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Tradition is a word not taken lightly at The University of Alabama. Football, campus life and history all play a role in making Alabama grow and develop over the years. The Capstone is known for its historical values, athletic department, and students and alumnae who say "Roll Tide" for life.
In the 1930 season with Head Coach Wallace Wade in command, The University of Alabama’s mascot first became known as the “elephant.” Everett Strupper, sports writer of the Atlanta Journal, wrote a story about the competitive match between Alabama and Ole Miss.
Strupper describes the Alabama team as big, fast, aggressive, toned in fundamentals and the best blocking team seen yet in the 1930 season. He said, “When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.” Coach Wade started his second string that put up seven points in the first quarter against one of the most skilled fighting lines in the country, Ole Miss.
Strupper wrote, “At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity. It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size." The first string team bellowed onto the field and scored 57 additional points making the final score 64-0.
Strupper along with several other sports writers continued to write about the “Red Elephants,” the color referring to the crimson on Alabama’s jerseys. The 1930 elephants, only having 13 points scored on them the whole season, went on to win the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.
The Crimson Tide/ Roll Tide
The term “Crimson Tide” was coined by Hugh Roberts, past sports editor for the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used the nickname to describe the 1907 Auburn-Alabama game played in Birmingham. The game, played in a sea of crimson mud, was the last game played between the two rivals until 1948 when the series resumed. The term coined because the red mud stained the Alabama white jerseys crimson. Alabama held Auburn, the favorite to win, to a 6-6 tie, gaining the name the “Crimson Tide.”
“Roll Tide” was said to illustrate the Alabama varsity running on the field. It was said the team looked like the tide was rolling in thus gaining the chant “Roll Tide.”
Denny Chimes was built in 1929 in honor of President George Denny. Under President Denny’s leadership, The University of Alabama gained national prominence. Alabama limestone was used along with Virginia Bricks to Honor George Denny’s native state. Around the structure are bricks recognizing past UA football captains dating back to the 1940s. Traditionally captains are picked after the season is complete and they are recognized through the Alabama football captain’s Walk of Fame. Each platform bears a captain's hand and footprint.
Walk of Champions
The Walk of Champions takes place two hours before every home football game day. The Alabama football team arrives at the front of the stadium and fans from all over line up to cheer and wish the Crimson Tide good luck as they walk to the stadium.
A-Day is a spring scrimmage between the white team and the crimson team. Fans from all over come to see the new recruits and cheer on Alabama vs. Alabama. A-Day is truly a time for you to cheer on the Crimson Tide with 101,000 of your closest friends.
“Yea Alabama!” is Alabama’s fight song played by The Million Dollar Band after every touchdown made at football games and at other sporting events. Memorize the words to The University of Alabama Fight Song. You will be singing it multiple times at every football game:
Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you;
Hit your stride!
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave!
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For 'Bama's pluck and grit
Have writ her name in crimson flame!
Fight on, fight on, fight on, men!
Remember the Rose Bowl we'll win then!
Go, roll to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride, Crimson Tide!
The Million Dollar Band
The Million Dollar Band was named in 1922 after Alabama played Georgia Tech. Alabama football struggled during the year and lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 33-7. During the game, an Atlanta sports writer asked W. C. “Champ” Pickens, an Alabama alumnus, “You don’t have much of a team; what do you have?” Pickens responded, “A Million Dollar Band.”
The Official Tartan
The official tartan, created by Linnzi Rich of Stevenson, Ala., was selected in 2010. The design, predominantly crimson and white with accents of black and gray, was the top vote getter in an online poll. The poll results were given to an independent judging panel which selected Rich's design. It is registered in the International Tartan Index, maintained by the Scottish Tartans Authority and the National Tartan Registry.