Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide show up in large numbers to watch National Championship parade.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrated in the streets of Tuscaloosa moments after their BCS National Championship victory over Notre Dame on January 7th, but had to wait until January 19th for the official celebration. Supporters of the program descended on Tuscaloosa and the campus of The University of Alabama for a parade in honor of the team and their championship season.
Fans had a slew of activities to enjoy before the parade, and many took advantage by showing up hours before the 1:30 P.M. start time. They were able to get their photographs made in front of the various trophies won by Alabama this year, including the famed crystal football that goes to the National Champions.
A replay of the BCS Championship game was also shown on a big screen in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium to entertain those waiting for the start of the parade.
Once 1:30 rolled around, the highlight of the day began as the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide marched down University Boulevard. The parade started near the Moody Music building on campus and ended, appropriately enough, at the Walk of Champions in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Coaches and dignitaries of the school were escorted in classic sports cars, while members of the team walked in the streets with the cheerleaders and band.
Big Al even had company as Obie, the official mascot of the Orange Bowl, participated in the parade.
Once the parade concluded, the team and coaches gathered on the steps of Bryant-Denny Stadium for a ceremony hosted by radio voice Eli Gold. Speakers at the ceremony also included Athletics Director Mal Moore, University of Alabama President Dr. Judy Bonner, Team Captain Barrett Jones, and Bill Hancock, the Executive director of the Bowl Championship Series.
Bill Hancock then presented Coach Nick Saban the crystal football once more before Saban gave his final words on the 2012 season and team. The coach was quick to bestow a special distinction on the 2012 team by stating
“I’ve never been more proud of any group I’ve ever coached than the players and the coaches on this particular team,” Saban said as he addressed the large crowd gathered.
The parade was the first to honor a National Championship victory by Alabama since the 1992 season. The championship seasons in 2009 and 2011 were celebrated with ceremonies confined to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The full gallery of photos from the parade and activities before hand can be seen by visiting the gallery below.