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Alabama: More Than Just Football?

Can any Crimson Tide sport rise from the shadows of Bryant-Denny Stadium?

Kevin C. Cox

You know, I was thinking the other day; you could have a pretty successful site covering nothing but Alabama football. You'd get a lot of hits and maybe even become internet famous.Trust me, there are enough Gumps in the world to do it. Don’t believe me? OK, let me google "Alabama football" for you so you can see just how many suggested sites come up..

Hypothetical question: How would you feel if I told you the UA athletic building that gets the second most foot traffic every year is the Bear Bryant Museum? Would you be mad, surprised, indifferent, etc if you found out it was true? Just something to think about...

So, if Alabama football is so polarizing (and it is), can any sport challenge it? Can Alabama ever be known as anything but a football school? My head says, "no", football is just too big but my heart wishes for more balance.

Honestly, I can admit that football was and still is my first love. It’s what I spent hours with my dad watching every Saturday and it’s what drew me to RBR in the first place. I didn’t dream about being an Alabama track and field star. I won’t even try to convince anyone that Alabama athletics, and to a certain extent the entire University, isn’t built by the success of the Football team. 'Bama is a football school and frankly, we like it that way.

Side thought: Should a team’s success or failure dictate whether or not you follow the sport? Judging by attendance records, we certainly paid attention to football when it had losing seasons. Obviously, it is perfectly OK to like football more than the other sports but we only going to talk about softball or gymnastics while they are winning National Titles? Are you a fan of just Alabama football or do you love everything about the University, including the school itself? One of the biggest knocks on Alabama fans in general is that we only care about football. Well, lets be honest here, that is probably true for 99% of us, including myself.

Back to the point at hand, along with the recent success of the Alabama football team, we have also seen a resurgence of women’s gymnastics, softball and golf. (All won National Titles last year) The men’s golf team was the runner-up in the NCAA tournament last year and the men’s basketball team made it to the Big Dance.

Seems to me that all UA sports are trying but are we paying enough attention?

Currently Alabama ranks #1 in both men’s and women’s golf, #5 in women’s gymnastics, #1 in softball and #9 in women’s tennis.

So, what can we do? For starters, if you live in Tuscaloosa or in the surrounding area, go out and support these teams. The players and coaches put just as much effort into winning as the football team and they deserve our full support. Wouldn’t it be great to sell out a tennis match or see a huge crowd of Alabama golf fans yelling Roll Tide a la Happy Gilmore? That sounds like a Gump move to me.

So, to reverse this unsightly reputation, one of our menny goals here at Roll Bama Roll is to broaden the scope of our horizon far beyond the reaches of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

If you haven't already noticed, to do this we have brought on specific people to handle almost every Alabama sport.

- 5026 and Roger Myers (Roger_RBR) will be covering Baseball.

- Nice Little Saturday and Jeremy_RBR will be handling Basketball.

- Jeremy is pulling double duty and will be covering both our Golf teams as well.

- RollTideYall has been brought on to cover Gymnastics

- The rest of us will chip in when needed and attempt to bring you breaking news on all things Alabama.

In the end, we know what drives hits and site traffic. Certainly, I don’t think we are going to gain followers due to our coverage of the Alabama equestrian team (But wouldn’t that be awesome?) And rest assured there are no plans to replace the Meltdown thread with a breakdown of the women’s basketball team‘s two-deep. Alabama football is what drives this site and will undoubtedly receive 95% of our attention. If you don’t care to read about other sports, simply don’t click the link. But I suggest showing every team associated with Alabama the respect they so rightfully deserve.

Roll Tide and, as always, Gump hard.