At the University of Alabama, football is king. The school’s gridiron squad has won numerous national titles, has had renowned coaches and players, and was even featured in the motion picture “Forest Gump.” While most fans of “Alabama,” “Bama,” or “UA” know these details, you might be unaware of some others. Here are some facts about Alabama football, which fewer football fans know:
1. The “Crimson Tide” nickname originated from a muddy game
Prior to becoming the Alabama Crimson Tide, people commonly referred to Alabama’s football squad, as the “Crimson White” (named after the school colors) or “Thin Red Line.” Then in 1907, Alabama played its arch rival, Auburn. Alabama was a huge underdog, and the teams played in a “sea” of red mud. However, Alabama battled Auburn to a 6-6 tie. Later, a sports editor named Zipp Newman popularized the nickname “Crimson Tide.”
2. No Alabama player has won the Heisman Trophy
Ironically, despite all the success of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s football team, no player has won the Heisman Trophy award-given to the most outstanding NCAA football player in a single season. In 1993, David Palmer became the closest Alabama player to winning the award. David “The Deuce” Palmer, played wide receiver for the Crimson Tide, and would later play seven seasons with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.
3. Alabama has won 21 SEC titles
The Crimson Tide’s football record is simply outstanding. Here are some of its accomplishments, throughout the years:
o 12 National Titles
o 25 Conference Titles (21 SEC)
o 51 Bowl Games
o 92 All-American Players
4. Paul “Bear” Bryant had a .834 winning percentage as Alabama’s coach
Coach “Bear” Bryant is a legend at Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to six national championships, which is half of the team’s all-time 12 national titles. Bryant also coached at Texas A&M University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland. However, Alabama was where Bryant had his most success. Bryant earned the nickname “bear” when, at 13-years-old, he wrestled a bear as part of a theater’s promotion.
5. Alabama’s elephant mascot dates back to 1930
The origin of the school’s elephant mascot was the 1930 season. At that time, Coach Wallace Wade was the team’s general. During a game versus Mississippi, an Alabama fan shouted, “…the elephants are coming!” referring to Alabama’s huge, aggressive players. Everett Strupper, a sportswriter, reported the incident.
6. Three former Alabama coaches are in the College Football Hall of Fame
Since the Hall of Fame first opened its doors in South Bend, Indiana (1951), it has inducted 16 Alabama players, and three coaches. The coaches inducted were Wallace Wade (1923-1930), Frank Thomas (1931-1946), and Paul “Bear” Bryant (1958-1982). The Hall of Fame inducted Bryant as both a player and a coach.
The football history at Alabama is simply amazing. It includes 12 national championships, Coach “Bear” Bryant, and some aforementioned less famous facts. Use Alabama Crimson Tide merchandise to cheer on the team to its next historical moment-another national championship!