The Non-Alabama Fan's Guide To Their First Alabama Game
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The Non-Alabama Fan's Guide To Their First Alabama Game

Roll tide roll, my friend.

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The Non-Alabama Fan's Guide To Their First Alabama Game
Steve Burns / Flickr

Alabama football has tradition unlike any other. With one of the strongest fan bases and winningest records in college football history, attending an Alabama game should be on near everyone’s bucket list, regardless of the team he or she is cheering for. The 2017 football season is upon us, and for those who have never attended a game, here are a few things you’ll need to know.

Let’s start with the basics...

Who is Nick Saban?

I really hope not too many people ask this question, but Nick Saban is the head coach of Alabama football and honestly, the ultimate GOAT. He is the greatest football coach of all time and runs Alabama football like an NFL team. With experience coaching other large SEC schools and NFL teams, it’s no wonder so many of our boys get drafted year after year.

Is the team mascot an elephant?

Kind of, sort of… The official team mascot is the Crimson Tide, however, our mascot that stands on the sidelines of games is, in fact, an elephant. His name is Big Al, and he is loved and adored.

Your first step is to go to the quad, located on University Boulevard at the University of Alabama.

What am I supposed to wear?

Down South, the fans dress up for football games. If you walk across the quad while those around are tailgating, you’ll see girls in fancy dresses or rompers and wedges (or sometimes, cowboy boots), and boys in a nice polo or blazer. Sometimes fans are more casual in their jerseys, but for the most part, Alabama fans are dressed up. To top it off, you need to get yourself a game day button, whether it be a Nick Saban button, an [insert sorority here} Loves The Tide button, or a RMFT button, to wear on top of all your outfits.

What is a “yellowhammer”?

Every time Alabama wins a game, the fans chant “Rammer Jammer,” a fight song post-win. The song mentions “yellowhammer.” The Northern Flicker woodpecker, or "yellowhammer," is Alabama's state bird. It's ALSO the name of the "yellow hammer" alcoholic beverage at the nearby bar, Gallette’s. Gallette’s is a gameday must, if you’re of age, and you can’t go there on gameday without getting a yellow hammer, or a gallon of yellow hammers. The lyrics to the chant are down below:

Hey [insert team you just played here]!
Hey [insert team you just played here]!
Hey [insert team you just played here]!
We just beat the hell out of you!
Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer,
give 'em hell, Alabama!

Where do I go?

If you couldn’t tell, Alabama fans like to stick together. You can hit up just about any tent on the quad and as long as they’re Bama fans, you can likely join the party. Beer and BBQ on gameday are almost essential, so keep that in mind when you’re cruising through the countless white tents.

You definitely need to get to the stadium at least an hour before kickoff, if not, earlier. If you’re sitting in the student section, particularly block seating, you should get there almost two hours before kickoff to make sure you get some prime seats and can watch pregame warmups and the Million Dollar Band perform.

How do I know when to say “roll tide”?

Well tbh, you can say it whenever, especially on game day. Whenever there’s a kickoff, however, fans scream “rooooooooolllll tide, roll” and say the first roll until the ball is actually kicked - hopefully that makes sense.

What is “Dixieland Delight”?

Only one of the greatest songs there ever was. Unfortunately a few years ago, our previous Athletic Director banned “Dixieland Delight” from games because of some of the foul language students used in between the legitimate lyrics of the song. It really exudes the essence of Alabama football and is a forever classic, but most of the time, it doesn’t stop students from singing the song on their own. #BringBackDixielandDelight

What song lyrics should I know?

The comradery at Alabama is one of the reasons I myself love the Crimson Tide so much. At games, everyone always sings “Yea Alabama” after a touchdown. It’s a must for games, considering we score a LOT. Recently at Bryant-Denny, we’ve been singing “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers pretty regularly, so I’d say those lyrics are necessary to know too. If you’re lucky, they’ll bring back “Dixieland Delight”, or the student section will start an acapella version during the third quarter. And if it wasn’t already obvious, “Sweet Home Alabama” is pretty necessary too — be sure to say “roll tide roll” after “sweet home Alabama” in the chorus.

Can I leave early?

The answer is a solid no. Saban always reminds us — play for four, stay for four.

Why is there a pom pom in my seat?

It’s called a shaker and you’re welcome for a free one. We use shakers while we sing “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Yea, Alabama.” We use them when we score touchdowns. We use them for just about everything and honestly, it looks pretty cool from the other sides of the stadium.

What’s the best game to go to?

Our arch nemesis is Auburn, but the competition between us has been a little uneven recently (knock on wood). Some of the best games are between us and LSU or Ole Miss, and there’s some deep rivalry there too. Another great option would be Tennessee. If you know the extra lyrics to “Dixieland Delight”, then you know.

I hope everyone puts an Alabama football game on his or her own bucket list because it’s one of the greatest experiences one could ever have. Roll tide!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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