The beauty of falling in love with the Alabama Crimson Tide

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Alabama Crimson Tide changed my life

When I was a kid, I was not a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I learned about football by playing on my babysitter’s PlayStation. I learned about basketball by playing Backyard Basketball on a computer.

I didn’t become a fan of Alabama until I lost a bet with my dad. When Terrence Cody blocked a field goal in the final seconds against Tennessee, third-grade me promised I would root for the Alabama Crimson Tide to simplify Saturdays in our house. Rocky Block was a massive moment for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, but it also put me on a path my family couldn’t have expected.

I was not a part of something bigger than my brain could fathom. It was more than a shift in my wardrobe’s color scheme and a changing of the channel on Saturday. Being an Alabama fan gave me clarity. I learned why all of my friends had dogs named “Bear.” I experienced rivalries firsthand and understood why the hatred of two schools can’t be put into words. I saw success become the standard for my team and made it a standard in myself.

Going to football games taught me how far a fanbase can spread. I sat in a stadium with 100 thousand people wanting the exact same thing. I screamed chants in unison with strangers from across the country, and I learned how beautiful it was to love something together with strangers.

My love for the Alabama Crimson Tide reached a new level when I came here for college. I was suddenly classmates with players I had idolized on my television screen. I became half of a student-athlete (albeit the easier half), and I could understand what challenges would come with adding the athlete half to the mix. Like every other graduating class since Nick Saban came to town, I experienced a national championship and felt like I earned the right to say “we” when I talked about the Tide.

I then went to other sporting events with players wearing the same logo and team colors. I cheered for elite volleyball players, future stars of the NBA and WNBA, softball legends and Olympic gymnasts. I would always root for the team in crimson, but being able to go to any sporting event for free gave me a chance to fall in love with the Tide all over again.

The beauty of the Crimson standard is that it teaches you about more than just your favorite team. Other teams follow suit with Alabama because being a discount Tide is better than being anything else. It also teaches you how something as simplistic as throwing a piece of leather can unify people. Football helped this university recover after torndadoes tragically took the lives of students. When friends and family members who cheered for the Tide pass away, I reminisce on how a Tide win used to make them smile. I think of those smiles the next time I see a win in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Fans can say this about any sports team, but I wouldn’t know what it would be like rooting for them. I only know what it means to be a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next. Bold predictions for upcoming season. dark

In other news, this will be my last post for BamaHammer. Now that I’ve graduated from UA, it is on to the next phase in my life. I would like to thank you all for reading and interracting with any of my articles, whether you loved or hated them.