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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

92,000 Crazies or 92,000 Great Fans?

This is the time of year when there's not much news about college football. Teams have just finished up spring practice, recruiting is over, and games are still an agonizing four months away. Sure, some players are still going to get into trouble and get kicked off teams, but that's hardly newsworthy unless it impacts the national championship race (or the Fulmer Cup).

So the big news starting this week is the fact that Alabama drew 92,000 fans to their spring game and, it's been reported, they turned thousands away.

Now I'm not from the South. And when spring comes around I'm more into the NBA and NHL playoffs as well as major league baseball. So the only thing I really care about Michigan's spring practice is that no one gets hurt (and I'm usually disappointed about that).

So when I saw that there were 92,000 'Bama fans for the freaking spring game, I personally scratched my head. But I think a lot of our readers might think it's cool they drew so many people, and might even be envious of the hysteria for Crimson Tide football.

So what is it, MZone readers. Are the Alabama fans great fans or are they insane? Vote below and leave your comments.

Were the 92,000 Alabama fans at the spring game....
Great, loyal fans
Absolutely crazy
pollcode.com free polls


MGoBlue93 said...

Like you Benny, not from the south and perhaps I don't understand it... especially the part where a lot of the folks I've run into from the bubba zone that don't realize they lost the Civil War 140+ years ago.

But when I saw this on SportsCenter, I shot my beer out of my nose. What is in the water down there that makes people think:

1. Nick Saban is capable of turning that program around... talent is looking to go to Notre Dame before Bama for the NFL experience!

2. Nick Saban will have any loyalty to that program?

3. That Bama is anything more than a middle of the road team in any conference?

Seeesh... people rag on the north and say we're only passionate sports fans because the weather sux, the economy sux, and therefore there's nothing else to do... What's Bama's excuse?

Is it time to revisit the ghost of Bear Bryant post again?

goblue said...

i am in the south and i think its great. i wish michigan would fill its stadium for spring games too. shows good support. BUT you are missing the key piece to this bama story. they decided to make it free but request donations for tornado victims in the state. Out of 92,000 people, they only collected $38,000. i think they said that was only 40 cents per person!

Lets not forget, ohio state usually has around 80-90,000 people there too for spring games. time to step up michigan fans! i know i'd go if i lived in michigan.

beast in 'bama said...

This is just the crest of the wave (pun intended).

Heightened expectations brought on by the exceedingly high salaries paid to head coaches and their assistants will spread throughout college football. This is an arms race now - like it or not - and the administration at Alabama has fired the first shot.

MGoblue93, as to your #1 point - take a look at the first round of this year's NFL draft. How many LSU players will be selected on the first day? These are the guys that Nick Saban brought to LSU. And how many former Saban players are stars in the NFL already? I'm no 'Bama fan or Nick Saban apologist, but the man does know how to recruit NFL talent.

With today's scholarship limitations, success goes with those who know how to identify and mold talent - not a luck-of-the-draw demographic base. There is no reason why Saban can't succeed at Alabama just because it's Alabama.

It all comes down to your #2 point - how loyal will Saban be to the hand that's fed him so well? That's the interesting question to me. If you think the crazies turned out 100K+ strong in April, just wait until September! How will Saban handle these heightened expectations once (if) he's lost to Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn?

Out of Conference said...

I don't think the poll choices are mutually exclusive. Being from the South I can tell you folks down here love their college football- to the point of obsession. For the good or bad, you really don't have that kind of support year-round in any other conference or region of the country.

As for folks from the "Bubba Zone" that think the Civil War isn't over- please give examples, funny ones only please. Otherwise I'll bring up Snowbird stories.

Brian said...

Silly Yanks and your ignorance.

1) Try experincing something before you piss all over it. I thought we had this cleared up along time ago. We care about College sports down here and you guys are more into the NFL. Ever seen the dumb@$$ in Buffalo with no shirt on in the snow? And you call us slow?

Yeah another Civil War joke....think of that all by yourself?

What we *do* expect is a coach capable of fielding a competitive team each week. Our fans are very knowledgable about the game and understand the difference between a hard-fought loss and a half-a$$ effort. We all loved Coach Shula, the fans are not what did him in. If you do *any* kind of research, you'll find the AD asked Coach Shula to propose a plan to work on the offensive woes he was enduring. He reported back to Coach Moore that no changes were needed, and he would reassign two position coaches. No hirings, no firings.....

This was unacceptable. They pleaded with him to make a change and he refused. (In Shula's defense, he was being given very bad advice....)

You guys shouldn't let the media make you look ignorant by buying everything that's said. Example:

They love to throw up the stat that we've had 6 coaches since 2000. How many of those have been fired by the AD for performance on the field? 2. Mike Dumbose, who put us on sanctions and Coach Shula. Fraudchoine left on his own accord, and Mike Price buried himself. We *had* to fire him in the wake of the NCAA issues.

There were 92,000 of us there for one reason. We now have a coach we *know* can win and compete. No one from BAMA has mentioned a National Championship. We're realistic. We do think we can compete for the SEC West title next year against LSU and Auburn, who is rebuilding this year.

Funny, I hear more of you guys bringing up Bear more than any other Alabama fan. Jealousy must suck eh....

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mathew said...

It's probably a little bit of both. I went to MSU's spring game Saturday. I'm a lifelong Michigan fan who hate's MSU more than any other team (with the possible exception of Florida), but I was still a little giddy in the minutes leading up to kickoff, simply because I'm ridulously addicted to college football. It didn't matter who played, it was still the game I love.

I just desperately wish I had the opportunity to watch the team that I love in a spring game, as these Bama fans did.

Brian said...

You guys would honestly be amazed at the atmosphere in T-town. There's honestly nothing like it, and trust me, you've been lead astray by most journalist. We take pride in making people feel welcome in Title-town *wink* and showing them how we do college football.

Honestly, this whold demonizing of BAMA started with Bill Curry and has been a cut-n-paste mold for any jounalist covering us ever since.
Bill left BAMA and headed for Kentucky. Yeah I know, we laughed about it too, but money talks to some people. After leaving, he began reporting that he had been run out of town because he lost to the barners, blah blah....
He reported that a brick was thrown through a window at his home...When in fact, a brick *was* thrown into the Athletic offices by a few drunk kids during the **Second week** of the season. They were not aiming for a specific office, they were only be destructive. This was not aimed at Bill, nor was it at his home. The incident was documented, but he used this after leaving T-town to discredit us. This image has been used repeatedly against us.

BAMA has it's share of nuts, but so does every program. When you have 12 National Championships, I guess you're an easier target.

Take a trip down to T-town and judge for yourself. I think you'd be surprised. And yes, I'll ensure your safety.....as long as you're not wearing anything Urnge. :)

Roll Tide!
Go Blue!

ohio_guy said...

I don't see what the big deal is here.

Jennifer said...

I sure wish I had a hit of whatever you were smoking...

"QUOTE" We all loved Coach Shula, the fans are not what did him in. "QUOTE"

Then that certainly explains why hundreds of drunk people showed up at the Turdtown Airport when $aban arrived. I guess those screams and kisses captured on film for the whole world to gawk and laugh at were actually meant for Mike Shula as he slunk out of town. You obviously didn't talk to any of your fellow bammer fans if you think for one minute that Shula's head was not going to roll after losing to Auburn AGAIN.

"QUOTE"We're realistic. We do think we can compete for the SEC West title next year against LSU and Auburn, who is rebuilding this year.

This confirms to me that you are either 11 years old and your parents don't monitor your computer activity, or that you have no clue about football. A team that is returning a senior QB, an All-American defensive end, and tons of experience on BOTH sides of the ball is hardly rebuilding. Our kicking game is the only area where we have a ton of raw players. There is experience at every other position on our team. In this modern era, Auburn does not "rebuild" - we "reload". We are not nationally known as Running Back U for nothing. And after The Thumb, bammer is not nationally known as Auburn's bitch for nothing, either.

Rebuilding is what will be occurring in Turdtown once $aban loses his first game to some nobody team, or heaven forbid, an SEC rival or GOD forbid, Auburn. The riots and looting will destroy the place. Y'all have such a major case of anal-cranial inversion that not even Nick "the Second Coming of the Bahr" $aban can live up to your expectations. And when he fails to win the MNC immediately, Turdtown will burn. I have heard more than one of your ilk say "We did not pay him $4M a year to lose, or to go 9-4, or to lose to Auburn." Y'all are totally delirious.

By the way, the rent you owe us for Tuberville-Bryant-Denny Stadiium is due - you know, since we OWN you there and all.

War Damn Eagle.

steve g said...


I wouldn't say people in the north care more about the NFL necessarily. I base the teams I cheer for on the number or whatever of UM players on that particular team. And that doesn't make sense on College Football blog, either. Also, it doesn't really make sense to call 'Yanks' ignorant since they were fighting against the Confederate's ignorance regarding slavery.

Josiah said...

gonna go with both

MGoBlue93 said...

Well OOC and Brian... while my post wasn't written in a mean spirited manner... a la tOSU style, where I would have just come out and said, "Fuck the South", I do hear every April from someone at the work, or the post office, etc., that "if Pickett hadn't had made a wrong turn, we'd be paying our taxes to Richmond instead of Washington".

Snowbird jokes... Bring it! I hope to be one one day. Nothing wrong with having 2 homes and when the leafs turn every autumn, use that as a cue to spend the next 5 - 6 months on the ocean. What a lifestyle!

martincr70 said...

I was there and there were several factors as to why there were 100,000 people trying to see the game. In particular order.....

1. Nick Saban
Bama's had 10 win teams with all of our mediocre coaches (excluding Mike Price), so we reason that if we can win a couple of SEC titles with average coaches, we can do even better with a proven winner once he has a year or two under his belt (Just look at the third & fourth year of our last three coaches, Mike Price not included, it's eerily consistent).
2. Weather
It was beautiful that day. Sunny and a high of 78 degrees, who wouldn't want to be outside. I promise you if it was rainy and 50 degrees, there would not have been 15,000 there.
3. We Love us some College Football.
The average college football fan in Alabama follows it year round and is way more interested than the average fan outside the South. No NFL team close enough to distract us and no other sport is so engrained in our culture.
4. It was Free.
5. Local media coverage was much higher the days preceding the event.
6. Accepting donations to Enterprise HS
I was looking forward to helping this cause. But let me explain why there was only $30,000 raised. Poor planning. When I was walking to the stadium, I saw a young girl who looked like she might be accepting donations, but she was hurrying away and all she had to collect money from the thousand walking by was a 2 gallon ice cream bucket. If there was proper planning, then more than 5,000-10,000 people could have has a chance to donate money. We should have easily brought in $500,000 for Enterprise HS. Maybe next year we will sell tickets with all proceeds going to charity.
7. A new offense and defense scheme to look at.
8. Nick Saban not allowing media coverage of practice the weeks prior to A-Day, so our only chance to see.
9. New faces on the field, esp. defense.
10. This one is too obvious.....we have a lot of fans.
11. Bama basebal team playing Auburn after A-Day game, so a double-header.

Brian said...

QUOTE: This confirms to me that you are either 11 years old and your parents don't monitor your computer activity

bammer is not nationally known as Auburn's bitch for nothing, either.

Aren't we a classy lady? I hope you don't kiss your mother with that mouth? You're either a hypocrite or a trailer trash whore...wait...nevermind. You did say MooooooAgEwe.

Funny, there can't be any conversations about our school without the cow college sticking their manure in.

Yes the people flocked when Saban arrived because he's Nick Freakin Saban and yes, Shula would *never* accomplish what he already has. Mike was already gone at that point, so why wouldn't we celebrate. Nick is a winner and will produce-the fans know this. We've tried letting the head coach "grow" into the job, and that hasn't gotten us anywhere. We needed a proven winner, and that's what we've got. 92,000 people agree...

Enjoy your mighty-mighty win streak. Glad you've been "to the top of the mountain." Funny, during our down time this is the best you could do against us. Hope it was fun. Running back U??!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Wonderlic U bitch. Youz sur ded edukate dems Iruns boyz. Go back to your face painting party.

How does it feel to have as many SEC titles as Georgia Tech - and they've been out of the league for 40 years?!!! hahahahah

Sorry Mighigan folks, you can see the lil brother mentatility we deal with. They're so eat up with jealousy, an " awburn woman" will spit out her dip to call you names. Tell daddy to take his hands off of you so you can type like a proper lady.

Let's see. Since 2000, the SEC has had two 1 loss teams with NC..while the cowpaddies in West GA went undefeated and didn't get a shot!! hahahahahahahah Yeah, you're a *mighty* program.....

How many NCs again? 1...on probation....in the 50s? hahahahah

Oh yeah, you forgot to mention whatelse you're school is known for? Sanction-U bitch! You've been placed on probation more than *ANY TEAM IN THE NCAA** and you almost had your accredidation stripped!!

Thanks guys. I also laugh my ass off at this site, but this was the best I've seen. :~)

And Jennifer, please show back up in December and we'll discuss who's the bitch.

Brian said...

Steveg -

If you really believe the Civil War was fought over slavery you're very uninformed. While the results can not be denied, that is *not* the reason it was fought.

steve g said...

The South seceded because they wanted to keep slavery (states' rights) and the North, obviously, didn't agree with that. The firing on Ft. Sumter didn't help the South's case either. But you would be ridiculous to not think slavery had something to do with the war. Otherwise, why would Lincoln issued the Emacipation Proclamation?(freeing slaves in Confederate areas)

MGoBlue93 said...

Steve, I'm siding with Brian on this one... If you dig deeper than a public school textbook, you'll find the Civil War was fought over trade and European, mostly England's, influence to break up the union... unfortunately, no side can take the righteous or idealist side of they fought solely to eliminate slavery.

Joe said...

The atmosphere was great. The family and I had a great time. The were mostly curious to get a glimpse of the coach who has been in the news so much. I know a lot of schools would love to have 90,000+ turn out like that. But, Bama fans usually have around 20,000-30,000 for the spring game. So the 90,000+ is a big outlier. I doubt it will happen again at Bama for a long long time.

steve g said...


I would agree that England was trying to break up the Union. But, they didn't necessarily support the Confederacy all that much, as far as resources are concerned. I feel a bit weird discussing the Civil War on a CFB blog, but whatever.

Brian said...

I understand your point, but the Emancipation Proclamation was issued as an after thought to the war. This is not what sent the North into war. I will agree "states rights" was a huge part of the war, but this consisted of more than *just* slavery issues. The government was set up to over see the state governments, but regional control was always intended to be left to the state.
Honestly, would there have been freed black men fighting for the south if this were *only* about slavery? I think not.

I'm a white male, with several cousins, family members, etc of mixed races - so you're not talking to a stars and bars guy here. But the truth is what it is - neither side was truly just.

Question: Why were the slavery laws only applied to the south? In order for the southern states to be readmitted into the union, they had to adhere to several stipulations. One being, of course, the freeing of all slaves. But this order did not include all of the northern states....so while the south was *forced* to learn to adapt, the north never faced such pressure. As a result, the current south is much more relaxed in it's race relations than any other region I've lived in, other than the California area ;D. Atlanta being a city of transplants from everywhere else, diversity isn't hard to find anymore.

My point really was: I hear these same comments from Northerners often...generally followed by: "This is nothing like what I expected..." Realizing the media tells whatever story is the more interesting, not always the most accurate....things are not always portrayed correctly.

One piece of advice: Don't come down here and tell everyone how you did it back home. They really don't care... :P lol Enjoyed the discussion. Have a good one.