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Alabama Crimson Tide

1. Their Name Is Mud. Alabama eschews "normal" team names and mascots and instead goes with the "Crimson Tide" and an elephant. In 1907, Alabama played Auburn in Birmingham in what was the last football game between the two rivals until 1948. Auburn was heavily favored, but Alabama played a great game on a field that was essentially a sea of mud, and a local sportswriter coined the phrase "Crimson Tide" in his description of the Alabama players' uniforms. The elephant mascot got its origins in 1930, when Alabama played a home game against Ole Miss. For some reason, the second team started the game, and after a close first quarter, the first team came running onto the field. A local sportswriter wrote that a fan in the stands yelled "the elephants are coming!" The first team then proceeded to kick the crap out of Ole Miss. Regardless of whether the fan's exclamation is true or not, how funny is it that 'Bama started their second team against Ole Miss, toyed around with them and then trotted out the first team to blow them off the field?

2. Even Their Radio Guys Are Badasses. The producer emeritus and founder of the Alabama Sports Radio Network, Bert Bank, survived the Bataan Death March and 33 months as a prisoner of war in World War II. He is one bad dude, and his presence serves to illustrate that Alabama's radio network is way tougher than your radio network. So there.

3. P.J. Carlesimo? Not A Fan. Famous alumni that you may not know about (or realize) include: Latrell Sprewell (thanks for the great reflection on our alma mater, buddy), ESPN regular Rece Davis (how this guy keeps his composure on College Gameday Final after Alabama losses is beyond me) and longtime Yankees sportscaster Mel Allen (How about that?). — William Hocutt


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