It is perfectly fine for us to stay loud and supportive during gamesBy Patrick Crowley | 11/20/2014 12:28am
Unlike any previous football games that I have attended during my tenure at the University, last Saturday’s beatdown of then-No.1 Mississippi State is differentiated by two visible factors.
First, Alabama is a tremendously talented football team with a palpable sense of camaraderie amongst the players and coaches. As a former athlete of numerous sports, I am keenly aware of the esprit de corps generated by sports teams, and I see it clearly in this year’s Alabama football team. They truly exemplify all that team sports are all about because of their combination of unequal talent, dedication, teamwork and spirit. They play football to be the best they can be as a united whole – that’s commendable and pleasurable to watch.
Second, and more importantly, the electric atmosphere at Bryant-Denny was fueled not only by the opponent, but by the selection of music and the football team instigating the crowd to get loud. It all started with their first steps onto the field for warm-ups when the football team was greeted to a heavy bass-filled rap song and loud cheers from the crowd. Then the parachuters from SOCOM landed onto the field, delivered the game ball, and riled the crowd into a patriotic frenzy. By the time kickoff arrived, the crowd was primed and excited to watch the monumental game unfold.
At points throughout the game, you almost had to feel bad for Mississippi State for even touching the ball. The crowd greeted them with an onslaught of loudness that must have left their eardrums ringing. On key downs and plays, the selection of music bolstered the defense and intensified the crowd. For example, “No Flex Zone” by Rae Sremmurd on pass break-ups and interceptions, a reminder to Dak Prescott not to even attempt throwing the ball. The instrumental version of a C-Murder song pumped a rhythmic beat into the stadium whenever Mississippi State began an offensive possession. Even the Ying Yang Twins “Stand Up and Get Crunk” became a crowd and defense favorite. Of course, let’s not forget the sports song classic, “Jump Around” by House of Pain, which has become a favorite with the players on the sideline as they, too, jump around. Last, the mic on the Million Dollar Band allowed them to produce music reaching everyone and not just those close to them.
Besides the music urging the crowd to stand up and yell, the players also played a key role. Landon Collins, a crowd favorite, periodically urges the student section and fans to get loud. After his interception in the fourth quarter to kill a Mississippi State drive, Landon ran towards the student section to promote us to yell even louder. He even remembered not to cross the 50-yard line, which would have been an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. On the offensive side, Blake Sims while close to the student section even hushed us. We responded and became quiet. The players, even those on the sideline, were a key factor in the crowd’s noise on Saturday.
The new music and player interaction with the crowd may draw the ire of older, more traditional attendees, but, frankly, Bryant-Denny wasn’t built for 100,000 plus people to golf clap after every good play. The stadium is there for student-athletes in football to have the opportunity to play the sport they love for their school in front of their peers, family and supporters. If music helps the team play better, so be it. If players inciting the crowd helps them play better, so be it.
We, as fans, must never forget how privileged and fortunate we are to watch and support the Alabama football team inside Bryant-Denny. With only two games left in the season, it’s on all of us to stay loud and support our fellow peers who play football with the true spirit of a team.
Patrick Crowley is a senior studying mathematics, finance, and economics. He is the Opinions Editor of the Crimson White.