Read on to learn the story behind our elephant mascot, our very first football game, the origin of Alabama houndstooth, a few winning stats, and many more fun facts about our favorite team—Roll Tide!
Rumor has it that our band was dubbed Alabama’s Million Dollar Band, when someone in the press box said “your football is not very good, but your band is worth a million bucks.”
Alabama’s first football game took place 127 years ago in 1892 against a team of students selected from local high schools!! Not surprisingly, the college team beat the high school team 56-0.
Coach “Bear” Bryant got his nickname after accepting a challenge to wrestle a bear — for a dollar per minute — at a carnival sideshow when he was 13. He was never paid; the circus promoter fled before paying him.
True Alabama fans wear houndstooth. While this tradition is a nod to Coach “Bear” Bryant’s trademark houndstooth hat, it is said that we have a Yankee to thank for the classy black and white garb we all sport. Coach Bryant’s infamous houndstooth hat was given to him in 1965 by, then New York Jets owner, Sonny Werblin.
Big Al, our beloved team mascot, has a story that goes all the way back to a news article from 1930. A journalist covering a the game against Ole Miss reported, “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.’”
Did you know Coach Bryant never really liked the elephant as a mascot? Because of this, it wasn’t until 1978 that our elephant was officially recognized as the University of Alabama mascot.
Alabama’s tradition of excellence has become known by the talent it has produced. From the teams of the Crimson Tide we have seen 115 different first-team All-Americans football players and 24 members of the College Football Hall of Fame. Four of which were our head coaches.