I attended my first Alabama game Saturday as they throttled Texas A&M 59-0. It was a great experience. Since I have attended both an Alabama and Auburn game, I am going to decide who has the “Better Gameday Experience.”
Just a note, Texas A&M has one of the most passionate fan bases. Even in the 4th quarter, they were still cheering on their team. Much respect! Go Aggies!
They don’t call it the “Loveliest Village” for nothing. Auburn has a beautiful campus in a city where it is based all around the University. Samford Hall is the historic landmark that is wrapped around tradition. With the addition of the small-town feel, and the local restaurants on campus, this makes it the better campus. Not taking anything away from the historic Denny Chimes from the Crimson Tide, it does not quite live up to the campus of the TIgers.
As everyone knows, the tailgating in the SEC is unlike anywhere else in the country. Ole Miss may be the best tailgate spot in the SEC, but Alabama and Auburn are right up there with them. Alabama owns the Quad on campus in front of Denny Chimes for the main tailgate spot, and Auburn spreads out their tailgating spots around campus, but the nice venue of Samford Hall, makes it a great tailgating spot as well. That is why I gave a tie to Alabama and Auburn.
MARCHING BAND: Alabama
The Crimson Tide calls their band the “Million Dollar Band” and proves to fit the name very well. Their halftime performance was very entertaining. They have many formations and move all around the field. If you ever visit for a game, make sure to hang around for halftime and check it out. Auburn has a great band too, and I’m not sure there are many other bands in the SEC that can compete with these two schools.
FAN SUPPORT: Alabama
Alabama has many fans, not only in the state, but everywhere in the country, mostly in part because of the many national championships they have won. I noticed there were a lot of fans all over campus that did not attend the game, but just went to Tuscaloosa to tailgate and participate in activities. It also helps with their large stadium capacity as they put more fans in the seats.
Auburn has some of the greatest traditions in college football. Whether it is the legendary Toomer’s Corner, the “Tiger Walk”, or the eagle flying before the game, they are the best traditions in the SEC. If you ever visit Auburn, do yourself a favor and stop at Toomer’s Drugs and buy some fresh squeezed lemonade. You should also check out the famous “Tiger Walk” two hours before the game starts. This was actually invented at Auburn, and is now seen all over the country at most schools. It started in the 1960’s and has carried that tradition all the way to 2014. It is even seen at Auburn’s away games as fans cheer on their team. And then add the long tradition of the War Eagle flying before the game. It sends chills up your spine, even for the visiting team’s fans. And lastly, the tradition of the rolling of Toomer’s Corner after a win is something you will never see anywhere else.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is huge! It holds 101,821 people, which makes it one of the biggest in the SEC. It is a beautiful stadium venue that resembles an NFL feel. Auburn holds 87,451 in Jordan-Hare, but still remains one of the toughest places to play in the SEC. Alabama gets the nod for the better stadium mostly because of the new additions to the upper deck that make it an incredible environment. Although, if Auburn keeps winning and producing sell out crowds, we may see some expansion in the near future for the Tigers.
Auburn has one the best pre-game traditions in the SEC. With the eagle soaring before the game, and the electric band coming on the field, and adding the smoke as the players take the field. Plus, Auburn has some of the best pre-game hype videos I’ve seen. This is what makes the pre-game of the Auburn Tigers such a great experience.
Along with the great pre-game and traditions of Auburn, the atmosphere and the passion that the Auburn fans have for their team is almost unmatched. When I attended the Alabama game this past weekend, it had the true pageantry of the SEC. The feel I received from the Alabama fans were that winning was all they were there for; which is what you want your team to do. But what separates Auburn from Alabama in this area, is the fact that Auburn fans are all about Auburn. They don’t only care about football, they love their university and their city, and support their team wholeheartedly whether their team wins or loses.
Overall, both universities present different traditions and seem to be unmatched anywhere else. The tradition of Auburn is what really separates them from other schools, and also all the local restaurants, and beautiful scenery right on campus. Denny Chimes and Samford Hall are two of the most historic landmarks in the SEC, and rightfully so. Alabama and Auburn bring great traditions, atmospheres, and pre-game experiences. But I believe Auburn gets the slight edge over Alabama for the better gameday experience.
If you have visited both, let me know what you think! And if you have not, I strongly suggest it!
War Eagle and Roll Tide!