Tradition- it’s the best word to describe cheering at the University of Alabama. Whether I’m cheering in Bryant Denny stadium or Coleman Coliseum, I can feel that I am a part of something bigger than just a game. Our basketball games have become more and more exciting every year that I have been here and this weekend’s game against Arkansas was no different!
To start the game, we lead our team on to the court with flags that spell out “ALABAMA”. As soon as our fans see us with the flags, they know it’s time to get up on their feet and cheer on the Tide! Running the flags might not be everyone’s favorite part of the game, but it is definitely one of mine. It’s exciting to see the crowd respond to us and really get pumped up for tip off.
After the national anthem, we all take the floor for the player introductions. We have an awesome video this year for our basketball team that plays as soon as the lights go out in Coleman Coliseum. For each of the five players, we have a different stunt that we ripple down the line. I love being up in the air during player intros because I can look out and see everything that is going on in the stands and on the court. After player intros, the basketball team, cheerleaders and dance team meet in the center of the court in a huge huddle. After the team breaks, we all spread out to our different spots on the court and prepare for tip off.
Another tradition we have at Alabama happens at tip off. As soon as the ball is up in the air, the whole coliseum chants “ROLLLLLLL” as loud as they can until we score our first basket! As soon as the ball is through the hoop, everyone finishes the cheer together with “TIDE ROLL!” This tradition is a great way to start our games because it gets the crowd up on their feet and makes the coliseum an extremely loud and intimidating place for the opposing team!
The free throw tradition at Alabama is by far my favorite one we have! While our player is at the line, all of the girls stand and hit a touchdown motion. When the basket is made, the girl on the left starts the ripple by shifting her hips and arms to the right. As soon as it reaches the right, we send it right back! It’s fun to sometimes go super fast or super slow to just switch things up a little bit. During the ripple, we also say “ooooooOOOP!” It’s kind of hard to explain without a video, so you’ll just have to come to a game sometime!
During the game we take turns with the dance team going out on to the court for time outs. This is where we perform our band chants, cheers and sometimes “Alabama across the court.” This is always exciting because everyone yells with us and Coleman Coliseum gets LOUD! We also have a few fun time outs where we throw T-shirts to the fans or watch our traditional “Taco and Hot Sauce Race.” I always cheer on the taco!
END OF THE GAME
After running the flags out again at half time and performing during time outs, we hopefully win the game! The game against the Hogs was a close one, but we ended up pulling away in the last few minutes. After the game we take the floor to perform the fight song one last time and perform our “Rammer Jammer” cheer. Rammer Jammer is always fun because we get to chant to the other team “Hey HOGS! We just beat the Hell out of you!” This cheer is another tradition here at the University of Alabama that never gets old!
Hope you all enjoyed learning more about cheering a basketball game at the University of Alabama! Come out to Coleman Coliseum sometime and watch us cheer on the TIDE!