Bloggers everywhere love to rip on the Alabama Crimson Tide. It assures them of getting a lot of reads and comments. You know, BUZZ. Outside of the Alabama fan base anybody who criticizes the Tide will find instant popularity.
But taking cheap shots at Alabama for the sake of temporary popularity is just that: cheap. Any hack can string together a hate filled diatribe and find an unhappy following.
After reading literally hundreds of bloggers and sportswriters and thousands of comments these past two seasons I have come up with a list of the top 10 reasons people really hate the Crimson Tide. You may not agree with the order but you probably will agree with the 10 reasons.
From the naming of the Million Dollar Band to the smoking of the cigars after defeating Tennessee, Alabama is rich rich rich in tradition. But tradition can have polarizing effects.
Imagine sitting in the stands ready for a hockey game to begin and somebody throws an octopus on the ice to give their team good luck? Either you identify with the tradition or you think, "How rude!"
One doesn't have to ask a person in Alabama why they wear houndstooth, or why the Rose Bowl is mentioned in the Alabama Fight Song Yea Alabama. From the name "Crimson Tide" to the mascot Big Al, tradition has guided the steps of the Alabama Crimson Tide since its inception.
The one Alabama tradition that fans of opposing teams hate the worse? Winning.
When a sportswriter or blogger wants to see a lot of hits/comments on his story all they have to do is say something nice or ugly about Alabama fans. In fact, anything written about Alabama will bring both the fans and the flamers.
Recently in a B/R slideshow, Alabama fans were named the No. 1 rude and arrogant fan base in America. Although the comments made by opposing fans about Bama supporters were mostly rude and arrogant, especially from the author, the general consensus was Alabama fans deserved the No. 1 ranking.
Even fans of other SEC teams throw out words like "redneck," "inbred," and "mullet" when describing Alabama fans, like Mississippi and Louisiana are hotbeds of enlightenment.
But relying on stereotypical insults is all there really is for these people. Most have never attended a game at Bryant Denny, or visited the State of Alabama.
Has the SEC Championship Game become a playoff game for the BCS National Title? It certainly seems that way. After the last four BCS championship games America has been greeted by the chants, "SEC, SEC, SEC, SEC, SEC!" Non-SEC fans seem confused by this. They don't understand the Gator fans pulling for Alabama to win the title.
We in the South stick together. Sure, we throw a lot of sticks and stones at each other, but if somebody from another conference talks smack we tend to defend each other. You can't say "Tennessee Viles" unless you're from the SEC!
Yes, the SEC is the best conference in college football. After four straight BCS Titles the Nation has to agree on this. Yes, Alabama is the best team in the SEC. They're the defending SEC and BCS champions. There should be no argument there either. But if Alabama played in the MWC or the WAC they'd be America's darlings.
Fact is, Alabama is the best team in the best conference in the entire NCAA. Unless your a fan it has to drive you a little crazy.
There is one minute and 40 seconds left in the game. Your team is down by 17 and Alabama has the ball in field goal range. Cue the Million Dollar Band:
"Hey (insert your team here)
"Hey (do it again)
"We just beat the hell out of you
"Give 'em hell Alabama!"
To hear this some where other than Bryant Denny is disheartening. To hear this in Tuscaloosa is deafening. Opposing fans leave early to keep from hearing Rammer Jammer. Sure, they say they want to beat the traffic, but not having to hear this victory chant is an added perk.
Not so much for the opposing players and coaches. Because this chant is started in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter when a win is assured, and not when the clock hits zero, they get to suffer the full brunt of it.
Debatable? It is and has been. Thousands of times. Many, many man hours have been wasted trying to debunk Alabama's 13 National Titles. I'm not here to defend them, just to point out one more reason why people hate Alabama.
The fact is, the NCAA does recognize "consensus" national champions, but does not actually award them. And they only go back to 1950 when counting "consensus" national titles...Since 1950 the NCAA recognizes Alabama's six national titles won by Bear Bryant, the '92 title and the most recent BCS title.
Before 1950 championships were awarded in myriad ways. Many of the pre-1950 titles won by other teams are also debatable, but you never see anybody attacking Princeton for their claim to 28.
In addition to the championships claimed by the Alabama, the NCAA lists Alabama as receiving a championship for the 1945, 1966, 1975, and 1977 college football seasons. However, those championships are not claimed by Alabama.
What does a winner look like? The Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama's 792 wins in NCAA Div I football has brought them a record 26 conference championships (4 Southern Conference and 22 SEC), a record 57 post season bowl appearances, a record 22 10-game winning streaks, a record 16 seasons with a 10-0 start, and 29 10-win seasons.
Alabama also holds a winning record against every current and former SEC school. Alabama is second to the USC Trojans in bowl victories with 31.
But only because the university was forced to vacate the 2005 Cotton Bowl victory against Texas Tech. After the NCAA ruling on USC comes down Alabama may find themselves with the most bowl victories once again.
What's not to hate?
101,000+. That's how many seats Bryant Denny will have for the 2010 season. That's a lot of Bama fans, which translates into a lot of noise, which makes Bryant Denny one hostile place to travel to. The Crimson Tide owns a 225-46-3 all-time record at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Bear Bryant accumulated a 72–2 record while head coach of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. I'd rather chew aluminum foil than play on a visiting team in Tuscaloosa.
In 2008, the visitors' locker room was officially named "The Fail Room" after alumnus and donor James M. Fail. That's the official story anyway. But imagine what that must do to the psyche of young men as they arrive to do battle with the Crimson Tide, only to find themselves sent to "The Fail Room" to ready themselves for the game.
Yep, there is nothing to love about Bryant Denny Stadium if you don't play for the Crimson Tide.
How could anybody hate this guy? Three time winner of the National Coach of the Year (which was subsequently named the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award in his honor), Head Coach of Sports Illustrated's NCAA Football All-Century Team, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
But some do hate him. Reasons?
From 1971-81 Bryant's teams hung eleven straight losses on archrivals Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU.
On October 19, 1935, Bryant played with a broken leg and helped lead Alabama to a 25-0 victory over the hated Tennessee Vols on their rival's home field.
Bryant graduated from the University of Alabama in 1936.
But mostly it was his honesty that drove people to hate him.
“I'll beat you with my team today, and I'll beat you with your team tomorrow.”
“At Alabama, our players don't win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships.”
“If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, 'Roll, Tide, Roll!'"
"It's an old story. You stick your head above the crowd, and you're going to have people trying to knock your block off."
"Sure I'd like to beat Notre Dame, don't get me wrong. But nothing matters more than beating that cow college on the other side of the state."
"What the hell's the matter with you people down there? Don't y'all take your football seriously?" [Coach Bryant, upon calling Auburn at 6 AM only to find out that none of the coaches were in their offices yet.]
"Here's a 20, bury two." [Coach Bryant, after being asked to chip in 10 dollars to help cover the cost of a sportswriters funeral.]
"When you're No. 1, you don't play for the tie."
Everybody respects the man Paul "Bear" Bryant, but not everybody loves him. Or even likes him. This is quite evident in the hundreds of thousands of posts on tens of thousands web sites where Coach Bryant is mentioned. Bury the Bear? Sure, but never his memory. "Bear" Bryant is here to stay.
In the preseason 2009 belonged to the Texas Longhorns. Colt McCoy was favored to win the Heisman and complete the QB trifecta of Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy. Texas was favored to play Florida in the BCS National Championship Game, which, many believe, they should have done the previously year instead of Oklahoma.
But 2009 was the year that Bama had its first Heisman Trophy winner. 2009 was the year that the Crimson Tide would soundly defeat the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship. The same season that Alabama would go on to win the Championship against Texas, where Colt McCoy would suffer a game ending injury barely four minutes into the game. Yep, Alabama owned 2009.
Does this translates into disdain for Alabama? Why are so many people trying to put an asterisk next to Alabama's Championship?
I've never seen a college coach garner as much disdain from the media and college football fans as Coach Nick Saban has. The jokes, the name calling, the accusations, and the outright disrespect was just a little too over-the-top. Nick Saban is still being blamed for Miami's poor showing this past season ("He passed on Drew Brees!").
I can't even count the number of teams that people have predicted he'd be coaching at next. Is this really his forth year at Alabama? To hear others tell it Nick Saban should be leaving Michigan State this year to coach at Notre Dame. Maybe this is wishful thinking on their part. I doubt anybody but Alabama is happy about Coach Saban doing his thing for the Crimson Tide.
His $4,000,000 a year salary was mercenary, until other coaches got raises that surpassed Saban's wages. But nobody called Meyer or Miles or Brown "mercenary."
Face it folks, Nick Saban will probably retire at Alabama, after winning at least 5 more national titles.