GAMEDAY: Farewell Bryant-Denny Stadium

GAMEDAY: Farewell Bryant-Denny Stadium
Peter Pajor / Alabama Crimson White

Fans cheer on the Crimson Tide during last week's LSU game. CW | Layton Dudley

I have no doubt that I’ll be back in Bryant-Denny for games, but there’s something special about being a student watching your team stop one of your greatest rivals. There’s something special about joining forces with people you don’t know from all across campus, becoming fast friends with those you wind up beside during each game and ignoring the occasional shaker to the face in the name of the Crimson Tide, and starting the whole process all over again. There was something special about boot-stomping to Dixieland Delight, which, despite the controversy, will be some of my fondest memories from my time at the University.

I’ve experienced an entire range of emotions in Bryant-Denny. The 2012 loss to Texas A&M broke my freshman heart, but the commanding win against LSU is still one of my favorite memories. That range of emotions doesn’t always come in the span of seasons, either. The Auburn game last year brought just about every feeling imaginable in the span of 60 football minutes – frustration, anger, joy, pride. The Crimson Tide can do crazy things to your heart, but the atmosphere in Bryant-Denny makes it all worth it.

I’ve spent the majority of my life as an Alabama fan. My entire family bled crimson since childhood, and there was no choice that I would as well. When searching for colleges, I always assumed I would attend UGA, but after a visit to Tuscaloosa, I knew immediately I had found my future home. The campus was beautiful, the instructors I met during my visit were wonderful and, as an added bonus, I knew that I would be spending my Saturdays in Bryant-Denny, something I had dreamed of as a child.

It’s easy to lose sight of how lucky we are as students. Growing up, it was a family affair to attend a football game. Trips to see the Crimson Tide were few and far between, but those treks to Tuscaloosa hold some of my fondest childhood memories. For those of us who didn’t grow up a stone’s throw from Tuscaloosa, it’s a strange thought to stop and realize that I’m now able to spend every Saturday in a place that once was such a special destination reserved for select occasions.

The stadium that once held such wonder for me as a child might have become less of a special destination than it was and more of a regular happening, but on Saturday night, the child within me came back to the surface. The past four years have flown by, but I know that some of my best college memories I’ll carry with me when I leave campus in December will be of watching the Crimson Tide from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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