Yep, those are my football tickets for the 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide! I got the email last week saying that tickets would be shipped by two-day UPS on Wednesday and expected delivery would be the 6th, 9th, or 10th. I figured they'd be here today, so wild horses wouldn't have gotten me to leave home today. Now...yes, there are a FEW things that would have taken precedence--work or a family emergency--but luckily I didn't have to work and we had no family emergencies.
As soon as the tickets arrive each year, I rip open the envelope to see what the graphics are. I LOVE the tickets for this year. As you can see, each ticket has a significant fact about the Tide.
101 Thousand Fans in Bryant-Denny -- BDS is now the fourth largest stadium in the country and the largest in the SEC. Of course, according to UT's math, BDS is the fifth largest stadium. Recent reports from Knoxville list the stadium capacity at Neyland Stadium instead of the seating capacity. Bryant-Denny will seat 101,821 fans. Neyland Stadium will seat 100,011 fans.
57 Bowl Appearances -- This is the most of any college football team.
22 Southeastern Conference Championships -- Many from other conferences may disagree, but the SEC is, in my opinion, the premier conference. Of the ten BCS National Champions, six of them are from the SEC.
31 Bowl Victories -- Alabama and Southern Cal are tied for the most bowl victories.
97 First-Team All-Americans -- Following the 2009 season, an NCAA-record six Alabama players were named First-Team All-Americans. Not too shabby, eh?
1 Heisman Trophy Winner -- So yeah, we don't have a huge number of Heisman winners, but the philosophy at Alabama has always been about TEAM records and achievements instead of individual ones. Don't get me wrong...All Bama fans are SO proud of Mark Ingram, but IF it had come down to either a national championship for the team or the Heisman for Mark, I think all of us would choose the National Championship. I think Mark would have too.
13 National Championships -- OK, so we got BOTH the national championship AND the Heisman last year. (And any true crimson-blooded fan hopes for a repeat of both this year.) The actual number of national championships varies, depending on who you talk to. Most opponents of Alabama say we claim too many. The NCAA lists four that Bama does not claim. There is the case of "The Missing Ring" from 1966 when Bama went into the season as the pre-season #1, finished the regular season undefeated and untied, and completely blew out Nebraska in the bowl game. Instead of being named national champs for an unprecedented third time, Notre Dame, who finished with a tie on their record, was named national champions for that year.
I think it's obvious that Alabama football is filled with tradition. Anyone who criticizes us because of it doesn't understand what "tradition" means.
Many people poo-poo Alabama fans and our talk about tradition and our past. We are who we are BECAUSE of our past, and we are very proud of each player, coach, manager, and trainer who was a part of that past. Yes, that means Coach Bryant. Do Bama fans today want to "resurrect" Coach Bryant? No, but we do pay homage to him and his dedication to Alabama by wearing our houndstooth (which I do proudly!) I always laugh when I'm listening to one of the sports talk shows because 9 out of 10 people who bring up Coach Bryant are the fans of Auburn, Tennessee, Florida...our rivals. I think they are more afraid that we somehow WILL resurrect him. LOL
Just because we talk about our past doesn't mean that we aren't looking to our future. Bama fans are always thinking about the next bowl victory, the next SEC championship title, the next national championship title. Even when the season isn't going very well, we are thinking about the next year when "things will be better."
I don't remember "becoming" an Alabama fan. I only remember "being" an Alabama fan. There was never a moment when I had to decide between Alabama or Auburn. I've been there when the season was a bust, and I've been there when the season was magical. I'll continue to be there for whatever is ahead.
Now, if the next 29 days will go by quickly...
ROLL TIDE! and have a GREAT day!