WHY ARE ALABAMA FOOTBALL FANS SO PASSIONATE?
By Ashlyn Irons, WVUA 23 Student Reporter
TUSCALOOSA – The South is known for its love of football. Why? What makes passion run so high? Why does it dominate Alabama’s culture?
Michael Wood, American Studies Professor at University of Alabama, and instructor of “Football in American Culture,” says that the sport sparks such an extreme emotion in fans because it lines up with the values Americans treasure most.
Wood said “Hard work and sacrifice and team work, striving together.You can achieve great things on the field and if you do the same things off the field it has application as well”.
Legendary Alabama football coach, Paul W. Bryant, is a larger than life figure, and Dr. William Hart, Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at University of Alabama, says that football fans want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Dr. Hart said, “Connecting with people, its joining groups, its having an identity that you’re proud of and at Alabama its so easy to be proud of your connection to the football team because they’re champions, they’ve been champions, and so if you can connect to that then you feel like a champion too”.
And Alabama fans have no problem buying into the identity of being a champion. Fan Terrence Jones says he feels like part of the team.
Jones said, “You live through them sometimes, through the same quarterback coaching, and you know on the couch coaching and stuff like that, always second guessing plays they may call, we think we know better”.
From a packed stadium, to tailgating, to tattoos – the passion for Crimson Tide Football is alive and well in Alabama.