News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Snaking through Tide history

The homemade sign the pretty young lady held on one of the narrow congested streets on the west side of Bryant Denny Stadium read:

“You honk, we drink.”

A lot of honking and a lot of drinking already had taken place when Regina and I arrived for the night game between Alabama and Georgia.

ESPN’s College GameDay show that began at 9 a.m. brought out the honkers and drinkers early.

These drinkers were students because nobody — to a guy who had been there, done that decades ago — looks more baby faced than college students holding beer cans.

Because we had no horn to honk, I gave them a thumb’s up and a pretty good “Roll Tide” as we strolled by in our red Crimson Tide shirts.

We were the alumni, the hangers on.

I remember them, too, from my campus days when the old guys and gals invaded our territory on Saturdays each autumn as if they still owned real estate there.

They came in garish red polyester leisure suits of solids and checks. They came in matched his and her pants and shirts, trying hard to recapture the moments of yesteryear.

One honker/drinker participant, who saluted too many honks with a sip of beer, saw us that way.

“Hey, there goes Kenny Stabler’s great-grandfather,” he shouted. His group roared.

“He’s talking about you,” Regina said.

“Surely not,” I said, “The Snake and I look nothing alike. Besides we’re about the same age,” I replied.

“It’s you,” she said with a grin.

“You guys had better watch out, my wife is tough,” I said to them.

They roared again.

I felt superior. They were not born when The Snake polished his nickname on the football field next door, in the stadium that was yet to carry the Bryant name.

So what do they know?

I saw The Snake play and he was no Tom Wright on the gridiron.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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