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31st October
written by admin

Roll Tide, Chicago!

Roll Tide Chicago at Gameday in Tuscaloosa

This past weekend was my first trip back to Tuscaloosa for a gameday in about 10 years.  It is better than I remembered – we did not have Saban or did we tailgate on the Quad, last time I was in T-town for gameday.  I went with friends who are all presidents/board members for their cities for the Alabama Alumni Association.  Below is a picture of some of the Out-of-State (OOS) Alumni Association presidents/board members who were able to make it to T-town for game weekend – this will now become an annual event for most of the OOSers:

Bye Week & Scholarship Fundraising

It might be Alabama’s bye week but its November so how can you not want to watch College Football?  Since we know everyone wants to watch some college football Saturday and we like to raise money for the Roll Tide Chicago Scholarship Fund the Houndstooth is offering us a special this Saturday 11/2 from 2-6 pm.  Purchase a package for $25 that includes 4 hours of domestic drafts or wells and some food and $10 of this package goes to the RTC scholarship fund!  Come out to the Houndstooth and watch the FLA vs. UGA game and the start of the Auburn vs. Arkansas game, we might even watch some non-SEC games and help raise some money to send a Chicagoland student to the University of Alabama next fall!

Houndstooth Saloon
3369 N. Clark

Can’t join us but want to donate to the RTC Scholarship fund you can do so here:

Long Sleeve T-shirts/Roll Tide Chicago Memberships

We still have a few 2013 long sleeve t-shirts left – order yours today before the 20 we have left are gone!  Stop by the Houndstooth Saturday or email to get the Crimson long sleeve Roll Tide Chicago T-shirt.

Sizes available Small – 2XL

T-shirt Pricing:

Members: $30 each (separate/extra to membership dues that include the grey t-shirt)

Non-Members: $35 each

Southern in the City SEC Happy Hour

As a part of an effort to unify the SEC alumni chapters here in Chicago, Roll Tide Chicago hosting an SEC “Southern in the City” kickoff party. As a minority in Big 10 country all SEC presidents felt it important we come together as a group to have some laughs, share some drinks, and embark on some new and fun ways to better our chapters as well as our experience in The Windy City.

WHERE: Glascott’s

2158 N. Halsted St.

WHEN: Thursday November 7th, 2013

6pm – 8pm

DRINK SPECIALS: $3 dollar domestics

$4 wells

$6 chardonnay and cabernet

Please feel free to pass along the invitation to friends that have attended an SEC school or are fans of the SEC.

Hope to see you out Saturday or next Thursday to support Roll Tide Chicago during Alabama’s bye week.

Roll Tide!



4th & Goal

My single favorite weekend of the year has come and gone. For the last 10 years 14 of my college buddies and I have gotten together one weekend a year to come back to T-Town for football, drinking, food and shopping. Yes shopping I will get to that shortly. Each year as we get older we seem to step it up a notch with the tailgate or the activities that we do while down for the game. This year we each ponied up $50 bucks for the Nick at Noon lunch and Q&A with Coach Saban at Coleman Coliseum. And in keeping with the grand tradition of every fraternity house, locker room or trip to Vegas I was told before Coach spoke that what you say and what you hear stays here. But since I don’t think I’d be treading on state secrets here are the highlights of his talk and Q&A:

  • As this was the first time I had heard Coach speak in person it is amazing how even in a large room like the floor of Coleman how much of a presents he is right off the bat. The entire energy in the room shifted as soon as he walked in (with his police escort).
  • While he is the master of coach speak aka double talk and talking without really saying anything the few times he did get worked up was when someone asked him how he dealt with the off-field issues (Ha-Ha, rumors of Miss Terry house hunting in Austin etc.) It was at that point that he went into a long speech about how every player that has been suspended needed to and that as long as he focuses on football he is ok because he can’t control everything that is always going on around him
  • When asked who he speaks to weekly I was surprised to learn that he talks to at least two different sports psychologists both for the team and himself. I don’t think he meant it as he sits down on a couch and tells these guys his life story but I do think they help him more than we think.
  • I guess it is his birthday one day this week and when some moron got all of us to sing Happy Birthday to him you could tell how much he HATED it and I can’t stress that enough.
  • When asked how he has changed as a coach from when he first started he said that the big thing was how he has become a better teacher. For example if a guy is giving  it his all and he makes a mistake he can coach them up to improve but if a guy is loafing or not doing his job that is where the screaming and yelling comes from.
  • Finally he mentioned how he can’t understand guys getting all worked up over being disrespected by teams (the Vols called Alabama the “red team” all week and Butch Jones said that they could beat any team). Coach’s point was that if you get worked up over something that the other team said how come no one gets worked up when they don’t give 100% in practice or in school or in life. Aren’t you disrespecting yourself? I found that to be the most interesting point he made all speech.

While the speech was cool to see listen to by far the highlight of the day was going to the Mal Moore athletic building next door to Coleman. It is free and I can’t stress enough how amazing this building is. First of all you walk in and right next to the front desk are all of Mal Moore’s championship rings, watches, trinkets from the bowl games etc. And since he has been a player, coach and AD for every single championship since Bear Bryant took over that is a lot of rings. Just a special display for all of us to see.

Walk up the stairs into the Hall of Champions and the first thing you see smack in the middle of the room is Mark Ingram’s Heisman. All around the trophy are displays for most of the national titles including the trophies, pictures rings etc. They have a few of the SEC championship trophies in another case and on the far wall a few of the awards that the guys have won over the years (Outland, etc.).

And down the hall they have pictures of all of the All American football players. The university did a great job with this area and I highly encourage all of you to check it out the next time you are in T-Town.

Somewhere between 1999 and now my frat brothers have turned into my sorority sisters with the amount of shopping that some of them do. In one of the many ways that the university has changed since I was there is how much people wear Alabama gear. When I was a ZBT from 95-99 I owned 3 Bama shirts and one sweatshirt that I wouldn’t wear in public. We won’t be caught dead in “Bamaflause” let alone go to three different stores looking for it. Fast forward to last Friday where my buddies dragged me into in The Locker Room on the Strip and the Shirt and Pants shop downtown looking for the perfect Elephant button down shirt, hat or polo shirt. And I’m not talking about a $50 dollar shirt I’m talking about hundreds of dollars on clothes. I couldn’t believe it when they were buying all this stuff. Maybe I’m more of a t-shirt and Nike sweatshirt guy but does anyone really need a $150 fleece from the Locker Room? (I say when you want to class it up and dress for the games!)

Walking around the quad pre-game has become an experience in and of itself. From just about every tent having a TV, food, beer, booze and kids tossing a football the game day in T-Town tailgate is pretty impressive. Plus if you run out of your drink of choice duck into a tent and get a refill.

The big story as most of you know heading into the game last week was would the students stick around for the entire game. This is a story that I have been following for a couple of weeks but it finally came to a head after the Arkansas game when most of the students left before the end of the game (if you were in college and the score was 52-0 and you had a couch, a date, beer, a TV and more importantly a nice bathroom all waiting for you would you stick around for a blowout?) Anyway as Bama moved down the field and basically ended the game with about 6:00 minutes to go in the first quarter all eyes turned to see if people would leave. And 3 hours later as the Tide crushed another hapless SEC team we all stuck around to sing the Rammer Jammer. The highlights of the game for me and the rest of us were of course the amazing catch that Norwood made in the 2nd quarter, the re-emergence of Coop and my man Landon Collins laying the smack down on defense. And if you watched the entire game we saw D. Henry come within one ankle tackle of taking a handoff 99 yards for a TD. The bigger point on the do you stay vs. leave debate is that let’s be honest unless you are watching the Red Sox win the World Series at home for the first time since 1918 what is the incentive to go to a live event anyone? Don’t get me wrong I’ve been to 3 of the last 4 SEC Championship games and two of the three national title games and I did just fly down from Chicago to go to a game and I won’t trade that for anything. The highlight of my summer was taking Maya to her first Reds game but if you are a college student why would you go to a game? Everyone has a flat screen TV these days, you are not standing all game, you have your own bathroom, you can flip to other games during the million TV timeouts that drag the game to well over 3 hours and did I mention you have your own bathroom? The NFL is dealing with this same issue and don’t think as TV’s get better and tickets continue to skyrocket the problem is only going to get worse.

I don’t like to knock the Million Dollar band but once again I beg the band director: When doing a tribute to an artist (This week it was Stevie Wonder) play songs that are from Stevie Wonder. When a marching band plays Tears From a Clown (A Smokey Robinson song) as song by Stevie Wonder it sounds like a marching band playing Tears of a Clown. And once again this week the OSU marching band takes it up a notch:

You know you are living right football wise when your two teams that you root for win by a combined score of 94-19 over the weekend. RTR and Who Dey!

As Blake Simms took the field the huge “Big Al Elephant” in the room was once again apparent who is going to take over for AJ after this season? This was conversation #1 with my friends as well and while I think whomever is under center next year will be fine more than any season in years the question is up for debate:

I don’t currently have Showtime but come Nov. I think I better sign up because this movie looks great:

It’s always nice when a story that you think is going one way turns out to be something completely different. Such is the story of former Bama LB Rolando McClain: I hope that he stays on the straight and narrow and continues to keep his life in order.

With Texas Tech and Mizzu losing last week (and that Mizzu loss was just painful to watch) it is down to 6 big time teams that are undefeated. With FSU playing the U on Saturday that will knock the list down to 5. It would be fitting that in the last year of the BCS all 5 teams run the table (Alabama, Oregon, FSU/Miami winner, Baylor and Ohio State) but Outkick the Coverage breaks down which team has the best chance to run the table: I wish that this will happen but if history has shown us anything more than one of these teams is going to lose. Let’s just hope it’s not the Tide.

I have come to realize that Big Ten fans and OSU fans in particular don’t want to A) listen to facts about the Big Ten, B) understand that just because I went to Alabama and am an SEC shill that I honestly don’t have anything against them other than the fact that they play in a terrible conference and haven’t beaten anyone in the top 15 during their current 20 game winning streak. C) never let the facts get in the way of a good football argument

I am getting a week ahead of myself but next Thursday the 7th might be the greatest weekday night of college sports of all time in any sport: Baylor plays Oklahoma in the early game and the night game is Oregon vs. Stanford. The fact that we will know the results of three of the top 10 teams in the country before we even kickoff on Saturday vs. LSU I think will be a great advantage.

With the bye week this week I figured this song was fitting for this weekend since most of us feel this way when the Tide isn’t on:

And after last weekend and walking around the quad this song got stuck in my head. Because just about everyone on the quad had one of these drinks in hand:

Finally in things I didn’t know until I was a Dad: You can give your kids every toy in the world but in the end they will enjoy playing with tape, band-aids, paper and yarn more than anything.

Enjoy the bye week RTR




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