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

Teach me how to A-Day: A fan survival guide

For those of you out there who have never attended an A-Day game­­—freshmen, transfer students­­—or for anyone else attending Saturday’s game who hasn’t caught on to the intricacies of A-Day—girlfriends, art majors—this is your survival guide.


Step one: The scene


Just like any other game, there will be thousands of people tailgating on the Quad and throughout every open patch of grass outside the stadium. However, unlike other games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, admission is not only free, but there are no assigned seats. Make sure to get to the stadium fairly early to avoid missing out on your opportunity to sit anywhere you want, excluding box seats. Gates open at 11 a.m., three hours before the kickoff, and yes, there will be a line at 11 a.m.

However, if location doesn’t matter to you, there are plenty of things to do instead of waiting in a line. The much-awaited Saban statue will be unveiled on the Walk of Champions at 12:15 p.m. Also, if you have never seen the Million Dollar Band perform the Elephant Stomp, it is a really cool tradition to take in.

Don’t forget the tailgating either. Plenty of folks won’t even attend the game, but rather will choose to set up a tent and watch it on ESPNU. Even if you don’t know someone setting up a tent, simple social skills go a long way on game days. If you have trouble with this just remember two simple words: Roll Tide.


Step two: What to expect


So you have waited in line, gotten your seat and looked up at the clock, only to see that there are two hours until kick-off. Don’t worry. If you are well prepared, these two hours will not seem as long.

Number one on your list of A-Day survival items is a paper fan. There will be about 80 people who try to give you one on the Quad, so if you don’t bring one into the game, no one will feel sorry for you. A-Day is always hot. Although Saturday’s forecast calls for 70-degree weather with partly cloudy skies, seriously, just bring the fan. Also, don’t drink too much. If it does get hot, there is nothing worse than sitting in the hot Alabama sun dehydrated.

That brings me to my next point: if you can pony up for some water at the game, do it. I know, I know, it’s expensive, but hey, they take Bama Cash, so if you have it, use it. If you are one of those people who ran out of Bama Cash in August, then come prepared. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids before the game—the type that hydrate you.


Step three: The Game


This is arguably the most important part of A-Day. Even if you have been to an Alabama football game in the past, you will find some differences Saturday. For one, the game itself is played differently. There is no contact on special teams, and the quarterback is off limits during the game. Another difference you will find—coach Nick Saban will be on the field evaluating plays. Saban has the ultimate power in this game. Though he usually lets the game play out, it is his show and he can do anything from repeating a play to changing the spot of the ball. Also, since Saban is on the field offensive and defensive coordinators will play the role as coaches.

Offensive Coordinator Jim McElwain will coach the Crimson team, which is composed of many players expected to start on offense next year and many players who are expected to be backups on defense. Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart will coach the White team, which is composed of many top defensive players and players expected to be backups on offense. Tide quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims are listed on both Crimson and White rosters.

Though this game will not be played at a level of intensity quite like that of games played in the fall, it does matter. There is a team dinner at the end of the game where the winning team eats steak and the losing team eats beans and hot dogs.

There you have it, folks. Reading this article should provide you with an adequate preparation of A-Day. Roll Tide!



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