama, when you put on that Crimson jersey, you're not just playing for yourself or your teammates. You're playing for everybody who wore that uniform before you and for everybody who'll wear it after you. "That's the tradition. That's why Alabama won't be down for long."..... Former University of Alabama great running back Shaun Alexander, in Huntsville Times interview, 05/21/01
"I know one thing, I'd rather die now than to have died this morning and
missed this game.".....Coach Bryant after Alabama's 31-7 win over unbeaten
Auburn in 1971.
"I thought Nebraska was the most football-crazed state until I came to
Alabama. Coach Bryant got up and introduced members of the 1925 Rose
Bowl team, and he got teary-eyed, and so did all the people in the audience
who welcomed the team with an absolute admiration that is hard to
describe."....James Michener author of Sports in America
"I don't know if I'll ever get tired of football. One time I thought I might. . . I
was out there on the practice field wondering whether football had passed me
by. Then I heard the Million Dollar Band playing over on the practice field.
When they started playing 'Yea, Alabama,' I got goosebumps all over me. I
looked out there and those young rascals in those crimson jerseys, and I just
wanted to thank God for giving me the opportunity to coach and contribute in
some small way at my alma mater and be a part of the University of Alabama
"I grew up sneaking into Legion Field to see Alabama play. I vividly remember Joe Namath's
first varisty game. I remember Kenny Stabler running down the sideline in the
rain and mud against Auburn. I remember Lee Roy Jordan chasing down a
running back and intimidating without even hitting. I really appreciate the
people who have contributed to this legacy and the tradition that has been
passed down. And the people who have continued it--the goal line stand
and Van TIffin's kick and all those memories of people who have carried on
the tradition of Alabama football. I really feel blessed to have had the
opportunity to be part of the tradition of Alabama football."....My favorite, Johnny Musso
"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 'Bama defensive back Tommy Wilcox
Coach Bryant, after announcing his retirement, was asked if he was
dissappointed that an Alabama player had never won the Heisman Trophy
while he was the coach. He said, "No!", and added, "At Alabama our players
do not win Heisman Trophies, our teams win national championships."
"It was the Rose Bowl's greatest game. (It was) one of football's most savage counter attacks to storm the heights of victory in the face of what seemed certain and overwhelming defeat. (It was) one of the most magnificent one man stands since Horatius held the bridge. This game was all of these." Author Maxwell Stiles wrote those words after Alabama defeated Washington, 20-19, in the 1926 Rose Bowl.
"Playing at Alabama taught me mental toughness, being a team player, being a
winner. I remember my freshman year, my position coach kept getting on me
and kept getting on me. I called my mother and told her I wanted to quit. She
told me that coach was pushing me for a reason. He was passing on the same
things he had learned at Alabama as a player and he keeps on passing them
on now. That coach is Mike Dubose."....Cornelius Bennett
"He knocked me woozy. I have never been hit like that before, and hopefully
I'll never be hit again."--Notre Dame quarterback Steve Buerlein after
Cornelius Bennett sacked him in the 1986 game
"Whenever I see those crmison jerseys and crimson helmets, I feel humbled
to have played football for Alabama. Other players in the NFL talk to me
about their schools and their traditions. I just smile knowing the immense love
Alabama fans have for our school and its football program. I'm proud to be a
part of that Crimson Tide heritage."....Derrick Thomas
It was a 3rd down situation, but Coach Bryant thought it was a fourth
down. At that time the rules were that if you sent a player into the
game, he had to play one down. Coach Bryant sent his punter in--I knew
that he was confused. Nevertheless, he sent his punter in, so I sent in
a safety who could only field punts--he wasn't a football player, but he
could field punts pretty well. Then I saw the Alabama coaching staff
talking to Coach Bryant over on the sidelines, and finally he sent
another player in and the punter came out. So I send my safety in so my
other guy can come out, and the official over on the sideline says,
"Whoa! You can't do that--he's got to stay in one play." So I said, "Now
wait a minute, fellow. I'm sitting right here watching Coach Bryant send
his punter in, and then Coach Bryant took him out!" He looked at me and
said, "You ain't Coach Bryant!"--Gene Stallings talking
about the 1967 Cotton Bowl when Alabama was playing Texas A & M.
"Let's face it. Alabama just likes to hit you. They are the hardest hitting team
I've ever played against."--Illinois quarterback Tony Eason after Alabama beat
the Illini 21-15 in Paul Bryan'ts final game
"You know you hear a lot of talk now about education and players getting
a degree. Buddy, let me tell you something: It was big to Coach Bryant
back in 1958. I wasn't doing too well in school my freshman year, and my
second semester, matter of fact, I wasn't doing anything. I was cutting
classes. So Coach Bryant asked me to eat lunch with him, and man, I was
scared to death because I knew I had a problem, but I didn't know why he
was mad. To tell you the truth I didn't think he knew what kind of
grades I was making! He had the dean of the school with him, and I went
and sat down with them. He introduced me to the dean, and we started
talking. He pulled out my IQ and pulled out how many classes I'd cut,
and boy, I didn't look up -- I just kept my head down. Coach Bryant
said, 'Look up at me, boy, I'm talking to you!' So I looked up, and he
said to the dean, 'Now this boy right here can help us win, but if he
doesn't start getting better grades, he isn't going to be here!' The
dean started talking about the classes I'd taken, what I should take,
and all this stuff, and Coach Bryant said, 'Well, I'm going to give him
one more semester. I'm going to move him into my house with me, and I'm
going to do him like I do Paul, Jr., when he comes home with a C, I'll beat him with a damn dictionary!' So, I got straightened out real fast!" Billy Neighbors
"Florida? Tennessee? Auburn? Georgia? They're all great teams, great
programs. But in the grand scheme of things, none have overtaken Alabama
as THE football program in the SEC."--An article in the Arkansas Democrat
"I know that I picked up a great deal of things during my association
with Coach Bryant. I know he influenced me as a coach by teaching me to
never give up on your talent. And he told me there was no substitution
for work. He convinced his people. And when players and coaches are
convinced they can win, they're going to win."--Coach Gene Stallings on
"Everyone says we can't beat Miami, but we are not just anybody, we are
Alabama.".... David Palmer
"In the second quarter, I saw Torretta look over at me, and he froze for a
second. I saw fear."--Alabama defensive end John Copeland after the 1993
"We had great respect for Alabama, especially it's defense, we knew they
were a formidable opponent. But in retrospect, I think they were a lot stronger
than a lot of our people thought."-- Miami coach Dennis Erickson after the '92
"You don't have to flaunt your sucess, but you don't have to apologize for it,
either"-- Gene Stallings after the '92 Ole Miss game "I scored a touchdown on the first reception I made in the NFL and spiked the ball. The instant I did, I felt horrible and couldn't wait for the game to end so I could call Coach Bryant and apologize. He said he didn't even notice, but I never spiked the ball again."
"Beating UCLA and stopping that win streak at Pauley Pavilion the weekend Coach Bryant died. We could have postponed the game but I felt like Coach Bryant would have wanted us to play."
Coach Sanderson on his favorite victory.
"If someone in Los Angeles asks you and you say 'I played at Alabama,' everyone knows what that means. If you had to say 'I played at Auburn,' that would be about like saying 'I played at Rutgers.' People aren't even sure where it is."
"You just can't tell about left handed crapshooters and quarterbacks."
"Then like arrows from Robin Hood's trusty bow, there shot from (Dixie) Howell's unerring hand a stream of passes the like of which have never been seen in football on the West Coast. Zing, zing, zing. They whizzed through the air and found their mark in the massive paws of (Don) Hutson and (Paul) Bryant." Sports writer Mark Kelly wrote those words after Alabama defeated Stanford, 29-13, in the 1935 Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California. The victory was led by the passing from the Notre Dame Box offensive formation of running back Dixie Howell to end Don Hutson and end Paul Bryant. It capped an undefeated and untied season and gave Alabama a national championship.
"Run the game any way you want to, Pooley, but don't run the football yourself or they'll kill you," said Wallace Wade, the Alabama coach who was instructing his quarterback Pooley Hubert just before the opening kickoff of the 1926 Rose Bowl.... Alabama defeated Washington, 20-19.
"I saw fear in his eyes."
Alabama defensive end John Copeland said that about Miami quarterback Gino Torretta after the Crimson Tide produced a 34-13 victory over the Hurricanes in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. The victory in a battle of undefeated and untied teams produced a national championship.
"Ya'll keep cheering for Alabama, you hear?"
Paul "Bear" Bryant said that after Alabama defeated Illinois, 21-15, in the 1982 Liberty Bowl game in Memphis, Tennessee. That was his final game as coach. He made the remark to about a dozen fans as he got into an automobile and departed his final press conference
"Coach Bryant always taught us to make some sort of contribution once our playing days were over. It's something I tried to put into practice when we set up the (Marty Lyons)Foundation."
"It's a privilege to be here. Don't take it for granted. If they think this program is great
because you're here, you missed the bus. It's a privilege to be here and you need to take advantage of that privilege".
Coach Lance Thompson addressing his defensive linemen
"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
*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
"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 to cheek.
They weren't going anywhere." Former Tide star Rich
Wingo, of the goal-line stand in '79 for the National
"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 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
damnyankees 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
"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.
"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
"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
"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
"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 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
*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
"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
"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
"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
*Woody is a great coach . . . and I ain't bad.* After
the Tide beat Ohio State 35 - 6 in the 1978 Sugar
"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 plowhand 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." Coach Bryant
"I ain't never been nothin but a winner." Coach Bryant
"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." Coach Bryant"When Mal and I first started talking about the possibility of me coming here, one of my first thoughts was, 'I can't wait until we're driving down the road one day and Mal starts telling Coach Bryant stories.' I'm in heaven." --- Coach Dennis Franchione
"I didn't even visit the campus," says Franchione. "I mean, this is Alabama. I didn't need to see the bricks on the buildings to know I wanted to coach here. I want to win a national championship one day and you have a chance to do that at Alabama." --- Coach Dennis Franchione
The Birmingham News
Grin n' Bear it: Best of Bryant worth quoting
OK, class, who said this?
"The one that makes you proud is the one who isn't good enough to play, but it means so much to him, he puts so much into it, that he plays anyway. I have had a lot of those, and I can coach them better than most."
Anyone worth his roll of toilet paper and box of Tide knows the answer. If you didn't say Paul Bryant, go to the dunce corner. (Of course, if you believe Bear recruited untalented players with big hearts, you must don the conical hat, too. Mostly he had the pick of the recruiting litter, and mostly he signed big time talent. That's why he won.)
Bryant said a lot. He was good at slogans, dictums, proverbs. I have been reminded anew of just how quotable he was.
TowleHouse Publishing of Nashville is publishing a book titled I Ain't Never Been Nothing but a Winner. The subtitle is Coach Bear Bryant's 323 Greatest Quotes About Success, On and Off the Football Field. Creed King and Heidi Tyline King are listed as authors - though I wonder how much authorship is involved in typing up someone else's sayings. As I'm doing in this column.
Alabama has always been a football factory and always will be. Bryant put it succinctly:
"The only president who's ever been fired at Alabama was against football. Any new president cuts his teeth on it, and he better be for it. Because if he's not, they won't win, and if they don't win, he'll get fired."
This one backfired on him. A few days after he said it, Auburn upset Alabama: "Sure, I'd love 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!"
Kenny Stabler was his best QB, but he gave Bryant fits, which may have prompted this:
"You just can't tell about left handed crapshooters and quarterbacks."
This one must have sent chills up the backs of his assistants when they visited the links:
"Show me a football coach who shoots good golf and I'll show you a horse (bleep) coach."
He loved playing the Arkansas country boy. Asked why he was bareheaded for a game in the Superdome, he replied:
"Mamma told me to never wear a hat indoors."
How true this is:
"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
Bryant wasn't above false modesty. Here's what he said when asked why he got up at 5 a.m.:
"I'm not as smart as other coaches; I have to work harder."
Everyone knows why Bryant left Texas A&M for his alma mater, Alabama:
"It was like when you were out in the field and you heard your mamma calling you to dinner. Mamma called."
Here's how close history came to being changed:
"All my life I'd wanted to coach at Southern Cal. Why, in Los Angeles, I'd have been bigger than John Wayne! Wouldn't you know, Southern Cal offered me a job on the Sunday after I'd signed a contract with Texas A&M on Saturday."
If he had been at USC, Bryant might never have answered that famous call from Mamma.