The University of Alabama football team has won The National Championship twelve times, count'em, twelve:
1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, and 1992
The University of Alabama football team has won the Southeastern Conference Championships twenty one times, count'em, twenty one:
1933, 1934, 1937, 1945, 1953, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1989, 1992 and 1999
The University of Alabama football team has won the Western Division of the SEC five times, count'em, five:
1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1999
By Chris Van Steenberg
Editor's Note: Chris joins our staff this week with a look at the Alabama Mystique. A regular poster on the TideFans.com message board, Chris' writing style is sharp, witty, and informed. Chris is a native of the Southeast (having lived in "at least" 15 different locations) and is an executive at a major financial institution. Tide Fans welcome Chris to the Alabama Weekly!
Alabama- n. A state in the Southeastern United States, approximately 51,609 sq. miles Mystique- n. an air or attitude of mystery and reverence developing around something. Put them together and what have you got? Alabama Mystique. OK, but what does that mean? What defines the Alabama Mystique? Can any one person do it? I'll give it the old college try.
There's the campus, arguably one of the most beautiful collegiate settings in the US. The President's Mansion, the Gorgas House and Sorority Row. The towering oaks and majestic magnolias that cover the campus. Clark Hall, Denny Chimes and the Mound. Bryant-Denny Stadium, the scene of many triumphs and tragedies.
How about the people, the "Alabama Mafia"? We have the "Roll Tide Guys", two fanatics who appear at every home and away game with their Alabama suspenders, toilet paper and boxes of detergent. Eli Gold, the golden-throated "Voice of the Crimson Tide". The fraternity boys in their sportcoats and their dates dressed to the nines. The "Bubbas" and "Earls" that are the foundation of the Alabama faithful. The fact that after giving or receiving a major league butt whipping, we'll shake your hand and say, "Great game, see you next year."
Is it hearing the Million-Dollar Band play Yea Alabama! as the team runs onto the field at Bryant-Denny? Is it fond memories of championships past and a gruff old man in a houndstooth hat? Or is it jerseys without names on them and helmets with numbers? What about Big Al battling on the sidelines with the Rebel, the Tiger or the Commodore? And the foot and handprints of all of those famous (and little known) men surrounding Denny Chimes?
Maybe it's the winning tradition that predates the Southeastern Conference (established in 1933), with National Championships in 1925, 1926 and 1930. There was Wallace Wade, one of a number of great men that have held the title "Head Coach." We can claim that the greatest coach in college football not only played here, but "came home to Mama" to lead Alabama to 23 consecutive bowl appearances, 14 SEC championships and five national championships. There was also J.B. "Ears" Whitworth. So we're not perfect. How about those streaks of 10 consecutive wins over major rivals and thirty years of continued domination in the OTHER team's home stadium? "The Kick", "The Sack", and that world-beating "Goal-line Stand". There will ALWAYS be "Run Bo Right", "Tie-Dye" and "Culture vs. Agriculture". It's "Rammer Jammer" and owning the fourth quarter. It's walking into a stadium surrounded by 100,000 screaming orange-clad fans and absolutely KNOWING that you were going to walk out of there with a victory because...well, just because.
Does that do the Alabama Mystique justice? After going back and reading what I've written, I've reached a conclusion:
Most of all, it's the confidence that comes from knowing that it's great to be from ALABAMA!! ***