The football rivalry between LSU and the University of Alabama is a tale as old as time. However, when putting aside differences and observing game day culture in Tuscaloosa, it may be shocking to see just how similar the Tide’s Saturdays are to those in Death Valley.
Not only does Gorgas stand as the University of Alabama’s largest library, it also serves as the center point for the majority of Bama’s tailgating activities. Here is where the Million Dollar Band performs their age old tradition of the Elephant Stomp an hour before every game.
The band proudly stands on the library’s steps while the Crimsonettes, cheerleaders and mascot Big Al hype up the crowd through loud chants and energetic dancing.
Haley Alexander is a student on campus and a member of Dance Alabama, a student run dance organization.
“My favorite part of tailgating is seeing the Crimsonettes march to the stadium,” Alexander said, appreciating her fellow dancers on campus.
The Crimsonettes could be compared to our very own Golden Girls with the addition of baton twirling.
All around Gorgas, fans pitch their tents on the quad. Beer pong and corn hole are no strangers to both LSU and Bama tailgates.
In the name of similarities, Alabama’s emphasis on tailgating food comes as no surprise. Wherever you turn, fans are cooking up a variety of delectable southern cuisines.
The smell of good eats can be traced all the way down Sorority Row, with a pancake breakfast at the Chi Omega house.
Bama even has their own signature drink, the Yellow Hammer, named after their state bird.
However, the most evident game day tradition of the Crimson Tide is the strong sense of community in the name of playful competition.
Hannah Baughman is a University of Alabama alumna who graduated in 2020.
“Yeah probably my favorite part of tailgating is hanging out with friends,” said Bauhgman, “and seeing people I don’t normally get to see during the week.”
Despite being rivals, Alabama seems to echo much of LSU’s own football culture. Whether you’re wearing red or purple, cheering from Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge, game days in the South prove to be an experience unlike any other.