You can learn a lot reading the RBR gameday threads. For example, at some point in the last couple weeks there was a mention of LARP which I had never heard of. A quick Google search later I knew more than I ever wanted to know about Live Action Role Playing. Of course, don't take this to suggest I was surprised by the knowledge of this phenomena, because I'm not that much of an old fogey.
After the first (and second) round of LOLs eased off I gave the whole idea of this a serious thought and that led to one or two interesting insights I thought you guys might find of interest.
To start with, there's not a heck of a lot new about the concept here. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of military reenactments will attest. Civil War reenactments are an increasingly mainstream phenomena with tens of thousands of people participating in the most popular events. And the impending 150th anniversaries of the conflict is sure to accelerate the process.
And the base idea is the same for LARPers; attempt to recreate a given event in real time. So why doesn't anyone ever do this for football games?
On the face of it, there seems to be no reason anyone wouldn't particularly in the case of Alabama football. There is a huge amount of interest in historical matchups and an increasing awareness of the period details involved and their importance to the given contests. In many cases the game records are good enough to even get pretty detailed in how to "script" the event.
Imagine putting together an Alabama game on a mock Denny Field from the 1920s. The historical research it would require would almost make the effort worth the hassle (not to mention the fact you could probably charge a pretty penny for folks to watch).
The main thing that keeps something like this from happening is the fact so many great games are available on video formats. Alabama's first commercially televised game was the 1951 Tennessee contest. By the 1960s, nationally televised Crimson Tide games were a pretty regular staple of the season (although teams were allowed only a limited number of appearances). Obviously today the rare game is one you can't find a way to see live.
But prior to that, there is little visual evidence for the contests and we mostly know about them from record books, newspaper accounts and the occasional grainy film clip. And, for many of the earliest contests, the event is rapidly fading from living memory. There would seem to be something of a need for some kind of historical preservation that reenactment enthusiasts cite as a key reason for participating in their hobby.
Think of the games that would be possible: the 1922 victory over John Heisman's Pennsylvania squad, the 1926 Rose Bowl win over Washington or, even better, the 1935 Rose Bowl triumph over Pop Warner's Stanford team (featuring a lanky end from Arkansas who everyone called "Bear"). I'd damn sure love to check out any halfway decent effort at recreating any of those contests.
Bottom line, though, I think the real reason people don't consider re-enactments of sports contests is that we look at them excursively as competition and, as such, only the most recent matchups are the ones that hold any "real" meaning. It's the same logic that fuels the dismissal of any team's achievement prior to this season/game/last play. The point is to constantly improve your performance and thus the achievements of the past are almost ancillary.
And besides, do you know anyone tough enough to portray "Bully" Van der Graff? I sure as hell don't. And even if you do, you are damn sure not going to find them at a LARP.