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Can someone explain to me how the saying, "Roll Tide", came to be?

linnylulinnylu Registered User Posts: 476 Member
edited December 2011 in University of Alabama
Roll Tide is said an awful lot on here, and I'd love to know the history of the expression and also what it means. Also, how did the Crimson Tide come to be? And for the matter, how did the elephant become UA's mascot?
Post edited by linnylu on

Replies to: Can someone explain to me how the saying, "Roll Tide", came to be?

  • momreadsmomreads Registered User Posts: 3,233 Senior Member
  • livandletgolivandletgo Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Roll tide! ^^ that'll answer your question, but I had to put a little UA love here.
  • placido240placido240 - Posts: 636 Member
    No, sorry , it didn't help. A bit of lore here about elephants, but nothing about "roll tide."
  • tommykirkpatricktommykirkpatrick Registered User Posts: 543 Member
    "Roll Tide" might've come from Grantland Rice, who wrote something along the lines of "in rolled the Crimson Tide." The name Crimson Tide came about in a game against Auburn in muddy conditions, when the players' uniforms were stained with red clay. Sportswriters referred to them as a Crimson Tide. They didn't have a nickname before that.
  • BamaMomof3BamaMomof3 Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    How the Crimson Tide Got its Name

    In early newspaper accounts of Alabama football, the team was simply listed as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after the school colors.

    The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the "Thin Red Line." The nickname was used until 1906.

    The name "Crimson Tide" is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used "Crimson Tide" in describing an Alabama-Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907, the last football contest between the two schools until 1948 when the series was resumed. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win.

    But, evidently, the "Thin Red Line" played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name "Crimson Tide." Zipp Newman, former sports editor of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than any other writer.

    Paul W.Bryant Museum
  • BamaMomof3BamaMomof3 Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    and regarding the mascot:
    The Elephant Story

    The story of how Alabama became associated with the "elephant" goes back to the 1930 season when Coach Wallace Wade had assembled a great football team.

    On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.

    "Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

    "At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.

    "It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

    Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys.

    The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

    Paul W.Bryant Museum
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,683 Senior Member
    I think Bama has the best logo in college sports....classy looking. A nice scripted A with a ring around it with Crimson Tide written.

    When I watch ESPNU and they often will have school logos passing behind the sportscasters and Bama's just looks the best. Some school's logos are outright tacky.

    And, I love the number 13 on the helmets....hopefully soon to be 14. :)
  • trvlbugtrvlbug Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    the Origin of Roll Tide?

    "Yea Alabama"

    Following Alabama's 1926 Rose Bowl victory over Washington, a contest was held by The Rammer-Jammer, a student newspaper, for the composition of a fight song. Several entries were submitted to a panel overseen by the Music Department, and the winning entry, "Yea Alabama", was adopted. The composer, Ethelred Lundy (Epp) Sykes, was a student in the School of Engineering, and also editor of The Rammer-Jammer at the time, as well as playing piano in a jazz ensemble, The Capstone Five. He won the University's Pan-Hellenic Cup in 1926 for overall achievement, both academically, athletically, and in student affairs. The song achieved considerable popularity during the 20s and 30s. Sykes went on to become a Brigadier General in the U.S Air Force, and donated the copyright and future royalties to the University in 1947. The opening of the song is heard during pre-game right after the "Bammy Bound cheer". The Million Dollar Band plays only the chorus at football games such as after touchdowns and field goals.

    A Dixieland jazz version of the song appeared on the 1950 Percy Faith album Football Songs (later re-releasd as Touchdown!) and was played extensively across the state in the 1960s and 1970s as the music bed of radio commercials for sporting goods stores. It was also used as the theme music for The Bear Bryant Show.

    The last words of the song, "Roll Tide!" are generally cheered by fans during Alabama sporting events.

    The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.

    Yea Alabama

    Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!
    Every 'Bama man's behind you,
    Hit your stride.
    Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
    Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
    And if a man starts to weaken,
    That's a shame!
    For Bama's pluck and grit have
    Writ her name in Crimson flame.
    Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
    Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then.
    So roll on to victory,
    Hit your stride,
    You're Dixie's football pride,
    Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!
  • malanaimalanai Registered User Posts: 2,161 Senior Member
    And as long as we're at it, might as well dust off this gem for those who haven't seen it: ESPN Alabama Roll Tide Commercial - YouTube
  • linnylulinnylu Registered User Posts: 476 Member
    If I was young, and had the college decision in front of me, I know where I'd be heading.

    Roll tide!
This discussion has been closed.