Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Opinion | The Crimson Tide deserves a rebrand

CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama football players walk out to the field before a game.

There can certainly be good qualities about tradition. Strong traditions can foster strong cultures, and strong cultures are what tie individuals together into something greater than the sum of its parts.

Both strong tradition and strong culture can be found easily at The University of Alabama – from the uniform architecture preserved through generations of buildings and facilities, to time-honored ceremonies like the housing of class rings inside of Denny Chimes. And, of course, who could mention the University and tradition in the same breath without thinking of football and the Crimson Tide.

Some of the Tide’s traditions are what make game days so exciting. The Elephant Stomp on the steps of Gorgas, cheering on the team as they enter Bryant-Denny at the Walk of Champions, and singing “Yea, Alabama!” after every touchdown are just a few of the things which bring you into the fold as a new student, endear you to this campus, and make you love to love the Tide. 

However, not every tradition invokes such levels of pride and excitement. Some traditions are meant to be uprooted and adapted to breathe new life into those things we hold dear. The Crimson Tide’s uniforms are one such tradition.

Alabama’s uniforms have largely remained the same in their design for as long as players have been donning metal helmets. Now, there may be something to be said about heritage and connecting today’s players to the ones who came before them and built the program they now thrive in, but there is also something to be said about allowing a new generation to carve its own path and establish its own legacy.

Frankly, the Tide’s current uniforms are bland, and tradition is not a compelling enough reason to prevent our players from looking the part of the best team in modern college football history. The simple patterns, plain numbered helmets and basic colors do not do the Tide justice. This is a team that plays with a stunning electricity and vibrancy year after year. Why not let that playstyle manifest itself in new striking designs that also reflect the excitement we feel watching these players as they pour their hearts out on the field?

It is undebatable that football itself has changed dramatically since the first Alabama football team stepped onto the field; so too has our University changed. Embrace that change and recognize the awesome fact that our team continues to dominate while still never ceasing to evolve. Reinvigorate our players by giving them a chance to stand out, by casting them in a new light as their own distinct generation of Alabama football talent. 

There is also so much rich imagery associated with the Capstone that goes underutilized in the design of the Tide. From Big Al, to the Script A, to the crashing surf of the Tide’s namesake, there is so much opportunity to add eye catching design elements to these uniforms that could better represent the totality of our campus culture. 

I admittedly know very little about the University of Oregon’s football program. However, their constantly-changing ensemble of uniforms is always eye-catching and wins them lots of praise from people with little-to-no association with their school or team. It surrounds their team in a culture of excitement and brings even more attention to their program. 

While Oregon has never won an NCAA title, the Crimson Tide has 18 national championships hanging from the proverbial rafters – we deserve to have a little flash on the field. 

Now, there is no need to completely abandon the current uniforms, but they should at least be complemented by one or more new designs that bring a bold, modern look to the team. This way, we can still honor the Crimson Tide’s heritage while simultaneously bringing a new excitement to the team’s gridiron presence. 

Even financially, the introduction of new uniforms would be a boon for the University. New on-the-field merchandise means more off-the-field merchandise — students will undoubtedly be excited to purchase new designs to match the latest uniforms sported by the Tide. 

Our football program is the most prominent ambassador for the University on both the national and international stage — let it represent us to the fullest capacity with uniforms that leave a lasting impression and exemplify the University’s other strong traditions.

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