By Mallory Foley
At the University of Alabama, football is the glue that brings people together. Whether you started out as a football fan or not, you are transformed the moment you attend your first Alabama game day. The days leading up to the game are almost as great as the game itself, as the whole town begins preparation for the big day.
When Saturday is finally here, the quad is full of families, friends, alumni, and students all gathered together to celebrate one thing, Alabama football. As you walk along the quad, you’re surrounded in a sea of crimson and tailgate tents! I love seeing the families and friends gather on the quad, and realizing that Alabama football is the common denominator that unites us together.
One of my favorite parts of game day is the Walk of Champions. Thousands of fans flock to Bryant-Denny Stadium, anxiously awaiting the police escorted caravan that transports the players to the stadium. When the team walks out, it feels as if you are amongst celebrities. In the state of Alabama, the players and Nick Saban actually are celebrities, so you can imagine the excitement when you are getting to see them up close and personal. The band begins to play and the cheerleaders lead the excited crowd, which adds to the anticipation of the opening kick off. Unique to Alabama, about an hour before kick off, the stadium is full, and “Sweet Home Alabama” blares from every speaker as 100,000 fans excitedly shake their crimson and white shakers in perfect unison. Finally, the cheerleaders followed by the team run on to the field, and a wave of nerves sets in because you know the game is about to start.
Whether you are watching from the stadium, a tailgate, or your living room TV, the heartbeat of the crimson tide echoes throughout. As tradition goes, the fans sing “Yea, Alabama” after the Crimson Tide scores yet another touchdown. Each game weekend, the quad is full of fans celebrating the game as they tailgate with friends and family. The SEC and Alabama in particular is known for their over the top, elaborate game day tailgates, yet another example of the uniqueness of Alabama football culture. During the game, the cheers on the Quad echo the cheers in the stadium as viewers catch up to the excitement happening live. The population of fans watching in the quad is almost equal to the volume of fans in the stadium. Long after the game is over, fans empty Bryant-Denny stadium and fill up the quad and the streets surrounding campus unwilling to let the celebration of another victory come to an early end. Ultimately, the tents come down and the fans go home, but the memories of another game day weekend stay with us. We all go to sleep that night feeling the same buzz of pride that fills our spirits every weekend we get to cheer on the Crimson Tide. As we enter into a new week, we talk about the previous game’s highlights, and anxiously await the next fall weekend when we get to do it all over again.
For four years as students we will proudly support our team and honor the legacy they have built. When I look back on my time in college, I will remember the cheers of the fans, the sounds of the stadium, and the excitement that is an Alabama football game. I will always be an Alabama football fan, even after I graduate from my four years here. I cannot wait to be an alumna and come back to relive the glory days of being an Alabama student. Tuscaloosa in the fall will always remain that special place to see old friends and cheer on the Crimson Tide.
About the Author: Mallory Foley is an intern at the Reid Law Firm and a student at the University of Alabama. She is a rising junior, double majoring in accounting and American studies. To contact Mallory, please email Mallory.ReidLawFirm@gmail.com.
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