15 Reasons I’m Thankful to Be an Alabama Fan
Alabama fans are the luckiest in all of college football, and there are many things for which we should give thanks this holiday season.
Sure, other teams have a few things they can celebrate for Thanksgiving: LSU fans have a head coach who moonlights as a lawnmower/championship patty cake demonstrator. Auburn has sweater vests and Under Armor turtlenecks. Arkansas will bask in the glory of the legendary double-reverse-hot-ham-slam-whoo-pig play for the next century. Ole Miss has Katy Perry (and we don't mention it, but somehow they beat us for two years in a row). Each of their seasons may be more depressing than an Upton Sinclair novel, but Vanderbilt's got their money to fall back on, and Tennessee... well, I'm sure they have something.
They all have their moments, but Alabama is awesome 24/7/365. Alabama's got it on lock, y'all, and as fans of the greatest team in in the USA we've got many, many, reasons to be #blessed. Here are just a few...
1. 15 National Championships
Some people will try to tell you that Alabama doesn't have 15 National Championships, that number is only what we "claim" to have. Those people are obviously blinded by their own ignorance/envy. Alabama has 15 NC's. Deal with it, haters.
2. Total Dominance
Alabama is a national championship contender every year because Bama DOMINATES. Alabama dominates on the field, playing smash mouth football, and off the field, attracting the most talented players in America. The end result? Alabama football is synonymous with success--and that means Bama fans are spoiled. We are basically the North Wests, the Blue Ivy Carters, the Suri Cruises of football fans. Our team is so dominant that we expect them to win EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. We barely remember the days when just having a bowl-eligible team was a source of excitement; if (for whatever reason) you want to know what that's like, go ask a Georgia fan.
3. Paul "Bear" Bryant
Bear Bryant is the greatest football coach that ever lived. Plain and simple. No one has affected Alabama's legacy more than Coach Bryant. He came back to Tuscaloosa when "Mama Called" and turned Alabama Football into a dynasty. The program is what it is today because of Coach Bryant.
4. Nicholas Lou Saban
I never thought an Alabama Head Coach could live up to--and even eclipse--the impressive record of Bear Bryant. Coach Saban is my favorite coach in all of football. His unrelenting standard of perfection has turned Alabama football into a modern day dynasty. He is the best coach in football. Period. His success (and rants) are legendary.
5. Talented Athletes
Alabama's team roster is basically a "Who's Who" in college football. Team members receive national acclaim and awards for being the best of the best. Alabama Football players have more trophies than Meryl Streep, and they're first or second-round picks in the NFL EVERY YEAR.
6. Southeastern Conference
S-E-C. S-E-C. S-E-C. Alabama's a member of the Southeastern Conference, and the SEC is home to the best football teams in the nation. This is a fact, and man, does it upset fans of other conferences. They've got more salt than the Dead Sea, but I'm over here like, deal with it, y'all. I'm sorry the Big Ten sucks. I know you want to believe that the ACC can be a dominant force in college football, but no. The SEC is and always will be the best.
7. Bryant-Denny Stadium
There is no college football stadium more beautiful than Bryant-Denny. 101,821 fans singing "Sweet Home Alabama" is enough to bring a tear to your eye. The facilities at BDS are top-notch (I got to take a behind-the-scenes tour last year, and I STILL brag about it to friends/family); when it comes to our stadium, there isn't a bad seat in the house. I've been in a skybox, and I've been in the nosebleeds--it's all good. Also of note: Bryant-Denny features a few jumbotron screens; however, ours are not larger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa like the one on the Plains. Our team is actually good and isn't the football equivalent of a hot dumpster fire, so we don't need any distractions to fool our fans.
8. Stadium Concessions
You didn't think I would get through a Thanksgiving post without mentioning food, did you? The food at Bryant Denny is truuuuuuth. You can't go wrong with Golden Flake potato chips and an ice-cold Coca-Cola (they're a great pair, according to The Bear). I don't eat a lot of hot dogs, but I will THROW DOWN on a Bryant-Denny Stadium dog. It's a Bryan hot dog with some sort of magic topping--a mix of sauerkraut/ ketchup/ mustard--and it's incredible. Craving something different? Try Dreamland BBQ nachos or a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. We even have a Zoe's Kitchen inside Bryant-Denny. WE HAVE IT ALL, Y'ALL.
9. Bama Jams
Alabama fans have the best team AND the best soundtrack for tailgating. We get to blast "Sweet Home Alabama." We've got "Dixieland Delight," "No Flex Zone," and so many others. What does Auburn have? The sad trombone from The Price Is Right? People say "Rocky Top" is the best college football anthem, but they are obviously misguided souls that need our prayers because that song sucks.
10. The Million Dollar Band
I can't mention music without a shoutout to The Greatest Marching Band Of All Time. How many other schools have a band with a baller name like ours? It's THE MILLION DOLLAR BAND, people. Alabama's marching band is comprised of the most talented musicians and dancers in the nation. Watching them perform is awesome, and hearing them play makes me proud to be a Bama fan.
11. Big Al
Alabama's mascot is the best. Big Al is adorable and a favorite of fans around the world. I've seen GROWN FOLKS geek out about taking a selfie with Big Al, and they should--he is awesome. At one point, Alabama had an actual elephant as a mascot; however, they don't anymore because a) that's cruel and b) it's a major public safety hazard. I wish I could say the same about other schools, but they still haven't wised up. (#freemikethetiger)
There is no place I'd rather be on a Saturday morning in the fall. The campus of the University of Alabama has always been picturesque, but there's something about seeing The Quad awash in crimson and houndstooth that makes your heart swell with pride. I love tailgating at UA. Alabama fans are among the friendliest in the SEC (trust me; I have plenty of away game horror stories), and tailgating on campus makes me feel like I'm hanging out with 100,000 of my best friends.
When Bama fans go hard, they're gumping. You can call a crazy Bama fan a Gump, and I love that. Gump--as in Forrest. Forrest Gump. How many other schools have had their program featured in a legendary motion picture? Notre Dame fans: I'm sorry, but Rudy was offsides, so it doesn't count.
Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama, and I am proud to call T-Town my home, too. It's an absolutely beautiful city filled with incredible people. Even though the traffic suuuuuucks as of late, it's so exciting to see how the city is growing and changing. It seems like a new restaurant or store is opening every other day, but despite all this progress, Tuscaloosa hasn't lost its charm.
15. Fellow Alabama Fans (Harvey Updyke excluded)
People looooove to rag on Alabama fans. They make jokes about how dumb we are and how we're all related, and my response is always an exasperated eye roll. As Taylor Swift once said, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate... I ignore these fools, because the Alabama fans I know are awesome. They're the people who rolled in to Tuscaloosa after the tornado four years ago with donations and tool boxes in hand. They're the people who greet each other with a friendly smile and my favorite phrase on the planet, "Roll Tide!"
Please, Bama Nation, allow me to finish this post with a song dedication.