What’s it Take to Become the Best Alabama Football Fan?
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS HONESTLY:
- Have you ever told someone you couldn’t make an important event just because there’s a football game occurring at that same time?
- Do you secretly check up on your football team more than three times a day?
- Have you hallucinated about bleeding orange and blue or crimson or green and gold?
- Are football items always at the top of your requested personal gifts?
- Do you chant football battle cries, such as “War Eagle” or “Go Blazers,” when all alone driving?
- Are these questions unconsciously making you whisper “Roll Tide?”
If you answered “yes” to any of the aforementioned queries, you might be a revered, Alabama die-hard football fan!!
It’s widely perceived that Alabama has the highest concentration of college football fans in the United States. Is Alabama college football fandom so intense because the state’s teams are so good? Or are Alabama teams so solid because there is such intense fan support? That matter is a version of a “chicken and egg football” question when pondering which came first in Alabama.
Let’s examine two main components of being a frenzied football fan in the Yellowhammer state’s Two Eighty locales.
Fun Spots to View Football Games
Where is your favorite location to watch football games?
Michael Reagan, manager at Superior Grill, a Birmingham Tex-Mex restaurant located at 4701 Highway 280, says their customers enjoy coming to the restaurant to “hang out all day” to watch games on their 33 high-definition TVs. He says football fans also are fond of the complimentary chips and salsa.
“Watching games here is like watching with your buddies at home. It keeps customers coming back,” he says.
Locals say it’s “Black Market versus everybody,” especially on game day, as food and drink specials abound at the Black Market Bar & Grill at 3411 Colonnade Parkway in Birmingham. Black Market staffers also like getting into football season by offering their branded shirts in two “essential” colors: crimson or navy and orange. Manager Rachael Moore says they serve the perfect bar food for games, such as chicken wings, potato skins and corn nuggets. She says their $6 beer pitchers will be back for this football season.
“Customers are very superstitious about sports,” she explains. “If their team wins, they come back for the next game and want to sit at the same table, order the same food and have the same waitress.”
She says Black Market customers have long been introducing their college drinking traditions at the bar, such as honeybee shots made with Bärenjäger liqueur.
Bama Brews Days are every Tuesday at Billy’s Sports Grill at 2012 Cahaba Road in Birmingham before football game times turn weekends into bigger Bama Brews Days. Billy’s staffers even encourage customers to “feed their goat” during Crimson Tide broadcasts.
Billy’s customers enjoy the grill’s award-winning chicken wings, as well as crab claws, fried pickles, fried olives, cheese sticks, village nachos and specialty sandwiches.
“All things sports and craft beer” is what’s on tap for game days at On Tap Sports Café at 3340 Galleria Circle in Hoover.
On Tap manager Riane Estes says a new football fan component to this year’s season is a massive beer pong table, 4 feet off the ground with waste basket-sized buckets. The table is so huge, she says it was custom-made. She adds that the customer favorite board game of cornhole will still be available.
“Another thing we do for sports fans is create TV viewing zones, with a rotating schedule, so we can tell you where to sit according to which team you want to watch,” she says. “And of course, everyone’s welcome to watch football from our patio.”
Legendary fun, food and freshness is the claim of Hoover-based Baumhower’s Restaurant of Lee Branch at 1001 Doug Baker Blvd. This restaurant chain concept started with football infused in it in 1981, when Bob Baumhower, an All-American from the University of Alabama and six-time All-Pro for the Miami Dolphins, decided to share his foodie passion and introduce his chicken wings to Alabama.
Baumhower’s staffers like to prepare Tailgating Time packages, complete with special sauces. Bar manager Luke Hobbs says they’re launching many new menu items during this year’s football season, including sweet potato fries and Bam-Bam shrimp for appetizers, as well as power mixes for salads.
“We’ve also got the Killer Bee coming, which is a fried waffle with fried chicken, topped with Baumhower’s hot sauce, a fried egg and fresh honey,” Luke says.
He says they also will be serving their popular chicken salad on slider buns now, as well as new fish tacos. New chicken wings flavors, such as sweet and sour ju-ju and apple butter barbecue, also are available.
Luke says new bar specials include sour cherry beer and Underdog beer.
What Will You Wear During Game Times?
The owners of Bama Fever-Tiger Pride, a sporting goods store at 4618 Highway 280 in Birmingham, claim they are the most recognized merchandise shop for the Alabama/Auburn rivalry. They supply team apparel, artwork, collectibles, memorabilia, toys, home products, auto accessories, tailgate items and game-day gear, such as hats, T-shirts, jerseys, polos, visors, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts and blouses.
Bama Fever manager Andrea Limehouse says football customers come from all over the world to buy from their store. Recent visitors have come from Japan, Ireland and Russia. She says shirts and jerseys always are popular, and they will have new versions of Nike tennis shoes this season.
Bama Fever has been operating for the past 35 years; Andrea says they see patrons returning year after year. ”
Customers say they just like to be around all our items,” she says.
For the latest Crimson Tide wear, Alumni Hall at 250 Summit Blvd. #100 in Birmingham is ready for fans to touch down. The first of Alumni Hall’s now 26 sports-loving locations opened in 2006, and they’ve since been delighting college fans of all ages and styles.
Alumni Hall manager Nikki Webb says many customers believe it’s bad luck to wear last year’s football clothes, so they quickly seek the new coaches’ polos every year. The Hall hosts another tradition.
“Our store has two different doors—one for Alabama and one for Auburn fans,” Nikki says. “So, when customers realize they walked in through the wrong team door, they will back out and hurry to come in the other door for the team they really wanted.”
Nikki says women’s dressy clothing in team colors is very popular this year.
Alumni Hall carries menswear, dresses, fashion tops, team color accessories and shoes to complete wardrobes, as well as fun outfits for young fans from infants to teens. The store also has tailgate selections, in addition to one-of-a-kind gifts, such as branded hammocks, charm beads, cell phone cases and tumblers.
Dick’s Sporting Goods at 5201 Highway 280 in Birmingham also carries quality sports apparel and equipment. For those who want to look especially dashing while wearing football apparel, Dick’s even offers a football training checklist for speed, agility, skill development and recovery training equipment.
And if you’re ever stumped about a football cheer, try this one: “Push ’em back! Hit ’em hard! Make ’em fight for every yard!”