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in posting any stories of him? i love to hear those and i bet the younger guys would be interested. football is more than just winning or losing. it is the trip along the way right? i bet golf knows a ton of stories.

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I don't have any personal stories of Coach Dye but I always loved it when he basically told people how it was and didn't give a rip if they liked it or not. Absolutely loved that about him.

https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/2017/01/how_auburn_got_the_last_laugh.html

 

How Auburn's Pat Dye 'pissed off' Syracuse in the Sugar Bowl

Updated Mar 06, 2019; Posted Jan 02, 2017

By Wesley Sinor | wsinor@al.com

Down by three points 13 yards from the end zone with seconds to play in the 1988 Sugar Bowl, Pat Dye had a decision to make.

His Auburn Tigers had gone toe-to-toe with the Syracuse Orangemen all night in New Orleans. He could send his reliable field goal kicker out for a tie, or take the riskier route by attempting a fourth consecutive pass to try and win.

Dye didn't debate for long, despite what many of his players were telling him during the final timeout.

"We were trying to push it a little bit with Coach Dye, but he had made his mind up," said former Auburn running back Stacy Danley. "I think we all felt like we could have won the game. We were a much better team."

The problem was Dye didn't believe his team would be able to get the touchdown. It had nothing to do with a lack of confidence or talent. In his mind, there were several holds on his receivers at the line of scrimmage that officials were not calling -- especially on the final drive.

"Rather than face what I thought was an impossible situation on fourth down because of the way the game was being handled at the time, I told our field goal kicker, 'Just kick it. We've played too good and too hard to get beat,'" Dye said.

Win Lyle, who had already converted two field goals for Auburn earlier in the game, sent his third through the uprights as time expired. Final score: Auburn 16, Syracuse 16. The only tie in the bowl's 83-year history.

Though Syracuse head coach Dick MacPherson left the field with the Sugar Bowl trophy and reportedly had it with him during the post-game press conference, celebration was hard to find in the Louisiana Superdome that night.

There was much more at stake for the Orangemen than the Tigers. Fourth-ranked Syracuse entered the game at 11-0 as an independent, hoping to complete its first undefeated season since 1959 while simultaneously boosting its ranking for a chance at a national championship. Auburn, the Southeastern Conference champ, was merely looking to cap the year with an upset. The Tigers had nine wins, a loss to Florida State and a tie with Tennessee.

"That was a special year for us," said former Syracuse defensive back David Homes. "We worked so hard, we were so focused and we were so close to one another. We truly loved each other and it showed out on the football field.

"So for us to get to the Auburn game and it end like that? My goodness. It was like having your heart ripped out."

MacPherson was irate in the aftermath. He interrupted his players' traditional post-game handshake with their opponents and directed them to the locker room, according to former offensive lineman Blake Bednarz,

"Guys were throwing their helmets in the locker room," Bednarz said. "Tears were shed, I'm not going to lie to you. Coach Mac was pretty pissed off. I remember a couple years afterwards watching a video of he and Pat Dye's exchange. I can only imagine what he said to him. You could tell he was pretty hot."

In the reports after the game, Dye was quoted as saying, "If they wanted to win, they should have blocked the field goal."

His locker room was subdued.

"It was a little bit of a weird mood since it wasn't a win," Lyle said. "Nobody was hooping and hollering and celebrating, really. It was quite different. Low key. I don't think anybody was really mad though."

Dye addressed his team and explained his decision before the Tigers left the stadium. They didn't bring home a trophy that night, but a duplicate was later made for Auburn.

"It wasn't what I wanted, I know it's not what you wanted," Dye told his players, "But it was better than losing a football game when you had played just as good as they played."

Weeks later, a large cardboard box was mailed from Syracuse to Auburn's campus. It was addressed to Dye, and inside were approximately 2,000 ties.

Upset with the result of the game, Syracuse fans came up with a clever way to express their frustrations to Dye. With the help of a local radio station, they picked out their ugliest neckwear to send to "Tie Dye."

"They had grease stains on them, maybe they spilled spaghetti or lasagna or something on the ties," Dye recalled. "There wasn't a tie in that box that you could pick out and say, 'Well I must keep this one and wear it.'"

So, Dye turned the tables and got the last laugh on the situation. He took a pen to 200 of them and wrote:

Auburn 16

Sy 16

War Eagle

Pat Dye

Dye then sold all the autographed ties to Auburn fans for $100 apiece, raising $20,000 for the university's general scholarship fund. He gave the rest to a "lady" who turned them into quilts.

"We're like 'Yeah, we're gonna get them. Screw them!" Bednarz said. "So not only did they kick us in the nuts, but they had their cake and ate it too, even then... Kudos to them for being creative."

"We laughed about it," Danley said. "It was kind of funny, but as players we understood that you never want to end a game that way. We understood Syracuse's position but we respected Coach Dye's decision. It was a tough pill to swallow."

* * *

Twenty-nine years later, Dye doesn't regret his decision. If he could go back at that point in time he'd trot Lyle out there again. Ideally he would have preferred to play an overtime period, which the NCAA didn't adopt until 1996.

"Under the same circumstances, I would not change my mind. I'd kick the field goal to tie the game and let it go," Dye said. "If we played today we would have tied it and then gone on to see which team was going to win, but that wasn't the way the rules were then... They've got it down to how they ought to have it. I wish we would have had overtime back then. I would have been happy to play the game out."

While many Auburn players were confused after the game, Lyle feels most would probably think it was the right call today. Danley agrees.

Bednarz heard lots of trash talking from Auburn fans in New Orleans in the days leading up to the game. In his experience and interactions with them since, he says they have been largely apologetic. Looking back, he would rather lost the game than tied it.

"If Auburn went for it and scored a touchdown to beat us and we lost outright, that would have been more palatable just from an acceptance standpoint," he said.

Holmes, meanwhile, refuses to let the Sugar Bowl tie put a damper on his experience or Syracuse's near-perfect season.

"Some people could be angry, but I'm grateful for being in that environment and having that opportunity to play at that level in a game like that," said Holmes, who has a picture of the interception he caught in the game framed on his office desk. "Kids dream of playing Division I football, and I had an opportunity to play in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn. It doesn't get any better than that.

"And we were still undefeated. Nobody can ever take that away from us."

Edited by gr82be
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I read his book. Always liked him even when others criticized him. There were rumors at times I never confirmed. He just seemed like the kind of guy you would have liked to be a grandfather or uncle or fishing partner. 

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In 2010 my friend and I were walking from our car toward campus when we happened upon Coach Dye at Tiger Suites. He was there to sign his children’s book. A college student was setting up the table and Coach Dye was just sitting in a chair by himself. We went over and started talking to him about the games in the 80’s  when he coached. We reminisced for about 20 minutes just like old friends.  He was so nice and down to earth. Glad I have that personal memory of him!

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We gonna talk about the pants? I think he'd be okay if we talked about the pants. Pretty sure he agreed to have his picture taken for the story in the papers. Part of the legend and only makes me love him more. But I'll defer to one of you who knew him. 

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back in the eighties dye and several coaches stopped in anniston at a local motel with a nice bar and the people lucky enough to be there said everyone had a ball. and people were shocked because there were some bama coaches with them. i believe they had been on a hunting trip somewhere. but i remember even bama fans were talking about how cool coach dye was so i would just about bet he was telling bear stories as well as auburn ones. in my heart i hope when they bury coach folks line the roads like they did for bear. that would be awesome................

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2 hours ago, McLoofus said:

We gonna talk about the pants? I think he'd be okay if we talked about the pants. Pretty sure he agreed to have his picture taken for the story in the papers. Part of the legend and only makes me love him more. But I'll defer to one of you who knew him. 

i never heard the full story of that. maybe someone will cough it up..............

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“It doesn’t make any difference who’s carrying the ball, it doesn’t make any difference who’s catching it, who’s rushing the passer, or who’s making the tackle...just as long as he’s got a blue jersey on."

I don't goosebump often but i did as I listened to this post game speech.

Edited by SumterAubie
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I remember attending an Auburn football banquet here in B'ham many years ago and of course Coach Dye was featured speaker.  I believe Brent Fullwood had recently signed and coach told some tale about his recruitment.  He related how he went to his high school in Florida to talk with the coaches and was to have dinner at Fullwoods home.  After talking with the coaches he said he went to his car in the parking lot and waited to see what Fullwood was driving because he was such a highly recruited player.  Brent was apparently parked back by the athletic buildings and drove through the lot where Dye was waiting.  Dye said Brent was driving a pick up truck and when he saw that he knew he was an Auburn man.  Also talked about sitting down with Brent and his mother for supper and said something to the effect that "If you can get your feet under the dinner table with the  mama, you can sign the player".  I have a folder with some old AU stuff and recently found an old news article I had saved.  It was a picture of Coach Dye and then wife Sue at the hospital when Greg Pratt died from a heat stroke.  Don't believe I will ever forget the pained look on his face.  I was always impressed with the bond he seemed to have with his players.  

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30 minutes ago, slot canyon said:

  I was always impressed with the bond he seemed to have with his players.  

It's something that absolutely can't be faked.

His unabashed display of emotions towards the school, fans, and players is what endeared him so much to me. Pure passion.

I get on Gus about some of his coaching decisions but I can say unequivocally that he and Kristi have a genuine love for their boys and it's returned just as fully. I love that aspect of Gus' personality and program. He may not display it as publicly as PFD did but its there nonetheless.

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36 minutes ago, bigbird said:

I get on Gus about some of his coaching decisions but I can say unequivocally that he and Kristi have a genuine love for their boys and it's returned just as fully. I love that aspect of Gus' personality and program. He may not display it as publicly as PFD did but its there nonetheless.

Agreed.  I get as frustrated as anyone with some of his decisions, but you can't overlook the importance of that bond with the players. The kids play hard for him and respect him, and that speaks volumes. 

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35 minutes ago, bigbird said:

It's something that absolutely can't be faked.

His unabashed display of emotions towards the school, fans, and players is what endeared him so much to me. Pure passion.

I get on Gus about some of his coaching decisions but I can say unequivocally that he and Kristi have a genuine love for their boys and it's returned just as fully. I love that aspect of Gus' personality and program. He may not display it as publicly as PFD did but its there nonetheless.

It's really touching that Gus's players have these close relationships with Coach Dye. It has opened my eyes quite a bit and has made me rethink some things. I've given Gus a lot of credit for the current culture of our program, but that common thread to Pat Dye (and Bo Jackson) might be more important than I realized. 

I will definitely act like a bratty tweener and say really stupid, overly emotional things during the season, but times like these I am grateful to be an Auburn fan. And it really is because of Pat Dye. And I'm glad he could leave knowing that the torch is in good hands.

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On 6/2/2020 at 2:16 PM, alexava said:

I read his book. Always liked him even when others criticized him. There were rumors at times I never confirmed. He just seemed like the kind of guy you would have liked to be a grandfather or uncle or fishing partner. 

he wrote two books. i read the first but never have found a used copy of the second book {i was poor at the time}. i would still love to read the second book.

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