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The Crimson Tide
One thing about being a part of the Tide is that there is no such thing as individuality with respect to the Tide. The word "Tide" is grammatically singular but effectively plural. When referring to the Tide, you never hear someone say "a" Tide. It is always "the" Tide. When referring to the Tide, you are referring to the whole Tide.
There are 7 oceans in the world, but they all are referred to as having one Tide. In effect they are all different parts of one big ocean. And as such, all Tides are "The Tide", whether it is on one side of the globe or the other. All are one.
The same could be said for all members of the Crimson Tide. No two members of the Tide are the same, yet we are all part of the Tide. The Crimson Tide cannot ever be characterized by a single person because the Crimson Tide refers to all, not one.
Thus, there can never be a 'greatest ever' when referring to the Tide. There cannot be a 'most important' or 'most significant' when referring to the Tide. We are all one and the same. Every part of the Tide is equal. The fans that support the Tide are just as important as the coaches that coach the Tide and the players that play for the Tide and the cheerleaders that cheer for the Tide and the faculty that educate the Tide and on and on.
We exist individually, as the drops of water that make up the oceans. But, when we come together as the Tide, we form one of the most powerful forces on Earth.
It is this pluralized singularity that makes us who we are.
We are one.
We are the Crimson Tide!
This IS Alabama Football!!
It is Wallace Wade.
It is Paul "Bear" Bryant.
It is not Bill Curry.
It is the Rose Bowl.
It is knowing there is no other game Keith Jackson would rather call than 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." And having a chill run up your spine. It is the desire to beat Auburn at any competitive event that exists. It is the 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 2nd & 6 as on 4th & 1.
It is watching Cornelius Bennett give Notre Dame QB Steve Beuerlein a concussion on that October day in Birmingham in 1986 and knowing every man on the Alabama team wished him a fast recovery and good health. It is determining whom you are going to date & marry by which team they swear allegiance to. It is watching The Bear on the Jumbotron in Bryant-Denny Stadium and almost seeing him leaning against the goalpost. It is spending a day at the Bryant Museum & still not seeing everything. It is cool crisp fall Saturdays where you can smell football in the air & feel it with the slightest breeze. It is watching The Bear get #315 against Auburn (how appropriate). It is watching The Bear get #323 against Illinois in his final game. It is knowing no matter how many wins Bobby Bowden gets, he'll never measure up to Paul Bryant nor will he ever be as good.
It is hearing Paul Kennedy call the play-by-play as Van Tiffin kicks the 52-yd game winning field goal against Auburn in 1985. It is hearing Eli Gold call the play-by-play as Phillip Doyle kicks the 45-yd game winning field goal against Tennessee in 1990. It is knowing how many days until the start of the season year around. It is driving down Colonial Drive to see Bryant-Denny Stadium, not the sorority girls, although some may disagree. It is getting chills up & down your entire body whenever you hear anything about the 1993 Sugar Bowl & the pride you feel because on that night,TRADITION RULED.
It is hearing Coach Bryant's voice & having all the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up because you know that no matter what he said, it was something special. It is hearing The Million Dollar Band play "Yea Alabama" and knowing it just doesn't get any better. It is imagining hearing Penn State QB Chuck Fusina ask Alabama linebacker Marty Lyons "How close is it?" & hearing Marty say "About an inch, you'd better pass" right before 4th 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 orange in it, any shade or variation. It is the 3rd Saturday in October. It is not needing an alarm clock on game days. You sit straight up in bed long before it goes off, knowing it's game day. You can sleep after the bowl game. It is walking into the stadium with the feeling that Alabama will win the game, simply because that is the way it is supposed to be.
It is having a winning record against every school in the SEC. It's watching highlights of all 12 of Bama's championships on the Bryant-Denny jumbotron before the team comes out of the tunnel. It is saying "Offense wins games, defense wins national titles." It is the Bryant "A." It is walking into the stadium hours before the game just to be there. It is walking into another school's stadium & having those fans hate you because you're a Bama fan. It is walking into any other stadium and know that the atmosphere just can't compare to that of Legion Field or Bryant-Denny. It is the pride that a father has when he brings his children to a game so they may cherish the tradition. It is hearing "Roll Tide" and all you feel is pride.
It is beating LSU in Baton Rouge for thirty years in a row. It is hearing the crunch as a crimson clad linebacker takes down a running back in any shade or combination of orange. It is the pride you take in being EVERY team's rival. It is pulling for any team that's playing Auburn. It is pulling for any team that's playing Tennessee.. It is knowing that the SEC Championship is a birthright. It is owning Ole Miss and South Carolina. It is being respected, & feared at the same time. It is holding up four fingers at the end of the 3rd quarter. It is knowing what "Mama Called" means. It is having 21 SEC Championships (more than anyone else). It is having 12 National Championships (more than anyone else). It is more than I can ever mention in these few paragraphs.
It is class.
It is championships.
It is tradition.
IT IS ALABAMA FOOTBALL!!