There was a good thread on TideFans.com recently where people were recounting Crimson Tide related encounters in places you'd never expect them to happen.
My all time favorite in this regard is one that I now cannot find a link to. On Warren St. John's Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer site, he had a photo someone sent in of a wooden prayer plaque at a Buddhist temple in Vietnam imploring the gods for success for Alabama's football team and particularly over Auburn. If anyone has that photo, PLEASE email it to RollBamaRoll@gmail.com and you will have a new friend for life. The photo was similar to this picture my friend Eric took on a recent trip to Japan of these prayer plaques (called ema in Japanese) at the Meiji Shrine:
At the end of the year, all of the ema are burned in order to send the prayers up to heaven
Anyway, the thread had several good stories, so I figured I would pass along a few of them to you. Also, please leave any similar stories in the comments section or email them in (please email any photos on this subject as well...you know, something like if you see a Bama flag hanging inside a restaurant in Bulgaria.) Thanks.
I figure I might as well start with my contribution to the thread. One reader on the site likened my opening line to that of a Penthouse letter:
I met a girl from New Zealand on top of the lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida last year. She saw my Bama hat and in her NZ accent said "Roll Tide." I was stunned someone from the South Pacific knew about Alabama football. Turns out she lives in the US now and used to be married to a Bama fan and has been to dozens of games.
And now for some from other site users:
Probably biggest shocker I had like this was changing planes at Narita International, Tokyo, Japan. I had a Bama hat on and as I was getting through security, the Japanese Security Agent pointed at my ball cap and with a huge grin said "ROLL TIDE, Go Alabama". I think my jaw about hit the floor.
Another from Japan:
Back when I was in the USAF, stationed in the Pacific, I was on leave in Tokyo. I was walking down the street one day and saw a young woman coming toward me wearing a crimson sweatshirt with Alabama Crimson Tide printed on the front. She looked like she might be a college student, so I stopped her and asked if she attended Alabama. She said no, she liked it because it was "American" and asked me what it meant. We had a cup of coffee and I told her about UA.
My mom goes to get her nails done at a place in town and the people that run it are Vietnamese. She saw one day that they put something in an Alabama cup. She asked if it was just a random cup or if they were fans of Bama. They gave her a big "Roll Tide" in their Vietnamese accents and said they used to live in Birmingham.
My stepfather is from New Zealand. He was an ex-pro rugby player and came to the States when he started losing his eyesight. He ended up in Gulf Shores and loved it there. Well, he was a big Bama fan before moving here and apparently Alabama has a pretty good following in New Zealand. One of their good friends that is also from New Zealand lives in Orlando and has a cousin coming over in a couple of months. The one thing that he insists on doing while he is here is to go to a Bama game. When I talk to him on the phone that is all he talks about.
I will close with an experience my parents had in Canada:
In the late 1960s, my parents were driving to the World's Fair in Montreal and when they got to the Canadian border, my dad remembered he had his pistol under the driver's seat and was kind of freaking out about it. Back then, they only randomly searched vehicles at the border, though everyone had to stop and show them their papers. Well, my dad decided the wise course of action was to feign ignorance if they searched his car and to say he didn't realize it was under there and that he thought he'd left it at home. He said he was getting nervous about being checked because they hadn't checked the last 7-8 cars ahead of them.
So he's sweating this one big time and the Canadian border guard walks around to the back of the car, sees the Alabama license plate and instead of asking my dad to get out of the car and open the trunk (which he thought was going to happen since Alabama had been in the news a lot lately for the riots), walks up to him and says, "So, is Coach Bryant going to have a good team this year?" My dad said they talked football for a few minutes and the guy waved them through.