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

Celebrations in the home of the Crimson Tide

Alabama students who didn’t get to go to the national championship game on Monday night found many places around Tuscaloosa to watch the game and celebrate the win.

“My favorite part of the experience was the sense of community during and after the game. There were around 10 people I watched the game with, but it felt like I knew everyone in the crowd downtown and on the Strip after,” Jon Chappell, a graduate student in business, said. “And winning wasn’t so bad either.”

Chappell spent most of the game at Moe’s Original Bar B Que in downtown Tuscaloosa and said it provided a great environment to watch the game surrounded by fellow students and fans.

“It was an awesome environment,” Chappell said. “They have a lot of TVs that were all showing the game. The whole restaurant would cheer at the same time after we scored. Everyone was in a great mood.”

Wilhagan’s Grill and Tap Room was another popular spot for students to watch the national championship game on Monday night. Assistant manager Johnny Cochran said Wilhagan’s was a great stop for sports enthusiasts who didn’t make it to Miami.

“We have a lot to offer students and other Alabama football enthusiasts…from our food and drinks to our atmosphere. We have one of the largest beer selections in town…especially craft beer and high gravity,” Cochran said. “As far as atmosphere, one can watch the game on three big screens, as well as 21 other flat screens throughout the restaurant and bar. We also have four dartboards and eight pool tables.”

Cochran said in many cases the restaurant starts filling up two or three hours before kickoff for all away games but especially for big games like the national championship on Monday night.

“You look out in the crowd, and all you see is crimson. During the game, we have complete strangers high-fiving each other and talking stats and giving their own ‘play-by-play’ commentary,” Cochran said. “By the end of the game, the person sitting beside you has become one of your good buddies, and people are running around high-fiving and hugging completely random people…It’s pretty fun to experience.”

According to Cochran, Wilhagan’s also has some gameday traditions of their own.

“Before and after the game, we always play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Rammer Jammer’ and ‘Yea Alabama’ over our loud speakers, and after every Bama score, we’ll play ‘Yea Alabama’… The crowd loves it, and they sing and cheer along,” Cochran said.

Although many students watched the game at restaurants and bars throughout Tuscaloosa, some students chose to watch the game in a different setting.

“I watched the game at a friend’s house, where we all brought something to eat and share with everyone,” Rachel Croon, a junior majoring in speech pathology, said. “The moment the game ended though, we all ran to the Strip to join in the celebration.”

Croon said watching the game in Tuscaloosa was an exciting experience for her and her friends, especially when surrounded by fellow fans.

“There is no comparing getting to yell and cheer with your fellow collegiate Bama fans that you hadn’t seen during Christmas break,” Croon said. “It’s awesome knowing that almost everyone in town is watching the same game and cheering for our school. You can’t say that for any other town.”

Despite the fact that he didn’t get to go to Miami to watch the game, Chappell said he didn’t regret his decision and had a lot of fun watching the game in Tuscaloosa.

“I didn’t go to Miami because I went to the BCS game last year, and I don’t feel like I missed out,” Chappel said. “After the game we went to the Strip. The roads were blocked off, and it was like a huge block party.”

Croon echoed this sentiment and said she was glad she was in Tuscaloosa to watch the big game.

“I’m so glad I was in Tuscaloosa,” Croon said. “The moment the game ended, everyone ran [to] the Strip and continued to cheer in the streets. There’s nothing like celebrating a win with hundreds of other people just as excited as you are.”

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