Champions of The Round Table

Football's Origin at Alabama

1893 Football Team "Mr. W.G. Little, of Livingston, Ala., was the first man to introduce football at the University. Mr. Little had been a student at Andover, Mass., and went to the University (of Alabama) carrying his uniform and a great bag of enthusiasm for the game in 1892. A number of students joined in with him in the season beginning in October of that year."
    - Crimson White (Student Paper), Nov. 25, 1926.

Alabama's first game was played in Birmingham on Friday afternoon, Nov. 11, 1892, at the old Lakeview Park. Opposition was furnished by a picked team from Professor Taylor's school and Birmingham high schools, with Alabama winning, 56-0. Early teams were a bit tougher than current squads, it seems, as the following afternoon Alabama played the Birmingham Athletic Club, losing 5-4 when Ross, of B.A.C., kicked a 65-yard field goal. Impossible though it may seem, this field goal was listed as a collegiate record at one time and Birmingham papers of the day featured its distance in writeups of the game.

The gridiron sport rapidly caught the students' fancy and the game became a favorite with University athletes. In 1896 the University's board of trustees passed a rule forbidding athletic teams from traveling off the campus. The following season only one game was played and in 1898 football was abandoned at Alabama. Student opposition to the ruling was so strong that the trustees lifted the travel ban and football was resumed in 1899, to continue without interruption until the first World War forced cancellation of the 1918 games.

Alabama first gained national recognition in 1922 when the University of Pennsylvania was defeated, 9-7, in Philadelphia. The following season Wallace Wade became head coach and in 1925 led the Crimson Tide to its first undefeated and untied season and its first Rose Bowl invitation. On Jan. 1, 1926, an unheralded, underrated team from Tuscaloosa came from behind to upset Washington, 20-19, in the Rose Bowl and established a precedent of colorful play that Crimson Tide teams have continued to uphold.

The Elephant Story

The story of how Alabama became associated with the "elephant" goes back to the 1930 season when Coach Wallace Wade had assembled a great football team.

On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.

"Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

"At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.

"It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys.

The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

Songs of Alabama

Yea Alabama

Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
Every 'Bama man's behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For Bama's pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride,
Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!
Alma Mater

Alabama, listen, Mother,
To our vows of love,
To thyself and to each other,
Faithful friends we'll prove.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true,
Heart bound to heart will beat.
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

College days are swiftly fleeting,
Soon we'll leave their halls
Ne'er to join another meeting
'Neath their hallowed walls.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true
Heart bound to heart will beat
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

So, farewell, dear Alma Mater
May thy name, we pray,
Be rev'renced ever, pure and stainless
As it is today.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true
Heart bound to heart will beat
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

The Bear Bryant Story By: Bobby Cannon

This photo is of the first Alabama - Auburn game in February 1893. You can see the intensity from the start of this great rivalry. It was written that after Auburn scored a 65 yard touchdown in that game "it required several minutes to clear the field."

See the guy wearing the bowler hat? That's E.B. Beaumont, Alabama football's first coach. He went 2-2-0 in his one year coaching career.

Closing in to tackle the Tulane runner is Bully Vandergraaff, Alabama's first All-American football player.
Are those guys wearing cups over their noses?