When you move to the state of Alabama and meet someone, the first question you get is "Who ya fer?" It didn't take long to realize that you must immediately declare your allegiance to either Auburn or Alabama and you will be judged on your choice.
Alabama fans tell you that they have 13 National Championships and that they have "class," the reason you should cheer for the beloved Tide.
If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth. This is the key to understanding Alabama football.
Got 13? You see them wearing the t-shirts and the bumper stickers; it is the immediate response to just about any criticism of their program. The latest hot-selling sweatshirt in Tide Pride stores is "13 > 2, so easy even Barkley can do it," in response to their bitter rival winning the BCS Championship this year.
Alabama fans will tell you they have 13 National Championships. They repeat it on ESPN and Verne and Gary on CBS say it almost every Saturday in the Fall, so it must be true.
Let's take a closer look at those 13 National Championships that are so proudly "claimed" by Alabama.
In 1941, one of those years you will see on the backs of the Got 13? t-shirts, Alabama lost two games, finished third in the SEC and 20th in the final AP poll. They were picked as National Championship by none other than Houlgate (a mathematician) and proudly claim that as one of the 13.
In 1934, Alabama finished third in the inaugural AP Poll getting 5.5 points to 50 for No. 1 Minnesota, yet Houlgate was joined by Williamson (a geologist) as naming Alabama National Champs and Tide fans count that as one of the 13.
In 1964, Bama lost their bowl game to Texas yet some polls had them No.1 prior to the bowls, so they count that year as one of the 13.
In 1973, the Tide lost to Ara Parseghian and Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl yet claim that year as one of the 13 since they were No.1 prior to the bowls.
The 1925, 1926 and 1930 titles were all awarded retroactively by such well known football organizations as Parke Davis, the Helms Foundation and the Boand System and Tide fans proudly claim these three as part of the 13.
Yet, Tide fans were outraged and poked fun at rival Auburn when it looked like they may be awarded the 2004 National Championship after going 13-0 that year and USC was stripped of the title boasting that the mighty Tide would never accept a trophy retroactively.
Tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth. Starting to get the picture?
Now to Alabama's "class."
Alabama fans will tell you they have class. Just ask them. Their videos before their games will tell you they have class. If they have so much class, why do they have to tell you all the time?
My father always told me, "Actions Speak Louder than Words!"
Why does a program with so much class sing "Rammer Jammer" with the words "WE JUST BEAT THE HELL OUT OF YOU!" after winning. Really classy to beat Vanderbilt on a last second field goal and then scream at their fans how you just beat the hell out of them.
Telling the 100,000 fans you have class and then playing "Son of a Preacher Man" and "Take the Money and Run" when Cam Newton takes the field, well, actions speak louder than words.
Tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth. If you understand that, than you understand Alabama football.
The key is to watch what they do, not what they say.