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The RedElephants Story

The Origin of the RedElephants:


The story of how Alabama became associated with the "elephant" goes back to the 1930 season when Coach Wallace Wade had assembled a great football team.

On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.

"Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

"At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.

"It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys.

The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

Why 'Crimson Tide'?
The Origin of "Crimson Tide"

In early newspaper accounts of Alabama football, the team was simply listed as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after the school colors.
The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the "Thin Red Line." The nickname was used until 1906.
The name "Crimson Tide" is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used "Crimson Tide" in describing an Alabama-Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907, the last football contest between the two schools until 1948 when the series was resumed. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win.
But, evidently, the "Thin Red Line" played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name "Crimson Tide." Zipp Newman, former sports editor of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than any other writer.

What Is Alabama Football

In case people have forgotten, do not know or just want a reminder, this is what Alabama football is: Author Derek Camp

It is Wallace Wade. It is Bear Bryant. It is not Bill Curry.
It is the Rose Bowl.
It is hearing Keith Jackson call an Alabama game.
It is watching George Teague running down Lamar Thomas in the 1993 Sugar Bowl then rewinding it and watching it again.
It is hearing the first notes of Sweet Home Alabama.
It is the desire to beat Auburn at any competitive event that exists.
It is a houndstooth hat.
It is having enough pride to fight for your school but having enough class not to.
It is cheering the same amount for a first down on second and 6 as on fourth and 1.
It is watching Cornelius Bennett give Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein a concussion on that October day in Birmingham in 1986.
It is determining who you are going to date & marry by which team they swear allegiance to.
It is watching The Bear on the jumbotron before a game in Bryant-Denny Stadium and almost seeing him leaning against the goalpost in the end zone.
It is spending a day at The Bryant Museum and still not seeing everything.
It is cool crisp autumn Saturdays where you can smell football in the air and feel it whenever there is a slight breeze.
It is watching The Bear get number 315 against Auburn.
It is watching The Bear get number 323 against Illinois.
It is hearing Paul Kennedy do the play-by-play when Van Tiffin kicked the 52-yard field goal against Auburn in 1985.
It is knowing how many days until the start of a season year around.
It is driving down Colonial Drive to see Bryant-Denny Stadium not the sorority girls.
It is getting chills up and down your entire body whenever you hear anything about the 1993 Sugar Bowl and the pride you feel because that night tradition ruled.
It is hearing The Bear's voice and having all the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up because you know no matter what he said, it was something special.
It is hearing The Million Dollar Band play "Yea Alabama" and knowing it
just does not get any better.
It is imagining hearing Penn State Quarterback Chuck Fusina ask Alabama linebacker Barry Krauss "How close is it?" and hearing Krauss say "About an inch, you'd better pass" right before fourth down during The Goal Line Stand in the 1979 Sugar Bowl.
It is almost coming to tears whenever Alabama loses to Auburn or Tennessee.
It is The Kick. It is The Goal Line Stand. It is The Desperation Block.
It is purposely not wearing any clothes with the colors orange and blue.
It is the Third Saturday in October.
It is not needing an alarm clock on game days, you sit bolt upright in the bed long before the alarm goes off because you know that it is a gameday, you can sleep after the bowl game.
It is walking into a stadium and knowing Alabama will win the game no matter who they are playing because is just the way it is supposed to be.
It is the saying "Offense wins games, Defense wins national titles."
It is the Bear Bryant 'A'.
It is getting to the stadium hours before the game just to be there.
It is walking into another team's stadium and having those fans hate you
because you are from Alabama.
It is the pride that a father has when he brings his children to a game
so they may cherish the tradition.
It is beating LSU in Baton Rouge.
It is hearing the crunch as a linebacker dressed in crimson and white hits a running back dressed in orange and blue.
It is the pride you take in being every team's rival.
It is pulling for any team that is playing Auburn.
It is pulling for any team that is playing Tennessee.
It is hoping for the stadium to blow up when Auburn plays Tennessee.
It is knowing that the SEC Championship is a birthright.
It is being respected and feared at the same time.
It is holding up four fingers at the end of the third quarter.
It is knowing what "Mama Called" means.
It is having 21 Southeastern Conference Titles.
It is having 12 National Titles.
It is more than I can ever mentioned in this article.
It is class.
It is tradition.
It is Alabama Football.


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