Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day Three Word - FANATIC

**image from

When I moved to Alabama almost six years ago - one thing I noticed immediately - the number of University of Alabama football fans.

This brings me to the word of the day (bestowed on me by my sister) - FANATIC.

Let's define fanatic (just for kicks.)

A Fanatic is - a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal.

Yep, that would just about sum up an Alabama fan.

You see, in Alabama, there are absolutely no professional sports teams of any kind. None. That was weird for me. I grew up in Georgia where we have: The Braves, the Thrashers, the Falcons and the Hawks. Yes, we have college football, and yes you will generally decide if you are a GA Tech fan or a UGA fan... but all in all.. it does not get quite as cultish as it does in Alabama. (Well... maybe a Braves fan.. but come on.. who wouldn't love the Braves?? ;-) )

Now let's take a closer look at the culture of Alabama football.

One thing I noticed the first day I stopped into the local Winn Dixie to pick some extra paper towels and coffee creamer, after a man grabbed his grocery bag - he bent over, put one arm up and said, "Roll Tide!." I scrunched my eyebrows together and was like.. Roll What? Is he a big fan of Tide detergent?? Or does he hate it and wants to "roll it." Like rolling a house with toilet paper. I was CONFUSED.

Needless to say, I am NOT sports fan. Not in the traditional sense. I understand baseball. I can play tennis. I enjoy basketball. But football - I can honestly say I have only been to 2 games in my entire life (and that was high school.) Yep. NOT a big fan. I have watched the super bowl a total of 3 times in my 37 years. Tragic.. yes?? My sister even attended UGA.. but I never went to a Bulldogs game. (Though, isn't that dog just as cute as a button??)

Now that you understand that I had no idea what "Roll Tide" meant. For other non-SEC football followers (and God knows, the south plays HARD) - here is the terminology of an Alabama football fan:

According to the Crimson Tide website, the hat of Bear Bryant was his mojo, it was unique symbol that brought a sense of pride to the Alabama fan base. Today, you will see everyone from the blond Bama twins to new recruits to fans donning the famous Houndstoooth hat.

I guess I needed to back up and explain who Bear Bryant was! He was best known as the longtime head coach of the University of Alabama football team. During his twenty-five year tenure as Alabama's head coach he amassed six national championships and thirteen conference championships. Upon his retirement in 1982 he held the record for most wins as head coach in collegiate football history.

"Roll Tide" is what the fans of the University of Alabama yell at you!
I have searched and searched for the history behind this saying, and have come up with NOTHING.
Basically they call the team the "Crimson Tide." And "Roll Tide" is actually a military (classical) music score.. sooo.. maybe.. the battle is on!
Here is the official mascot of the 'Crimson Tide'. A BIG mean looking elephant.
I keep seeing things that say "Rammer Jammer" - so I tried to look it up. Basically The "Rammer Jammer Cheer" is a traditional cheer. It goes like this:
Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, gave 'em hell, Alabama!

(found out the yellowhammer is the state bird.. huh.. interesting!)
Soo.. apparently Alabama has 13 National Championships (tied with Notre Dame.) The team is the current NATIONAL Champions.. and that was a really big deal here. (Like winning the Super Bowl for these guys.) Nick Saban is the "GOD" in these parts.  Have you met Nick yet?? Here he is.. he's kinda cute, and apparently a DEVIL to play for.
Needless to say, you do NOT go head-to-head with an Alabama fan. Literally - they get pretty passionate.. even if they never attended college! (Which is sooo bizarre to me.. EVERYONE follows college football here.)
As you drive around you will see a big magnetic A on the back of cars. It is clear - you are in ALABAMA football country.
I thought for fun, I would show you some fan pics of ALABAMA football fans..
Tail Gating!
They start young!!
Even your casket can say "I am a DIE hard fan."
Yep... I don't think I need to explain.
The famous twins.
Celebrating at Christmas.
(I just can't make this stuff up.)
I was not too far off on the whole "Tide" concept!!
An Alabama Football Themed Christmas Tree
A Roll Tide Roll car!
THAT my dear friends - is in my humble opinion - a fanatic. Nothing wrong with it, just a different culture all together. I will close with a few Alabama videos and I want leave you with a question - What type of fanatics do you have in your city or state?


Cheeseboy said...

Okay, I am not sure if I have shared this with you or not. (I think I have two blogging friends from Alabama and I get you confused.)

MY University of Utah UTES played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 2 years ago. We went down to watch and the Alabama fans we met were all very cool, hospitable and kind to us. Even after the Utes BEAT the Tide, the fans were still very cool about it and said we were the better team, etc. I was very impressed. The nicest fans of an opposing team I have ever met.

Robin said...

I think you have defined fanatic to the tee.

Mama Hen said...

Nicole this is a very interesting post! I am not much of a football fan, although I like to watch it at times. However, this was a neat post! Very cool pictures! Thank you for your comment about the dog! You are so sweet! Have a great night!

Mama Hen

Bossy Betty said...

The fanaticism about this team is legendary!

Anonymous said...

I've always felt embarrassed about having too much school spirit...


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