Alabama and Auburn fans may not get along, but one thing they can both agree on is gamedays are undoubtedly the best days of the year. At Clutch!, we are all about getting your gameday back! What does that mean? Simply making your experience from arriving on campus to leaving the stadium the best one possible.
Even though we all want a great gameday experience, we realize that everyone’s gameday looks a little bit different. We interviewed a couple of students to get their thoughts on the perfect gameday in both Auburn and Tuscaloosa to help provide you the ultimate gameday guide. Here’s what we learned that makes both campuses a great place to experience a college football game.
Meet Morgan Hawk, a senior at Auburn majoring in biomedical sciences. Hawk is a native of Guntersville, Alabama and was raised on Auburn football. She describes her experience on the Plains like no other. Hawk mapped out her favorite Auburn gameday experience for us from start to finish.
“There is nothing quite like a gameday experience on the Plains,” Hawk said. “After eating lunch downtown at Cheeburger Cheeburger or Live Oaks, head over to Toomer’s Drugs to get the famous lemonade. You can even try ordering the strawberry lemonade if you are feeling adventurous!”
After taking “the coveted picture in front of the charming Toomer’s Corner Oaks,” Hawk says that gameday afternoons are best spent tailgating under “one of the thousands of tents set up on every square inch of grass on the Auburn University campus.” She cautions to make sure to leave time to secure a front row spot for a time-honored tradition: the Tiger Walk.
“Tiger Walk occurs two hours before kick-off on Donahue Drive between the athletic complex and Jordan-Hare stadium,” Hawk said. “All players, cheerleaders, coaches, and of course Aubie (our mascot) makes the trek through the crowd receiving high fives and screams on their way to the stadium. The Auburn University Marching Band will perform outside of Jordan Hare stadium following kickoff before they enter the stadium, fueling your soul with Auburn spirit.”
Once entering the game, strap in for yet another Auburn staple, the “legendary” eagle flight. According to Hawk, the unique tradition of an eagle flight performed by bald eagles Spirit or Nova before every home football game is the hallmark of the Auburn gameday experience (be on the lookout for another blog featuring “Battle Cries”).
Once the game has kicked off, Hawk advises you to check out “the country’s largest video board measuring 190 x 57 feet.” Finally, cap off gameday with one more Auburn tradition.
“After the Auburn victory, exit the stadium and follow the crowd to Toomer’s Corner to roll the oak trees, Hawk said. “The oak tree rolling is a tradition believed to have begun when Toomer’s Drugs had the only telegraph in the city. After an away game, employees of the drug store would throw the results of the game on the ticker tape from the telegraph over the powerlines, and a tradition was born that still continues today.”
About three hours to the west, another SEC powerhouse, and storybook rival, hosts its own gameday traditions. We spoke with Blair Swindle, a native of Oak Grove, Alabama, and is a senior Healthcare Analytics major at the University of Alabama. Growing up about an hour from Bryant-Denny Stadium, Swindle has years of gameday experience in T-Town. We turned to her for the inside scoop on how to experience gameday at The Capstone.
“What does a gameday on the best college campus look like? Like a day you will never forget,” Swindle said. “The culture at the University of Alabama is one of the best cultures you will ever step foot in.”
Swindle says that the gameday of a “typical die-hard Alabama fan” starts off by tailgating in the quad. Though the university puts on multiple events leading up to the game, her must-see is the Elephant Stomp.
“Don’t miss the Elephant Stomp because it is one of the most classic gameday traditions,” Swindle said. “At the elephant stomp, the band plays several songs while the Crimsonettes perform.”
Another favorite of Swindle’s is the atmosphere of an Alabama gameday, built by “the best fanbase on gameday.” If someone yells “Roll Tide!”, it would “frowned upon” to not yell it back. She cites that the comradery and sense of community extends to the team. The Walk of Champions allows fans to see all the coaches and players in front of Bryant-Denny stadium to “get hyped” before kickoff. Then, the real magic happens.
“When kickoff time comes, the stadium turns electric,” Swindle said. “One of the best in-game traditions is the singing of Dixieland Delight. There is something special about singing Dixieland Delight inside Bryant Denny Stadium at night watching all the shakers being in sync around the whole stadium.”
As time-honored rivals, a gameday in Tuscaloosa looks different from one in Auburn. However, there are two similarities in both locations – the excitement and dedication to tradition brings massive fanbases together on Saturday’s we all love. That’s why we are passionate about bringing Clutch! to both campuses. The less time spent parking, the more time spent enjoying the Auburn walk or singing Dixieland Delight at the top of your lungs. We exist to not only make your parking easy, but to give you an enhanced experience after you park. Football season is right around the corner, so be sure to keep us in mind while you cheer on your favorite team! As always, stay Clutch!