How REAL Championship Fans Should Celebrate a Title
By: Larry Burton
As Alabama begins a new season of college football, it’s a good time to look back at last season and how real champions not only celebrate a title, but maintain their relationship with their policemen and first responders. Take a look at these videos and tell me what you see, but more importantly, what you don’t see.
What you see are happy fans, acting joyously, enjoying the moment and the title. Yes, you’ll see them toasting with alcohol, but doing so seemingly with responsibility. You can see fun, you can see a group acting as a happy family and you can see tons of people.
Now here’s the important part of this story. It’s the things that you don’t see from fans of Alabama.
You don’t see private property being destroyed. You don’t see fights, fires, police having to control the crowds in riot gear and you don’t see the waste of toilet paper being flung around. You see a crowd respectfully obeying the police and celebrating with them, not causing headaches for the police.
What you see are people who not celebrating just what their favorite team did, but what they themselves are a part of. The team won with a lot of class and the fans in turn, celebrated with class also. And speaking of the police and first responders, the love that the Alabama nation feels for them is just old fashioned Southern love and respect, unlike many factions of this country. That’s why I was so glad to see this following video. It just puts that mutual love into focus. It’s the
UAPD Lip Sync Challenge https://vimeo.com/284770725/bfe1b0bb2b
Class, it’s something that’s been beaten into the team since the beginning. Even those early teams that went to Rose Bowl for the first few times were told to conduct themselves with class on the long trip out there, let their play do the talking once they arrived and to win or lose like men with class. They did and have ever since.
Does the team set the tone then for fans, or does the school as a whole set it for everyone? That’s not an important question, but the fact that everyone does show so much class is is important.
At Alabama, they don’t charge the field, they don’t tear down goal posts, they don’t go mad with celebrations. They expected to win, the team, the fans, the coaches, everyone. They act they were supposed to have won, so it was never in doubt and they act accordingly.
The great thing about the Alabama family is just that. It’s a very big, very extended family, that starts at ground zero, the University of Alabama and extends throughout the world. I’ve traveled the world like few Alabama fans ever will, visiting every continent on this planet, well except Antarctica, and found members of that Alabama family all over the world. Imagine hearing “Gǔn cháo” in China because you were seen in an Alabama shirt. That means Roll Tide there. Or strolling the streets in Russia and have someone point to you and start singing “Sweet Home Alabama” in a thick accent and wanting to shake your hand and have them tell you how they watch Alabama football in a bar there in their local town.
It’s about a friend of mine in Minnesota, Lecy Anne Oliveira Marino, a Brazilian, Italian, hockey loving first responding dispatcher who loves sports and somehow became part of that extended Alabama family herself. She wears something Alabama and rolls with the Tide each game. You are your parents son or daughter by birth, you’re a member of the Alabama family by choice. You have to love them all. But the best part is that they’ll love you right back!
It’s hard sometimes to be an objective sports writer when you yourself are part of that Alabama nation. But like my team, I try and conduct myself with class. But today I wanted the fans to know not just that I was still in love with the team, the family and all things Alabama, but proud of not only who we are, but what we are. We play like champions, but when we win, we win like champions too. We show the whole world how a real champion should celebrate those wins and life in general, not with idiocy, but with class.
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 https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter