Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alabama Pride Goes Beyond Football

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama

Since their 1926 Rose Bowl victory over Washington, the University of Alabama has used "Yea Alabama" as its fight song, not only for football, but for all sports. One group, however, is anything but pleased with the famous song's final stanza.

"You're Dixie's Football Pride, Crimson Tide!"

In 2009, a grass-roots effort called simply "Dixie's Pride" was formed with the ultimate goal of changing the words of the fight song to include not only all sports, but all competitive teams at the University.

"I have several friends who are members of the University's Quiz Bowl team, and the hours that they put in are just as, if not more strenuous than those put in by the members of the football club," said Dixie's Pride Vice President, Junior Evelyn Lasik. "'Yea Alabama' is an insult to over ninety-seven percent of the student body, and yet the vast majority of students can be found on game days singing along as if the song were actually relevant to them."

The group has caught the attention of several local as well as state government officials, and hopes to have a solution in place by the start of the 2011 football season.

"Each and every organization deserves to be represented in the fight song, so we are looking at ways of doing that," said John Peterson, the President of Dixie's Pride. Some proposed solutions are so-called "custom" fight songs, where each team or club is stated where "football" previously stood. Some argue that this solution ignores the heritage of the fight song, however, and have presented several other options.

Mark McDugal, a member of Dixie's Pride since 2010 hopes for a definitive fight song, where all teams are represented. This would be accomplished by adding an additional verse to the fight song, where qualifying university organizations would be listed, either alphabetically or in the order in which they were founded.

Others have suggested simply removing the word "football" altogether.

One thing seems to be certain: the Tide is turning in Tuscaloosa, and one way or another, "Yea Alabama" will feature much more than just "football pride" in the very near future.

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