Friday, December 4, 2009


To paraphrase Dream of the Endless: "Oh, SEC. I love you. You never cease to amaze me." That goes double for the University of Alabama.
Never one to let fellow in-state rival Alabamy polytechnic Auburn one-up them in an identity crisis, the Crimson Tide has an elephant named Big Al as a mascot. I guess it was kind of difficult to turn water into a costumed character (unless you count Zan from the Wonder Twins. But he was animated). Actually the Bama/elephant connection goes farther back in time to where Atlanta Journal sports writer Everett Strupper claimed that he heard an unnamed Alabama fan shout "Hold your horses, the elephants are coming." during a game against Ole Miss in 1930. So the team was occasionally nicknamed the "Red Elephants" along with the Crimson Tide.
So forty-nine years later in 1979 this thing (eventually named Big Al by Alabama students) popped up at the Sugar Bowl where Bear Bryant's Alabama beat Joe Paterno's Penn State team. How they got Coach Bryant to go along with this is beyond me. I wonder if this was a
Oh well, it could be worse. Imagine a giant roll of toilet paper prancing around the sidelines. Or a giant box of Tide laundry detergent with legs. Or a cosplaying bear...oops. I'm gonna hear it from my Bama-loving friends now.

(Apologies as usual to Matthew Gasteier. And don't laugh, Gator Fan, Albert's getting his soon enough)

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