You already know what today is! A day full of some College Football! As most of you know the Alabama Crimson Tide, not only are they the best team in College Football, but they happen to be my favorite College Football team. It seems that every time I post anything about College Football NOBODY even looks at it. So today I will give you some history of the greatest team in College Football.
Most teams have an animal or something that represents their team name; example: Georgia Bulldogs, their Mascot is a Bulldog, it’s actually spelled Dawg instead of Dog why? Who knows! Another example, the LSU Tigers, their mascot is a tiger. Now lets take a look at the Alabama Crimson Tide, our mascot is an Elephant and his name is Big Al. I know a lot of you are wondering why in the world or how in the world did you guys end up with an elephant as a mascot and being called the Crimson Tide?
On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama vs. Mississippi game he witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Everett Strupper wrote, “That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Coach Wallace Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen.” When those big brutes hit you, you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes just so you can catch your breath or sit down because you got your bell rung. Coach Wallace Wade decided to start his 2nd String team; they were also pretty big and they went right after it and scored a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss, they knew that they had to truly battle for every inch of ground. At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, that distant rumble continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, ‘Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,’ and out stomping was the Alabama varsity. It was the first time that he, Everett Strupper, had seen anything like that in addition to the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold. The same players that I remember seeing play seemed like they had doubled in size. Everett Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as “Red Elephants,” the color referring to the crimson jerseys.
Okay, now you say, that answers the question for the mascot, but what’s the deal with them being called the “Crimson Tide”? In 1900, the offensive formation in early newspaper accounts of Alabama football, the team was simply listed as the “varsity” or the “Crimson White” after the school colors. The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the “Thin Red Line.” The nickname was used until 1906. The name “Crimson Tide” is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, a former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used “Crimson Tide” in describing an Alabama vs. Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907, the last football contest between the two schools until 1947. The two schools, which ended the series because of a $34 dispute in the game contract, but in 1948 after Governor Jim Folsom and the state of Alabama legislature threatened to stop all funding to the two universities they finally resumed the series, which is known by Alabama and Auburn fans as The Iron Bowl. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win but, evidently, the “Thin Red Line” played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name “Crimson Tide.” Zipp Newman, former sports editor of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than any other writer.
The Alabama Crimson Tide also has 15 National Championships; here is a list of years of championships: (1925, 1926, 1930 – Coached by Coach Wallace Wade), (1934, 1941 – Coached by Coach Frank Thomas), (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979 – Coached by Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant), (1992 – Coached by Coach Gene Stallings), (2009, 2011, 2012 – Coached by Coach Nick Saban).
Now you have been educated on why the University of Alabama is referred to as the Crimson Tide, why an Elephant was chosen as the mascot and the number of National Championships by year and who were the Coaches for those years. For all College Football fans out there, I hope I answered all your questions about the Alabama Crimson Tide.