History of Big AL – University of Alabama Mascot


Big Al mascot of the University of Alabama

The tradition of Alabama's Big Al Is the legendary. If you pay attention much to his antics, he is so funny! This video below will provide you a cross-section of some of the funny things that he did in 2009-2010 football season.

History of Alabama's Mascot Big AL

Big Al mascot of the University of Alabama having fun with band If you going all the way back into the history of the origin of big Al, then you must first look at the first mention of the elephant in the Alabama lore. Back on October 8, 1930, sports reporter Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story wrote about the previous weekend's Alabama football game versus Ole Miss when he mentioned that an anonymous Alabama football fan shouted out that "here come the elephants!" as he watched the big players come out onto the football field. Here is an excerpt.

That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes."

"Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

"At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.

"It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."

At that point on during that season, Strupper and other reporters started calling the Alabama linemen, "Red Elephants," because of the color of their jerseys and their sheer size.

In that year, 1930, Alabama won the national championship led by coach Wallace Wade.

In the early 60s Melford Espey, Jr., at that time a student at Alabama, was the first to ever wear an elephant head that betrayed the mascot of Alabama who would later be called Big Al. Mr. Espey just died on March 8, 2010, and he worked closely with Bear Bryant to create this iconic football school mascot. After graduating, Mr. Espey was hired as a University of Alabama administrator. It was at this point in the 1970s when coach Paul Bear Bryant asked him to look over the mascot program of Alabama for student groups.

In a pivotal moment in Alabama football history, the official big Al mascot was debuted at the 1979 Sugar Bowl when Alabama one the national championship against Penn State. The name for Big Al came from a student vote.

Since the debute of Big Al, people have been entertained by the slapstick physical humor of the big guy who cheers on the Alabama football team. Watch the following video of what this funny big guy does day in and day out for the team spirit of Alabama!

Also check out the Big Al video game! This is wild!

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