My first A-Day game in my Home Away From Life

This installation of the Franklin Stove Blog is a departure from the usual format.

It’s fictional, based on accounts of actual events.

It might even be considered a ghost writ post.

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.

Bryant-Denny Stadium

Hey, it’s me, Rose, the Spirit of the Crimson Tide. My home away from life was full of football fans for the 2023 A-Day game. The A-Day game is an exhibition game that occurs after Spring practice. Preparations had been going on for weeks. But the sudden influx of living souls was overwhelming.

I’m sure that many of the football fans that showed up were sitting in areas of the stadium that they’d never be in during the actual season. In fact, many wouldn’t be able to even afford a ticket. The A-Day game is open to the public, free of charge. The stadium was about half full of the usual number of fans, very few of which were students.

The Million Dollar Band played. But the band members were wearing tee-shirts instead of their official uniforms. I’m sure that they were happy about that!

The actual play seemed artificial of course. There was some hitting, but not the vicious kind you’d see in during a heated game with a rival like Auburn. Of course it was hands-off for the quarterbacks. I’m not a sports expert by any means but nothing on the gridiron looked too impressive.

In the back of my mind was the memory of how things went on an A-Day game weekend that occurred a couple of years ago when there was mayhem on The Strip.

The reason things got so out of hand had a lot to do with a rap artist who had been heavily promoted by the Twelve/25 bar. Tuscaloosa police had hundreds of calls that weekend. The Strip on Friday had been packed with mostly young people. Some cars that were parked nearby were found to contain automatic weapons.

I’ve found out, from reading copies of The Crimson White that were in the media area, that the owners of Twelve/25 filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city. The bar is owned by blacks and they think that white-owned bars are being treated favorably.

When the city closed Twelve/25 in 2020, because the bar was in violation of occupancy limits that had been set by the state in response to Covid, there weren’t any accusations of racism. Response by the police to the fracas that occurred when Twelve/25 had booked a popular rap artist during an A-Day game weekend hadn’t been a civil right issue either.

It’s ironic that the crowds that are attracted to Twelve/25 consist largely of white students. Many of those students who enjoy seeing black performers and athletes would never want them to be part of their society. White fraternities remain just that–white. Those little red-neck, white boys would be creeped out at the thought of a black person being their “brother.” Sorority sisters have been blatantly racist too, even though there is a smattering of black sisters in their mist. Not too long ago a sorority’s president made the news because of a social media exchange at a club which included the words “I’m gonna yack…cigs, weed and black girl.”

I didn’t hear gunshots coming from the direction of The Strip this weekend. I guess the new police precinct on The Strip might be working. Of course, I’m pretty sure that Twelve/25 didn’t book a rap artist this year. Maybe its owners are waiting to see what happens in court? Then they’ll be able to resume packing people in the bar like sardines.


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