Alabama fans are a dedicated group that plays a large part in the success of their football program.
The passion for college football in the state of Alabama is an underrated factor in the University of Alabama’s history of success, and its current reign over the sport today.
That thirst for the sport is evident even at times like now, when spring football trumps March Madness as the main topic of discussion for fans across the state.
It’s an attitude that even permeates the minds of Crimson Tide players (h/t Duane Rankin, Montgomery Advertiser).
It’s also true that Alabama’s fanbase can push the envelope of good and bad extremes. However, there’s also no denying that there is not a more knowledgeable, more spirited and dedicated group of fans that genuinely love and care for their team like Crimson Tide fans do.
So what are some of the characteristics that can help identify fans of the Crimson and White?
Here are five ways that you know you are a Crimson Tide fan.
Or, it turns into "Roll Tide Roll" when the chorus of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famed tune “Sweet Home Alabama” blares inside of Bryant-Denny Stadium.
No two words are more synonymous with a college football team, or even a state. In fact, when I spent the summer of 2011 interning in New York City, people at work greeted me with that phrase on a daily basis upon learning I was from Alabama.
It’s everything from a greeting to the source of laughter in a commercial. And it’s undoubtedly a mantra for supporters of all things having to do with the University of Alabama.
The houndstooth print may have had its peaks and valleys in the world of fashion, but it will always be in style for supporters of the Alabama program.
That’s because legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant famously wore a hat with the beloved print on the sidelines.
Now, the pattern is emblazoned on all kinds of garments—neckties, socks, cufflinks, scarves and gloves, amongst other things.
Chances are that a large majority of Alabama fans own at least one article of clothing with houndstooth print on it.
Growing up in the state of Alabama, it’s not uncommon for those of us who were not alive for Bryant’s dynasty to hear stories and tales about his larger-than-life presence.
But even if you weren’t alive, Jan. 26, 1983 is a day that you have heard about. In fact, Bryant remains an almost mythical figure for fans that have visited the Bear Bryant museum, taken pictures next to his statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium or even memorized the words to Atlanta Rhythm Section’s song, “The Day Bear Bryant Died.”
Winning six national titles and 13 SEC titles in 25 years at Alabama has cemented the Bear’s legacy as one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football.
Thirty years later, Bryant’s memory is alive and well for Crimson Tide fans of all generations.
In the case of Saban, his security team certainly takes its duties seriously, with an incident at last year’s SEC Media Days validating the theory of his importance, per Jon Solomon of AL.com via Twitter.
How important is Nick Saban? Two security officers blocked the use of a bathroom from media with Saban inside.— Jon Solomon (@jonsol) July 19, 2012
Saban’s process may not fix the recession, but the Tide’s program is the envy of the rest of the country, and that makes him one of the most revered people in the state.
“At some places they play football. At Alabama, we live it.”
That statement speaks volumes about the mindset of the Crimson Tide’s program, and it’s an attitude that their fans take to heart.
The history of success has given way to a current championship culture that Saban and his staff have created. But the fans have done their part by supporting the players and coaches throughout the year.
Whether it's packing Bryant-Denny Stadium for spring games or showing up in full force on Saturdays in the fall, being an Alabama fan is a year-round commitment.
However, that commitment is a fabric that’s woven into the daily lives of Alabama supporters. After all, to Crimson Tide fans, football is more than just a game.