South's Best Tailgate: The Case for Alabama

The Tide ties for the number 1 spot.

Alabama Tailgate
Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Photo: Greg DuPree

Officially, the team colors for the Alabama Crimson Tide are crimson (naturally) and white. On football game day in Tuscaloosa, however, it's crimson and hounds-tooth—a tribute to Alabama legend Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who regularly sported a houndstooth hat back in the day.

History, or at least the feeling of familiarity, permeates the Alabama tailgating scene. Fans stake out their regular spots on The Quad and surrounding fields near the stadium and reunite with their football family. Strangers are also welcome at nearly every tailgate gathering. We always take extra.

Some revelers arrive before sunrise, even for a night game. You'll see good-ole-boy tents set up next to luxury motorhomes. Above it all hangs the succulent aroma of barbecue being prepared a thousand different ways.

Each ring of Denny Chimes tells fans they're 15 minutes closer to kickoff. When the Tide arrives, fans line the road leading to Bryant-Denny Stadium. As they make their way inside, they pass 9-foot-tall bronze statues of the five Alabama head coaches who have won National Championships. RTR! (Pass the bourbon.)

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