When Vanderbilt rolls around on the schedule, fear is not the typical reaction and that’s the case this year. Vandy comes to town with a decent record – 3-1, which includes a 30-7 drubbing of the Ole Miss RBBs, but, barring some sort of emotional melt down, the Tide should handle the Dores pretty easily.
The Tide has won 19 in a row in this series the last loss coming in 1984.
While this series has been one-sided in Alabama’s favor, it has produced some memories for me as a Tide fan.
My first on-campus Alabama game was in 1982 to watch Alabama squeeze by the Dores 24-21. A picture of the game program is included here. I still have that program somewhere.
Although the Tide won that day, the atmosphere after the game was like we lost. There was no celebrating. I went to the game with a friend and his family and afterwards, we went by Bryant Hall to see who we could see and to try to get some autographs. We got a few, but through the windows of the dining hall, we also caught a glimpse of Coach Bryant. It was the closest I had ever been to him – or ever would be. He was sitting at a table with several other people around and his body language told the story of the day: he was tired and you could almost see the sense of relief of escaping with a win against Vanderbilt. That picture stuck in my mind as the 1982 team began their slide to losing an unheard of four games in one season.
The day had other highlights as well. On the way out of Bryant Hall, we hounded a few other players and former players for autographs. Ol’ number 47, Byron Braggs, playfully put me in a headlock as he signed for us.
All-in-all, it was a surreal day. I witnessed my first game in Bryant-Denny, but the atmosphere was very subdued and somber.
Other memories of Vanderbilt include the 66-3 drubbing by the Tide during the 1979 championship season. President Gerald Ford was on hand in Nashville to witness that drubbing.
My dad and I rarely went to Bama games together, but we sat in the upper west deck to watch the 1992 champions kick off their season with a 25-8 win.
In 2006, the wife and kids and I witnessed the Tide beat Vandy 13-10 on a last second kick by freshman Leigh Tiffin. That game was also a sign of things to come.
In 2007, we were so pumped over our new coach that the family traveled to Nashville to watch the Tide, led by Terry Grant, beat the Commodores 24-10.
The series with Vandy hasn’t produced very many, if any, memorable games on the field. But it has produced a lot of memories of Tide football. The family and I will head out again tomorrow to watch the Tide and hopefully some good memories will come back with us.