It didn't hurt that Alabama is the most dominant team in all of college football right now either...talk about perfect timing!
1958 was a big year for Tuscaloosa. Not only was it the first year that Paul "Bear" Bryant started coaching at Alabama, but it was the year that John "Big Daddy" Bishop opened his first Dreamland Cafe. Big Daddy was a brick mason for many years, and he longed for another way to support his family. He had narrowed it down to opening either a mortuary or a restaurant and he got down on his knees and prayed for guidance. Legend has it that God told him in a dream that night to build a cafe on the land next to his home and Big Daddy made that dream a reality. (Source)
And so a legend was born.
We started out with a sampler platter complete with spicy sausage, wings, fried, and chicken fingers.
Everyone but me ordered ribs.
If the leftover bones were any indication, they were delicious!
I stuck with a baked potato and side salad (It came with cheese and sourcream - which I didn't know. I took off as much as I could so that I could enjoy the taste of my potato slathered in homemade barbecue sauce!)
Everyone had a bite (or two) of homemade banana pudding.
Man, this stuff is addictingly delicious!
I think I need to come up with an equally delicious - but much healthier - version of my own.
Next, we headed over to the Bear Bryant museum for a little history lesson. For those of you that don't know, Bear Bryant was the winningest coach in Alabama football history with over 350 wins! Needless to say, he is a L.E.G.E.N.D. in college football not only in the SEC, but all over the country.
Bear Bryan in his signature houndstooth hat.
Big Al - Alabama's mascot.
One of the many infamous plays in Alabama football's historical playbook (and against Tennessee to boot, which makes it all the better)!
One of Alabama's 14 (yes, that's FOURTEEN) national championship trophies!
One of the many paintings done in honor of Alabama football's greatest moments.
Isn't this stunning?!
The players literally look like they are moving on the canvas.
After we finished at the museum, we decided to walk around the quad for a bit. The quad is a location on the Alabama campus where thousands of people gather to tailgate before the game. Hundreds, if not thousands, of tents are set up; and tens of thousands of fans proudly parade around in their crimson and white.
It's a sight to behold.
Alabama all-american's memorialized forever.
Me and my (little) brother! :)
About two hours before the game, thousand of fans gather at the front of the stadium for the "Walk of Champions" (so named because statues of every coach that has won a national championship line the entrance to the stadium). This is where the team enters the stadium prior to the game.
Hundreds and thousands of fans waiting to greet the team!
Family photo with Dad, Forrest, me, Bo, and Deb.
Guess what showed up about ten minutes before the team?!
You guessed it - the rain.
Good thing Deb bought us all ponchos!
After being thoroughly drenched for about ten minutes, the team bus pulled up and the rain literally just STOPPED. It was like the sky opened for the team...pretty cool.
By the way, the team ALWAYS dresses in suits on game day - even if it is an away game.
They looked quite dapper, if I do say so myself.
Then it was FINALLY time to enter the stadium.
In the hour or so before the game, fans were entertained by the band and several inspirational Alabama football videos. Truth be told, the entertainment was so good that the 75 minutes before kick-off flew by - which was definitely a good thing because after an already 12+ hour day, I was starting to get a little tired.
Bo and I cheesin' right before kick-off!
The team entering the stadium while being flanked by the band.
SUCH. A. POWERFUL. MOMENT.
(I might have gotten a little teary-eyed).
Dad and Deb smiling before the game!
A gorgeous panoramic view of the stadium.
It's H.U.G.E. and it was packed with over 102,000 fans!
My handsome birthday boy!
A HUGE thank you goes out to Dad and Deb for providing us with this memorable weekend.
We will NEVER forget it!
What are your thoughts on football? Do you like it? Do you think it is overrated? Did you grow up with it? Do you enjoy attending a good game? Is there a team you root for?
Whatever your thoughts about football are, I would LOVE to hear about them in the "Comment" section below!
Ally and Bo