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Late Report from Bryant-Denney

I have a great many observations to make about the gameday experience of Tuscaloosa, for those who have never had one. First of all, I need to congratulate the Tide on their exceedingly loose enforcement of the Southeastern Conference's ban on alcohol in stadiums. Bravo, Alabama. Because of my experiences in Vaught-Hemingway, I walked cautiously toward Gate 30 with my student guest ticket, noting security guards perfunctorily request every sixth or seventh ticket-holder to raise his pant leg. I had chosen the time-honored "pint at the small of my back routine" and stuck my shaker in my belt.

The disadvantage, obviously, was that many of the 92,000 Tide fans found themselves absolutely wasted at this game, including the most obnoxious football fan with which I have ever had the misfortune of gameday contact. I noted that he must be an Alpha Kappa Lambda because he occasionally held a corner of the AKL flag brought into the stadium, a practice I thought to be totally NF.
Frat, brah! Uh-uh-uh!

His crimson and white pom-pom whisked often near my head, and he must have told me how terrible the Rebels were at football after every Glen Coffee two-yard run. I cannot say that I was exceptionally pleased. I cannot, though, pretend as if he were the norm. I sat in the student section, and the vast majority of fans there were rational, even hospitable. I am absolutely used to homer fans that tell me after a Rebel "moral" victory how tough we played, but even when Jevan Snead was leading what I, ultimately knew, would be a disappointing final drive, 'Bama undergraduates were complimenting Snead and our running back by committee (never thought I'd mention that positively). It makes sense, though. The vast majority of obnoxious Alabama fans are, I feel certain, the high school dropout type that never darkened the doors of any university facility besides Bryant-Denney; the type that haven't even entered the Bear Bryant Museum because it's called a "museum."

Good experience. Not the most disappointing game.