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Crimson Tide Team Of Elephants

Updated on December 11, 2012
First debut 1979
First debut 1979 | Source

Crimson Tide Associated With An Elephant

The Crimson Tide, associated with an elephant because the Crimson Tide is a team of elephants that are big, aggressive, powerful and tough. All the characteristics of an elephant. Not only are they fast, they possess acrobatic skills and are well trained in strategy and the fundamentals of the game they play.

The awesome team of elephants charge at the opposing team like a herd of elephants and the opposing team have to be prepared or get beat down, shut out and shut down.

The team was first called The Red Elephants in 1931 due to the logo of a luggage company, a red elephant standing on a trunk. The company was the Rosenberger Birmingham Trunk Company. The owner of the company was J.D. Rosenberger, his son attended the University of Alabama. The University of Alabama's Alumni Association purchased luggage for each of the team members from the Rosenberger Birmingham Trunk Company. This was for the team's trip to Pasadena, California to play in the Rose Bowl against the Washington State Cougars.

Rosenberger's son handed out what he called" good luck" luggage tags to each of the team members. Upon the team's arrival to Pasadena, they were greeted by reporters that associated the team members large size with the red elephants on their luggage tags. The Red Elephants won the victory, therefore walking away with the national champions title after they defeated the Cougars of Washington State 24-0.

Who Led This Team of Elephants in 1930

William Wallace Wade, head coach for Alabama during 1923-1930
William Wallace Wade, head coach for Alabama during 1923-1930 | Source

Big Al's Recognition

William Wallace Wade was the head coach when the team was first associated with the elephant. They were called the Red Elephants and The Thin Red Line, the red jerseys also played a part in what the team was referred as.

In 1930 the Alabama Crimson Tide were referred to as elephants according to a writer who covered the Alabama and Ole Miss game. He wrote that a fan yelled out :"hold your horses, the elephants are coming". Other names for their mascot floated around but the name elephants was there to stay. Their mascot needed a name, the SGA submitted names and the name Big Al was voted to be the elephant mascot name.

Big Al is recognized nationally. He appears at all the sports played for the University of Alabama. Big Al accompanys the Alumni Association when they travel to local Alumni Chapters. He brings a smile to every one he meets, including at schools, hospitals and nursing homes. He is one of the most popular mascots in the NCAA.

The Wikipedia states that Melford Espy Jr. was the first to wear the costume and it has also been written that Ed Pettyjohn was the first. Whom ever was first, Wiki states that Big Al made his first debut officially in 1979 at the Sugar Bowl when Alabama played Penn State, the Nittany Lions for the National Championship. Alabama's victory score was 14-7 lead by then head coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant.

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