I was lucky enough to witness Texas A&M’s upset of #1 Alabama, 29-24, last year in Tuscaloosa. The year before that, I made a trip to Tuscaloosa to watch Bama make Derek Dooley’s Tennessee team their whipping boys for the day. (In case you’re wondering if I’m a closet fan of the Crimson Tide, no, I’m not. My younger brother attends Alabama and I try to visit him once a year. Yes, my team beating his team last year was insanely satisfying. Also, yes, this year will be even sweeter as he is making the trip to College Station tomorrow.)
This is all to say that as an outsider, I feel experienced enough to give you some pointers on getting under the average Alabama fan’s skin this weekend when you're mixing it up on Northgate. Be careful – the Alabama fan will be similar to a caged animal on blue meth prior to kickoff. Last year’s loss to Texas A&M was crushing for them. Don’t push them too far, or we may lose the Century Tree.
Without further ado, here's my tried and true, certified 10 best ways to annoy Harvey Updike:
1. Ask the Alabama fan why his team is named the “Crimson Tide” and why their mascot is an elephant. If he somehow gives you a coherent response, reply with, “I still don’t get it” or give him a glazed-eye look that can’t convey anything other than confused boredom.
2. Make sure the Alabama fan understands that Bear Bryant coached at Texas A&M before being forced to move to Alabama for family reasons, and let them know that he only went to Alabama because he’s a momma’s boy, and that Bryant was (not) quoted saying if he had stayed at Texas A&M, he would’ve won twice as many titles as he did in Tuscaloosa.
3. As you’re talking to the Alabama fan, scroll through Twitter and act like you’ve just seen the Yahoo report on DJ Fluker accepting impermissible benefits while at Alabama for the first time.
4. Question Alabama’s claim of “15” National Championships. Back in the 1980’s someone in the Alabama athletic department decided that five national championships between 1925 and 1941 actually belonged to the Crimson Tide. As fans of a school that knows a thing or two about padding its resume decades after the season has been played, you should be able to hold your own here. You could also point out that the only reason Alabama got to play in last year’s title game was because Oregon and Kansas State completely choked, but that’s neither here nor there.
5. Ask the Alabama fan if he would rate Cam Newton’s 2010 season at Auburn the #1 or #2 season by a QB in college football history.
6. Remind the Alabama fan that their head coaching position is almost unanimously considered to be inferior to that of the University of Texas (I know it hurts to say that, but swallow your pride this weekend) and that the future of Texas’ current head coach is about as certain as death and taxes. Also drop a nugget that you “heard” Saban’s wife was in Austin on Friday morning.
7. Tell the Alabama fan that your ribs at Dreamland Barbecue last year were overcooked. Then, when he grills you on the quality of your sides, simply reply with, “They were pretty good, but I’ve had better.”
8. Get the Alabama fan’s thoughts on Gene Jelks (not) getting presented with the “NCAA Award for Outstanding Ethical Behavior” on the field tomorrow before kickoff.
9. Request the Alabama fan to walk you through the ins and outs of using “roll tide” in various situations. Your end goal here is to see just how extreme the Alabama fan is willing to go in order to shoehorn a “roll tide” into a scenario, like a eulogy, or his confession to committing a crime.
10. Johnny Football. 29-24.
"Give to them nothing but take from them EVERYTHING. Time to turn up and leave it all on the field."