It’s arguably the greatest comeback in football coach press conference history. Or at least introductory press conference history. Those are for coaches to thank everyone they can think of and talk about working hard and building things, not for giving the finger to the arch rival your new team hasn’t beaten in eight years.
But “60 minutes”—that’s what Pat Dye said when some reporter (thank you, thank you, thank you) asked him at his first Auburn press conference in 1981 how long it was going to take him to beat Alabama. You’ve seen it quoted it everywhere. You’ve just never actually seen it, watched it. At least I haven’t.
Not that I think it’s one of these apocryphal Auburn points of pride that never actually happened. People talked about it at the time. It was in the papers.
But if his most famous zinger is included in any of footage of that first press conference floating around, I must have missed it.
But at least I found this. When Auburn beat Alabama in 1982 (after not 60 but 120 minutes on Dye’s clock), Phil Snow opened the Auburn Football Review with the easy layup: “Coach, two years ago, someone said ‘how long is it going to take to beat Alabama’ and you said ’60 minutes’, and you were right.”
Now, I can’t remember exactly where, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read or at least heard something from Dye about how he wasn’t trying to be smart or cute or funny or whatever… that the “60 minutes” line was a response to what he deemed essentially to be a question about how a Pat Dye-coached Auburn team was going to finally topple the Tide, that his answer was a variation on the “60-minute ball game” cliche. Hard work. Perseverance. That sort of thing.
There’s no way that’s actually how he meant it at the time, but something about his matter-of-fact, nonchalant response to Phil Snow—”Well, no one’s ever beaten them in less than that, that I know about”—almost makes you think it could have been. Again, it wasn’t. But that he talks about it as if it was kind of makes it all the more awesome.
(Can’t see the video? Try here.)
More Iron Bowl:
* Five Auburn fans named Chris Davis tell what it’s like sharing the most famous name in Iron Bowl history
* Were Auburn fans really pulling for the Russians over Alabama in 1977?
* Bama students did this to their own campus before the 1953 Iron Bowl
* Congrats, Auburn fans—you survived an earthquake
* Cremated remains found in Jordan-Hare Stadium after Iron Bowl
* Cam Newton ‘War Eagles’ throughout his post-game press conference Sunday after Iron Bowl
* New York Post: Iron Bowl ending ‘greatest in the history of sports’
* Pensacola bridge completely covered in Auburn graffiti after Iron Bowl