“Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer!” What’s that all about?
The “Rammer Jammer” cheer is chanted in the closing minutes of a game in which victory is certain for Alabama. For example, in a victory over Tennessee fans would cheer:
We just beat the hell out of you!
Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, give ’em hell Alabama!
Now to those outside the Alabama fanbase, the cheer makes absolutely no sense. To Alabama fans, the cheer still makes absolutely no sense, but they have a piss poor historical explanation for it– “The Rammer Jammer” was a student newspaper in the 1920s and the yellowhammer is the Alabama state bird. You see? Newspapers, and birds, and winning, and ummm… I’ve got nothing.
What is a “Crimson Tide”?
The “Crimson Tide” was coined in an article referring to the 1907 Iron Bowl played in Birmingham. The game was played in a sea of red mud with Auburn as a heavy favorite to win. Alabama held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus graduating to their newfound nickname.
A crimson tide is also know as an alga bloom, an event in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column and results in discoloration of the surface water. However, the Alabama Alga Bloom did not sound intimidating to opponents and it conflicted with the Alabama academic curriculum which is too elementary for classes like biology. Therefore, the “Crimson Tide” was introduced.
Ok, so I get the Crimson Tide, but why an Elephant?
The story of the elephant dates back to 1930 and was actually taken out of context. Sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote after the Alabama-Mississippi game that, “at the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, and there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, ‘Hold your horses, the elephants are coming!” While Strupper took this as a calling for the football team, the intoxicated fan was actually referring to the Beta Chi sorority that was returning to the student section from the concession stand.
Why do Bama fans wear those funny hats that my grandfather used to wear?
The “funny hats” you speak of, are actually fedora hats and are worn in tribute to former head coach Bear Bryant. The hats symbolize a time when Alabama football dominated the college football scene. Bama fans continue to wear this headgear as a way of living in the past. It is like if Indiana basketball fans were to curse, wear red sweaters, and throw chairs.
Can Alabama student athletes buy textbooks with scholarship money?
Yes! Alabama student athletes can spend university money on textbooks for themselves and for their peers! Unfortunately, it is an NCAA violation resulting in three years probation, vacating of records, and a $43,900 fine. A total of 201 student athletes from 16 sports including football were recently busted for their generosity and the total value of the improper benefits was $40,000. The university claims that “not one athlete pocketed one dollar” and we all believe that. It was just an act of kindness to support the education of fellow students needing financial aid.
Why is the football stadium named after Brian Dennehy?
This is a common mistake amongst those not familiar with the Alabama football program. It is actually “Bryant-Denny Stadium” in honor of former coach Bear Bryant and former Alabama president George Hutchenson Denny. Brian Dennehy has no Alabama ties, but was great as Tom Callahan Sr. in Tommy Boy and as Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood.
What are “Bama Bangs?”
“Bama Bangs” is a term coined by Clay Travis in reference to the popular hairstyle among males in the southeast United States. It is characterized by long, thick bangs that completely cover the forehead for no apparent reason. The look supposedly originated in Alabama and surprisingly has not made it further north than Alabama.
I still don’t get the student newspaper and state bird reference.
Nor do I, my friend.
Will Kentucky beat Alabama on Saturday?
It is highly unlikely but possible. Alabama is a great team with a higher payroll than Kentucky. In fact, they are the #3 ranked team in the country and half of their roster owns an Escalade. If you asked most Kentucky fans, the key to beating the Crimson Tide is Morgan Newton. However, the future of the Wildcats rests in the gloved hand of Mike Hartline. And the defense. And the offensive line. And the coaches. And tackling. And fewer penalties. And preparation.