The University of Alabama is home to history, traditions and, of course, a dynamite college football team. From the explicit chants to the historic southern bars, home games in Tuscaloosa are an event like no other in the SEC.
What makes being an Alabama Crimson Tide fan so great is that you know the minute you step on to The Quad to start tailgating, all worries disappear. The Crimson Tide, after all, have lost just one home game since 2015, so you know you’re going to walk out of Bryant-Denny Stadium a cheerful winner.
If you plan on witnessing one of these Crimson Tide beatdowns in person, there are some things you need to know. For one, stick to wearing crimson and white and avoid navy blue and burnt orange unless you’d like to feel like a Toomer’s Corner tree and have items thrown your way.
Follow these seven football traditions and activities on Alabama game days and you’ll be sure to have a grand ole time in T-Town.
1. Rammer Jammer (And The Other Chants)
No Alabama football game is complete without the singing of fight song “Rammer Jammer.” If you listen to the video above it’s basically 100,000 ‘Bama fans yelling at an opponent (cough, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU) that they beat the hell out of them. They do that a lot.
It goes like this:
We just beat the hell outta’ you!
Rammer Jammer, Yellow Hammer
Give ’em hell, Alabama!
Rammer Jammer’s name comes from an old student magazine in the 1920s and began when a bus load of Crimson Tide cheerleaders began singing it to the tune of Ole Miss’s “Hotty Toddy” in 1982. In addition to Rammer Jammer, singing along to “Dixieland Delight,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Yea Alabama” are Bryant-Denny Stadium staples at games like the Iron Bowl.
2. Yellow Hammers at Gallettes
The Yellow Hammer is more than just Alabama’s state bird. It’s the signature mixed drink that you and everyone else in Tuscaloosa should be chugging on Saturdays.
Make your own concoction — the yellow hammer calls for rum, vodka, amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice and cherries — or stroll on over to the popular water hole that serves them: Gallettes. Just make sure you’re drinking water every now and then or you might end up #yellowhammered.
3. Tailgating on The Quad
No ticket to the game? Don’t sweat it. Located in the center of campus across from the stadium, The Quad is the place to be for all tailgating purposes.
Throw on your best Crimson polo or a sundress and a pair of cowboy boots, load up a cooler full of beer and get to partying. Make sure someone’s grilling up some barbecue and get a TV for some Tide football if you’re not going to the game, as this seat might be better than the nosebleeds.
4. Walk of Champions
The Walk of Champions is a must-do pregame activity on game day. Whether you want to high-five your favorite Tide players or get a look at the living legend Nick Saban as they walk off the team bus and into Bryant-Denny Stadium, this is an activity for fans of all ages.
The walk begins two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff and takes place on the north side of the stadium at University Boulevard. There may not be a more fitting team to partake in something called “The Walk of Champions” than the Crimson Tide, who have won 18 national championships, including last year’s national championship game.
5. The Elephant Stomp
Alabama’s “Million Dollar Band” got its name after Georgia Tech beat Alabama 33-7 in 1922. An Atlanta sportswriter asked notable alumnus Champ Pickens, “you don’t have much of a team, what do you have at Alabama?” to which Pickens replied, “a million dollar band.”
The best time to see the band play up and close outside the stadium is at the Elephant Stomp. About an hour before game time on the Gorgas Library steps, the band puts on a show that will be sure to bring out your competitive spirit. Get ready to belt out lots of “Roll Tides!” You might even come across Alabama’s elephant mascot, Big Al.
6. The Houndstooth Bar
If Bryant-Denny were condensed into one packed bar, it’d be what the Houndstooth Sports Bar is on game days.
Sports Illustrated ranked it the No. 1 college sports bar in the country for its stadium-like atmosphere, 36 TVs, billiards tournaments and barbecue nachos, among other things. Serving Alabama fans for over 25 years, the historic Houndstooth is the best place to make Alabama game day memories. There isn’t a better place to scream, “Roll Tide Roll!” every time one of Alabama’s NFL-bound players scores a touchdown.
7. Buy Tickets to The Zone
Want the ultimate UA gameday experience without sitting in the stands in the blistering heat?
The Zone might just be your best friend. At either end zone, you can enjoy the game from a massive air-conditioned lounge area featuring buffets, snacks, TVs, leather chairs and even personal storage lockers.
It’s not your traditional southern tailgating experience, but if you’ve got some extra cash to spend it might make for a great birthday or graduation gift one game. It might be the best seat in Bryant-Denny to watch Alabama beat the hell out of the Clemson Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators and anyone else.
This post was originally published on May 28, 2019.