We always wondered, driving down I-20 and crossing onto the pockmarked highways of the Magnolia State, Yellowhammer State exactly what paying taxes did for Average Joe Alabamaguy. After this weekend, we know: money goes to football, rvs, racin' and little else. Passing Talladega on the way in was awe-inspiring: a fleet of RVs so thick that we could have pulled over and walked from RV to RV without touching the ground covered the half-mile of ground between the interstate and the massive track. What we saw on the way back was even better: a troop of gumball-light equipped police ATVs racing through the gulches of RVland, no doubt on their way to arrest someone who was shirtless, drunk, sunburned, and knew every word to "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet.
The scene in Tuscaloosa was as good as it gets football-wise. Warren was right in his book--fandom means something else in Alabama, something between a religion and a form of government. Really, at one point in 1974 or so, Bear Bryant could have declared a Republic of Football in Alabama and no one, George Wallace included, could have objected. A gridiron ayatollah still seems to be a possibility there, provided Shula keeps the good work up.
The pictures speak better of the wonders of Tuscaloosa than we can. Enjoy:
Blurred video from the Paul W. Bryant museum. The Houndstooth Hat was everywhere and was easily the most popular fashion accessory around.
Catholicism had Michaelangelo. Tide fans have Daniel A. Moore.
Wasn't Washington a member of the "Gang of Six" back then?
Warren St. John, author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, ruining his reputation.
Warren again, this time with U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby.
Nice jersey to be wearing on Saturday.
Our jean-short wearing friends at the Houndstooth.
A joyous Bama fan celebrates with a Tuscaloosa wonder: nachos with pulled pork on top.
A crappy, dark photo, but note the magnificent mullet and take our word on this--those, too, are jean shorts.