How could anybody hate this guy? Three time winner of the National Coach of the Year (which was subsequently named the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award in his honor), Head Coach of Sports Illustrated's NCAA Football All-Century Team, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
But some do hate him. Reasons?
From 1971-81 Bryant's teams hung eleven straight losses on archrivals Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU.
On October 19, 1935, Bryant played with a broken leg and helped lead Alabama to a 25-0 victory over the hated Tennessee Vols on their rival's home field.
Bryant graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936.
But mostly it was his honesty that drove people to hate him.
“I'll beat you with my team today, and I'll beat you with your team tomorrow.”
“At Alabama, our players don't win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships.”
“If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, 'Roll, Tide, Roll!'"
"It's an old story. You stick your head above the crowd, and you're going to have people trying to knock your block off."
"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."
"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.]
"Here's a 20, bury two." [Coach Bryant, after being asked to chip in 10 dollars to help cover the cost of a sportswriters funeral.]
"When you're No. 1, you don't play for the tie."
Everybody respects the man Paul "Bear" Bryant, but not everybody loves him. Or even likes him. This is quite evident in the hundreds of thousands of posts on tens of thousands web sites where Coach Bryant is mentioned. Bury the Bear? Sure, but never his memory. "Bear" Bryant is here to stay.