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This is Alabama, This is Who We Are


This is Alabama, This is Who We Are

By: Larry Burton

Bryant Denny Stadium isn’t the oldest, the biggest, the noisiest, the newest or the or the one with the most pizazz.

The parking in the area is not good on game day, you better not need to make a cell phone call, they’re useless weights in your pocket or purse on football Saturdays. Traffic coming to and leaving the game is a joke and in truth, the whole infrastructure Tuscaloosa is terrible for games. There’s not enough hotels, there is no railroad line to take and flying in and out means going through the snarling traffic to Birmingham.

But the fans endure it all while the visitors, media and even the referees all hate it.

When the game is going on, the crowd watches for the most part a little more quietly than most other SEC teams. Saban got onto the students last season for leaving early and the fans don’t rush the field after any big win. The likelihood that rust will take down a goal post before any Alabama fans will would be a good bet.

Why, the expect to play well, they expect to dominate and they expect to win. Most fans are just content to sit and watch their expectations unfold.

Alabama was said to have “boring” uniforms according to one recent recruit who ended up picking to another school and he may be right. Alabama doesn’t change their uniforms to be “trendy”. Take away a Nike swoosh and the names on the back of their jerseys and they’re hard to tell from the uniforms of 50 years ago.

I love the quote I got interviewing Rashad Johnson before he left Alabama for the pros on Alabama’s uniforms. “At Alabama, we love our uniforms. We love the history behind them and the fact that opposing coaches will say that those Crimson Jerseys alone give us a 7 point advantage, even before the ball is kicked off. Here, it’s what you do on the inside of the uniform than how it looks on the outside.”

Alabama doesn’t have special uniform colors for certain days, they don’t do black outs, white outs and fans aren’t asked to bring towels to wave or cards to hold up. And the players dress coming into the stadium, home and away. There’s no camouflage, no flip flops, no sweat shirts or sloppy apparel. That’s how they did it a hundred years ago and that’s how the do it now.

Our coach doesn’t wear a tie and sport coat during the game. He didn’t come to be a fashion icon, he came to work. And his work clothes are usually khaki pants, tennis shoes and a polo shirt. Our coaches don’t copy anyone, they are unique. Saban wears no signature clothing piece like Bryant’s houndstooth hat.

Some teams and fans consider the Tide fans crude for ending each winning game with the “Rammer Jammer” song with the word, “Hey (insert name of losing team), we just beat the hell out of you!” Some Alabama officials have tried to stop it, but it has a life of it’s own and it won’t go away anytime soon.

Like other things at Alabama, maybe that’s not classy, but like everything thing else mentioned, it’s all a part of who we are.

This weekend Alabama takes on the nation’s number one team, the eyes of the nation will be upon the team, campus and fans and nothing new will happen, no new uniforms will be worn and even though they’re facing the nation’s top team, the fans will expect them to win.

We don’t need anybody outside the program’s approval, acceptance or admiration. This is Alabama and this is who we are. If you don’t like the way we roll, get in line, we’re fine with that. This is who we are and how we roll and we wouldn’t have it any other way, except for maybe the traffic problems.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at

Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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