Archive for August, 2013

30th August
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

UA Fun Fact & Trivia:

Enrollment at The University of Alabama reached a record high of 33,602 for fall 2012. The entering freshman class, at 6,397 students, is the largest in UA history and includes 1,725 students who had a 4.0 or higher high school grade point average.

The time is finally here!  I’m ready for the road to 16 to being Saturday and can’t wait to see my Roll Tide Chicago family – I’ve missed y’all and look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at the Houndstooth and Another Round Saturday!

Alabama Home Game Raffle

We have a pair of tickets for both the Ole Miss 9/26 and the Arkansas 10/19 Alabama home games that we will be raffling starting Aug. 30th through Sept. 5th.  You can purchase your raffle tickets either at the Houndstooth or Another Round on Sat 8/31 or you can email rolltidechicago@gmail.com.  We will only be selling 50 tickets for each game.  Cost for a raffle ticket $25, all the proceeds go to Roll Tide Chicago Scholarship fund.  Please note that these tickets CANNOT be resold!

Alabama vs. KY Game 10/12 in Lexington, KY

Roll Tide Chicago will have access to approximately 24 tickets to the Alabama vs. KY game on Oct. 12th in Lexington, KY.  Details to be provided in early September from NAA, but if you are interested in being put on the list for possible game tickets please email rolltidechicago@gmail.com with your name and phone number, once we have more information we will email y’all.  We are looking at getting a bus to the game from Chicago to Lexington, please let us know if you’d want to catch a ride to the game with us in the email and if you already have tickets and want to ride with Roll Tide Chicago email us about the bus.

Viewing Parties

Both of our locations will be Saturday for Alabama vs. Virginia Tech; kickoff is at 4:30 pm, but still arrives early if you want to ensure yourself a spot at either bar.

Houndstooth Saloon
3369 N. Clark
Chicago

Another Round
5141 Main St.
Downers Grove

2013 Roll Tide Chicago T-shirt and Membership

We want to make sure you join Roll Tide, Chicago (new or a renewing member) the new membership form is on RollTideChicago.com and will be at The Houndstooth and Another Round all season.  Your 2013 RTC Membership you will get this ChicaAgo t-shirt (it’s an ash grey color and comes in women’s and men’s sizes)

Membership Levels

$25 White Membership – Includes 1 T-shirt

$40 Crimson Membership Includes 2 T-shirts

$60 Houndstooth Membership    Includes 4 T-shirts

Don’t forget Friday Aug. 30th is wear your college colors day – I hope to see a Crimson Tide of Alabama shirts around Chicago that day!! Also we will be heading to Ravina in our Alabama gear with Shakers to sing along to Alabama songs such as “My Home in Alabama” and “Dixie Land Delight!

Look forward to seeing y’all for Kickoff on Saturday for Alabama vs. VT @ 4:30 pm CT at the Houndstooth or Another Round.  Jeff will be at Another Round Saturday so make sure to say hello.

Roll Tide!

Laurel

4th & Goal

It’s finally here gang, Kickoff week! No more reading about how the Tide will replace 3 starters on the o-line or who will replace Eddie Lacy. Now we can watch it all unfold on Saturday afternoon from the Georgia Dome. Every time the Tide plays in one of these opening games vs. an ACC team or Big Ten team I think back to 2008 when I went to the Clemson game. It was Saban’s second year and everyone was expecting the Tide to rebound from the 7-6 first year where we lost to La Monroe. I don’t think anyone could imagine the beat down that we gave the Tigers that day and the rest as they say is history, since that game the Tide is 61-7.

So here we are again looking at another chance for a National Title and the chance to become the first time in modern history to win 3 championships in a row. If there is one coach and program capable of dealing with the pressure, getting every teams A+ game and keeping their focus it is Coach Saban and his staff. One of the things I like about Saban is that he never looks back or dwells on the past. It’s a new team, a new season etc… What happened vs. Notre Dame this past Jan. has no bearing on this year. I’m not sure how many coaches think like this. I know that we don’t. We see the Tide take the field same uniforms, same stadium where they beat UGA and think, this is going to be easy. But we forget that A) these guys are kids (I realized this last week when it dawned on me that the incoming freshman class were born the year I graduated high school) B) that we have no idea how they are going to play as a team and C) you just never know in sports.

But with all that said I see nothing but great things for this team. The defense is going to still be the defense and the offense at least from an Alabama standpoint is going to be like nothing we have seen. AJ has more weapons than ever and for a change, teams can’t stack the box to try and stop us. Do I think that the Tide will win 3 in a row? I’m going to hedge my bet and say they have as good a shot as anybody this year. And honestly that is all we can hope for. To be in the discussion year in and year out that is all we can ask for from our team. All I know is that once again it is going to be an exciting season and we should enjoy it win or lose.

Last week I mentioned that I always like the fact that the Tide keep their uniforms standard but I will make an exception for this: http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/08/alabama_football_team_to_pay_t.html (by the way once again I think they should name the field after Mal Moore but this is a good start.)

Marc – Don’t worry something will be named after Mal Moore!

 

I also mentioned last week in the wake of a couple of the arrests on the Tide that Saban does everything that he can to prepare the team for everything. ESPN has a great story on how that works: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/alabama/post/_/id/15381/sabans-process-goes-beyond-the-game I imagine these sessions go something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN-aCYVVtyo

Thanks to our friends at Bleacher Report you can view the Tide’s new starters for this year: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1747491-alabama-football-meet-the-tides-new-starters-for-2013/page/3 (by the way if you don’t sign up for Bleacher Report they do a fine job of giving you the latest on Tide comings and goings as well as the rest of college football and the SEC.)

With the season kicking off I figured what better song to post than all of our favorite Sweet Home Alabama. Not sure how many of you know or care about the “feud” between Neil Young (my personal favorite singer) and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Here is a great article (warning it is a little long) on how the phrase I Hope Neil Young will remember A Southern Man don’t need him around anyhow” came to be. http://thrasherswheat.org/jammin/lynyrd.htm

Finally in things I didn’t know until I was a Dad: You never realize how many bodily fluids you get on yourself until you have kids. In the span of 4 hours yesterday I did the following: Washed Maya’s knee where she scraped it (blood) helped her peal dead skin off her foot (dead skin) had Jake  both sneeze on me (snot) and spit up (spit up) and then to top it off while I was changing him he nailed me with some pee. The funny thing is as a parent you just shake your head and change your shirt in my case twice in about half an hour and move on to the next activity.  YUCK!

Saturday can’t get here soon enough RTR

RTR
Marc

 

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22nd August
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

UA Fun Fact & Trivia:

Who is credited for bringing football to the University of Alabama and in what year?

W.G. Little of Livingstone, Alabama in 1892.

Less than two weeks till the Crimson Tide kicks off their 2013 season on Aug. 31st, I for one cannot wait for the season to start and to see some familiar and new faces of Roll Tide Chicago at the Houndstooth and Another Round!

2013 Roll Tide Chicago T-shirt and Membership

We want to make sure you join Roll Tide, Chicago (new or a renewing member) the new membership form is on RollTideChicago.com and will be at The Houndstooth and Another Round all season.  Your 2013 RTC Membership you will get this ChicaAgo t-shirt (it’s an ash grey color and comes in women’s and men’s sizes)

If you order your membership/T-shirt on RollTideChicago.com let us know if you will be picking up your T-shirt at The Houndstooth or Another Round.  First option at either location to pick up your T-shirt will be Saturday Aug 31st.  If you are heading to Atlanta and want to wear your Roll Tide Chicago shirt we will have them Saturday at the SEC Chicago Flag Football Tourney at Diversey Fields.

Membership Levels

$25 White Membership – Includes 1 T-shirt

$40 Crimson Membership Includes 2 T-shirts

$60 Houndstooth Membership    Includes 4 T-shirts

Don’t forget Friday Aug. 30th is wear your college colors day – I hope to see a Crimson Tide of Alabama shirts around Chicago that day!!

SEC Flag Football Tourney

2013 Chicago Area SEC Alumni Flag Football Tournament is Saturday!

Date: Saturday, August 24th, 2012

Time: 9:30am – 3:00pm

Location: Diversey Harbor Fields. The fields are located behind the driving range, close to Diversery and the lake in Lincoln Park.

Format and Rules: 8v8 Coed – All teams will get two games guaranteed then single elimination playoffs.

http://www.livetosupport.com/leagues/flag-football-rules/

After Party @ The Pony 1638 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60657

http://www.livetosupport.com/leagues/schedule-standings/sec-chicago-area-coed-8v8-flag-football-tournament/

Interested in being on Alabama’s Team?  Email rolltidechicago@gmail.com or join our event via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/143686772503442/?ref=2

Come out and join us to play or for some tailgating with other Chicago SEC Alumni and Roll Tide Chicago.  The after party this year will be at The Pony, which is UK and Texas A&M’s bar, so we want to make sure to turn The Pony Crimson!  They will be having a Pig Roast and some drink specials Saturday night for their 5th anniversary.

Ravinia – Alabama

If you have not heard, Alabama – the band will be playing at Ravinia Friday Aug 30th.  We are going to have a Roll Tide Chicago tailgate on the lawn at Ravinia – so we can yell Roll Tide Roll and sing along to “My Home in Alabama!”  Send us an email if you plan on joining us at Ravinia – rolltidechicago@gmail.com. We will make sure to bring shakers!

Hope to see y’all earlier this month otherwise we will see you for Kickoff on Sat. 8/31 for Alabama vs. VT  @ 4:30 pm CT at the Houndstooth or Another Round.

Roll Tide!

Laurel

4th & Goal

Roll Tide everyone

Kickoff for college football is getting closer by the day. Let’s get the Debbie Downer stuff out of the way first: Bad news from the Capstone as a couple of our soon to be hero’s continue to remind us that they are 18-21 year old college kids and not some faceless machine. Over the weekend starting CB Geno Smith got arrested for a DUI. Read about it here: http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2013/8/18/4633416/now-you-can-panic-geno-smith-arrested-for-dui

What bothers me about this is that Alabama and Coach Saban do such a good job of trying to prevent this kind of stuff from happening from bringing in law enforcement officials, to former players, to Moms of high school basketball players who end up in jail for getting involved with the wrong crowd to talk to the team.  It just goes to show that not even the best coaches and organizations can stop college kids from being college kids (see Texas A&M with Johnny Football) Let’s hope that he learns his lesson and keeps his head on straight from here on out.

And finally this will be the last time I bring up this subject but it needs to be said again. Thank Coach Saban every day for the run we are on because it could be over before we know it. This is a great story on the end of the 3rd and final golden era for the Bear: http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2013/8/12/4615382/the-end-of-a-dynasty the part that really shook me was that from 1980 until 2010 the Tide was never ranked #1 during the regular season.  Which leads us into the good news….

For the third straight season the Tide starts off as #1 with only 2 votes going to Ohio State. For whatever reason I think this particular Tide team can really handle the pressure. I think the big monkey on their back of becoming the first team in history to win three straight titles will not be a burden but will be more of a rallying cry. Not to mention I just love the way that AJ carries himself. What has he done this offseason? Where has he gone? I have no clue which to me is a good thing. When your senior leaders strive to be LEADERS instead of jet setting around the county like a certain QB from Texas has done good things will come. It also helps when you have so many weapons and a favorable (at least on paper schedule) the closer it gets the more excited I become.

As you guys know I don’t really keep up on the recruiting trail because I trust our coaches know what they are doing, they seem to get whomever they want and why would any stud high school player not want to come to Alabama? But I have to tip my hat to the Tide recruiting efforts for a couple of things: #1 this picture of all of the players that Saban has recruited who were drafted: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1643222-nick-sabans-history-of-grooming-nfl-players-expertly-used-in-recruiting-poster and second and my favorite is this one from just last year’s draft: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/08/alabamas-new-recruiting-pitch-lists-51-million-reasons-to-join-the-crimson-tide/

Oregon, Ohio State, Texas, Florida you name it can have all the impressive athletic compounds and TV deals etc. but if I was a great high school football player how could you not come to play for the Tide? When Oregon unveiled its new Nike funded palace to football the knock that I read was that while Alabama’s was/is amazing they celebrate the past and tradition while at Oregon they are only looking towards the future. (This was a thinly veiled shot at the picture of all the draft picks that the Tide has had in the new football building) vs. the cool sleek look at Oregon. Are you freaking kidding me? Ask yourself this. If you were a high school football player and you walked into the Tide’s locker room and starring you in the face are pictures of Shawn Alexander, and Mark Ingram, and Dee Milner, and Trent Richardson etc. vs. going in and seeing a cool Oregon locker room with all the bells and whistles that Nike can buy wouldn’t you want to go to the place with all the NFL players?

One other reason that I love Alabama is that we never change our jerseys. Ok from time to time a little houndstooth here and there but what you saw 30 years ago is what you see now. For me unless again you are Oregon and it’s part of your DNA when teams change uniforms it just covers up that they aren’t very good or are struggling to get back to the top see our friends from Knoxville who were so excited about their new duds that they seem to forget that they stink. (And count me on the non Butch Jones fan club since I thought he was a good but not great coach at Cincinnati).

Because I love music as much as I love sports starting this year I’ll add a youtube video of some music that I am listening to currently: I’ve heard this song at the Houndstooth a bunch of the last couple of years and never thought anything of it. Who know that the soon to be bar band staple Wagon Wheel had such an interesting story: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/how-bob-dylan-co-wrote-darius-ruckers-wagon-wheel-40-years-ago-20130530 (on a related note legend has it that my fraternity in 1993 was going to book Hootie and the Blowfish to play one of our parties but instead booked a band called Barney Barnwell and Woodstick).

Finally in things I didn’t know until I was a Dad. I want to preface this story by saying I am happily married to Shana. Now that we have that out of the way I have found this summer that kids make the best wingman around. It doesn’t matter if it is Jacob or Maya a Dad with his kids is a magnet for women. On Saturday’s Shana works in the morning so I am out and about as a “single” Dad with two kids. Yesterday I took them to the pool and guys let me tell ya I was the most popular guy there. It helps that Maya is fearless and will go up and chat up anybody that A) has a bag of chips; B) is willing to watch her jump into the water or C) has a juice box or fruit. Then I bring out the closer Jake and everyone turns to puddy. But like all good stories there is a silver lining. At the same pool I was there with another friend of mine with his daughter. One of the ladies chatting us up we found out went to BU (where he went to school) when she asked what year he graduated and found out it was 1998 she said “Oh WOW that was WAY before me” and started to laugh before she got up and moved back to her seat once again proving that I am getting older by the day…

RTR
Marc

 

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2nd August
2013
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

UA Fun Fact & Trivia:

Who was the first woman to earn a law degree from the University of Alabama?

Mable Yerby, who later became Mrs. James Laweson, received her LLB from UA in 1920.

Can you believe we are now less than 30 days away from Alabama kicking off their 2013 season and the road to #16.  Hope you have had an exciting summer.  If you were not at our speaker event in June with Greg McElroy then you defiantly missed out.  Greg was awesome and answered most any question y’all threw at him; check out Marc’s 4th and Goal for some of the highlights from Greg’s visit to Chicago and the Houndstooth.  Check out some of the photos from the Greg McElroy Event here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.10151698641335546&type=1

Just so you know we will have a new t-shirt design released by Aug 15th and will have the new shirts available on August 31st at the Houndstooth and Another Round.  We might even be able to get you your shirt early during the SEC Flag Football Tourney if you are heading to Atlanta for the first game.

SEC Flag Football Tourney

If you can join us to play in our annual SEC Flag Football Tourney or want to come cheer Roll Tide Chicago on the 2013 SEC Flag Football Tourney will be taking place on Aug. 24th in Diversy Fields (Lincoln Park) please email us at rolltidechicago@gmail.com. We need a minimum of 8 players to field a team (at least 5 guys and 3 girls) – we hope not to have to recruit from FLA again this year!  Let’s show the other SEC Chicago Alumni How We Roll! The after party will be at the Pony this year, but feel free to join us for the whole day or just a while we love having our Roll Tide Chicago faithful out & don’t worry we do tailgate – so bring some snacks and drinks and join us for a day outside!

Ravinia – Alabama

If you have not heard, Alabama – the band will be playing at Ravinia Friday Aug 30th.  We are going to have a Roll Tide Chicago tailgate on the lawn at Ravinia – so we can yell Roll Tide Roll!  Send us an email if you plan on joining us at Ravinia – rolltidechicago@gmail.com. We will make sure to bring shakers!

Hope to see y’all earlier this month otherwise we will see you for Kickoff on Sat. 8/31 for Alabama vs. VT  @ 4:30 pm CT at the Houndstooth or Another Round.

Roll Tide!

Laurel

 

 

4th & Goal

Roll Tide and Happy Summer everyone,

Before we start I want to say again how proud I am of our group. From our humble start at Ollies Bar in 2007 when we didn’t know if 10 people in Chicago rooted for Alabama to now having our current chapter President Laurel Stepp be a leader at the Annual Out of State Chapter Meetings in T-Town a couple of weeks ago it really says how far we have come. So remember when you see a fellow Bama fan on the street or know of people coming to Chicago to visit make sure that they know about us at the Tooth or Another Round.

We are less than 30 days away from kickoff and I for one am getting pretty excited. When I was at the Capstone I couldn’t imagine winning one national title now we are going for 3 in a row. I’ve said it once and I will say it again for all of you “newer” Post Saban Bama fans do not take this for granted (see USC, Miami, FSU, Nebraska) a run like the Tide is on comes about once every decade so enjoy it, every last second of it.

A few weeks ago Greg McElroy came and spoke to our group at the Houndstooth. Next to when the Late Great Mal Moore spoke a few years ago he was my favorite speaker we have had. Here are a couple of notes from his talk:

* Alabama now has 33,000 plus students (which is almost twice the size it was when I was a Freshman in 1995)

* 239 National Merit Scholars which ranks us #1 among public universities and #4 in the country (I think I wrote that down correctly either way pretty darn impressive

* 52% of last year’s freshman came from out of state (as a “yankee” from Ohio I find this amazing)

* A New Building goes up or is renovated and reopened on average once every 7.2 months on campus. Unfortunately in the name of progress that means that old landmarks get knocked down this week it was the Corner Store opened since 1948. Boo on that by the way
Before we get into what McElroy said here are a couple of football stats to remember:

* The team is 61-7 over the last 5 years

* They are 35-5 in the SEC (with three of those losses coming in one year)

* Coach Saban is 8-1 life time in the SEC Championship and BCS Title games.
Now onto what McElroy had to say:

* The main difference between Coach Shula who he claims he still likes and Coach Saban is that Shula was happy if the team tried hard and played a fair game while Coach Saban expects excellence and winning all the time. He mentioned a game under Shula when the Tide lost to Miss. State as an example of how playing hard was ok while AFTER let me repeat this AFTER the BCS title game vs. Texas Saban came in and started yelling and screaming that they gave up too many points in the 2nd half. Once again people this is after they just won the national title and finished the year 14-0. If that doesn’t show the difference in Alabama football Pre-Saban and After-Saban I don’t know what will.

* He said that the toughest defense he faced day in and day out was the Alabama defense and that nothing he saw from any other team was as hard as playing vs. the Tide defense. As an aside he mentioned that recruiting plays a big part of this because the Bama scout team could start at most schools across the SEC that is how deep the Tide is. As most of you know I find recruiting talk about as exciting as watching the 2013 Cubs and White Sox. But I am slowly coming around to the fact that what the Tide and Saban are doing is pretty darn amazing. To paraphrase former Vols Coach Derek Dooley Alabama drafts and the rest of the country recruits.

* It isn’t known as much around Tide parts as much as maybe back in the Bear days but Saban HATES Auburn

* McElroy said that Saban is just how we all think he is. A great story he told was one day his senior year he found himself alone walking down the hall towards Saban coming the other way. As they got closer McElroy didn’t know what to say so he just said good morning Coach the only response he got was a grunt.

* He said the difference between Saban and other coaches is how he develops players. He used Dee Milner as an example. How he went from a freshman that McElroy picked on in practice to a first round draft pick last year. He also said that he knew where every player was supposed to go from the lineman to the wide outs on every play he doesn’t even do that with the Jets now.

* Surprising he likes watching Johnny Football play but like the rest of us are very excited to watch him get clobbered this year! (more on Johnny Football shortly)

* He has met Katherine Webb and says that while he isn’t sure if she and AJ are still dating he knows for sure that Saban is not a fan of all of the attention it draws.

* But my favorite story by far was when Tebow was traded to the Jets last year Greg and Mark Sanchez played a trick on him by forcing Tebow to watch all of the defensive Alabama plays from the 2009 SEC championship game during film study one day. How great is that?

* He said that Tebow is a great guy and that all three 2012 Jets QB got along very well despite what you read in the NY Papers.

* One thing I found interesting is that he has accepted being a backup in the NFL and that now it is his job to be an NFL player. You don’t often hear players talk about playing in the NFL as a job.

I’ve said it once I’ll say it again if you are a top recruit in the country and you want to win why not come to Bama? I think the athletic department agrees with me check out the new posters for this year: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1685466-alabama-flashes-serious-bling-in-how-good-do-you-want-to-be-poster? Byutm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=sec-football this doesn’t even take into account the new training rooms, locker room etc. If you haven’t seen the video check it out. (and be prepared to see the new Oregon football palace) Alabama has money but we don’t have Nike Money!

Here is a good story on Johnny Football this is just an amazing story about how a school, a town and a guy’s parents can’t control a situation that is getting out of control. We are blessed to have a leader like AJ.  http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/9521439/heisman-winner-johnny-manziel-celebrity-derail-texas-aggies-season-espn-magazine
My favorite recent JF story is that he honestly thought he could go to a frat party at UT. How did he think this was going to play out? What a putz

Have you seen the picture of Eddie Lacy from Packers camp? It looks like he ate TJ Yeldon. I am not a Packers fan and can really care less what Eddie Lacy did during his offseason but what cracks me up is how many of my friends send me the picture. While I follow ex-Bama players in the NFL unless they play for the Bengals (and three currently do) I could careless about them. Am I alone in this?  Marc – I think you are somewhat alone on this…form my point of view if a Bama player plays for a NFL team I am more than likely to cheer them on.  Plus I can tell you from a firsthand account when we meet Lacy in July in T-Town that he does look like he ate TJ Yeldon – Laurel

In this week’s installment of things I didn’t know until I was a parent: I am 37, I have two great kids, a loving wife, a good job etc. But with all that said I have an irrational love of the Cincinnati Reds. I’m sure like most of you with the Tide you get worked up when we win and even more worked up when they lose. On Sunday the Reds did something that they had never done in the 120+ year history of the team. They struck out 20 LA Dodgers which set the team record for most K’s in a game. Now you’re saying to yourself wow that is pretty good. And what does this have to do with you being a dad? Because while the Reds were striking out 20 Dodgers they couldn’t push across a run and the game went into the 11 inning where of course the Dodgers won on a walk off homer 1-0. Maya who had been playing downstairs while I was watching the game witnessed me having an actual tantrum as the ball left the bat. I hit a pillow, I tossed the remote onto the couch and I’m sure I said a couple of words not fit for print. Maya looked at me walked over to the couch and said “why are you mad Daddy? She then handed me her stuffed animal “Bunny” and said Bunny will make it better. That pretty much took the wind out of my sails. So remember guys and gals it’s only a game and no matter what don’t take it so seriously. (that is until the very next night when the Reds gave up a two run walk off homer)….
RTR
Marc

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