Alabama football briefing: Fall Camp, Fan Day and more

Alabama football players report Thursday for Fall Camp and practice begins Friday with two sessions. The morning session is for veterans and the evening session is for new arrivals. Sunday is Fan Day, and below you will find details about it. Also, see how former Alabama Crimson Tide star Julio Jones is doing in training camp. Finally, see how a panty raid played a role in Auburn football history—and see how to woo the media.

Fan Day information from UA
The University of Alabama football team’s annual Fan Day is set for Sunday, August 7. The team will hold an open practice in Bryant-Denny Stadium from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Players and coaches will be available for autographs immediately after the practice on the field.

Beginning 1 p.m., children attending can sign up for the Big Al’s Kids Club, students can register for Crimson Chaos and all fans can register for the Crimson Tide Rewards program outside of gate 5. That opportunity will take place from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Fans may enter the stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the northwest spiral (gate 5) and occupy the lower bowl (sections A-N). The open practice, which is slated to start at 2:30 p.m., is scheduled to last approximately two hours.

At the conclusion of practice, those wishing to participate in Fan Day will enter the field through gate 46 and exit via gate 5. Fans not wishing to view practice and would like to start lining up early can do so beginning at 1:30 p.m. Those fans can enter through gate 46.

Following practice, the Crimson Tide football team, coaching staff and head coach Nick Saban will be available for autographs on the field. The gate to the field will be open once the autograph session has been set up. Due to meeting commitments for the team and the coaching staff, the session is limited to 45 minutes. In an effort to facilitate as many autographs in the time allowed, fans will be limited to one item per person for autographs, and no posed photographs will be permitted.

Soft drinks, water and several food items will be available for a special Fan Day price of 50% below regular game day prices. Concessions vendors will be walking through the stadium with and the concession stands on the west side (field and mezzanine levels) will be open. Alabama merchandise will also be sold on Sunday.

Those attending Fan Day will possibly find campus very congested with traffic and pedestrians, especially areas east of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Students will be back on campus from summer vacation as they move into their respective dormitories. Many will have accompanying family members as well. There will be more parking available at the perimeter campus lots (Softball, Tennis, Rec Center, etc.). Other locations may include the ten Hoor Decks, ten Hoor Surface Lots, Soccer Lot and Moody Music Lot. No special accommodations will be made for recreational vehicles (RVs) on campus. All RVs should park at the Northington Lot near University Mall. Fans should logon to www.rolltide.com for updates and other pertinent information.

In the event of inclement weather, the autograph session would be moved to the indoor practice facility and fans would enter through the glass entrance to the Mal Moore Athletic Facility. If the practice is moved inside, only 300 fans would be allowed in to view the practice.

NFL Training Camps
NFL training camps have opened and former Alabama Crimson Tide players have impressed. According to the Atlanta Falcons twitter, “Julio Jones catches EVERYTHING! Just made another great one in tight defense.” And according to the NFLDraft Update’s twitter, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said, “This kid Julio Jones is the real deal. He’s the best incoming receiver I’ve ever played with.”

Panty Raid led to Auburn football title?
For our Auburn readers or fans who like the history of college football or people interested in how to woo the media, did a panty raid play a role in Auburn’s 1957 national title? The LA Times blog explores this legend and finds it to likely be true. The 1950s was a time of corruption in the NCAA with many schools cheating, and it was a time when not shockingly that Auburn was on probation for cheating. But we already knew that since Auburn has faced more major NCAA sanctions than anyone else in this side of SMU. But the panty raid was the interesting part of the story—and how women were treated in the 1950s. Auburn legend Shug Jordan suspended his starting quarterback and his replacement became an important cog in Auburn’s championship run.

There was one other critical element in Auburn’s championship run—the wooing of the media. According to the LA Times blog, “Back then, the Associated Press poll took place BEFORE any bowls were played. Not only that, but a little known rule allowed that any AP subscriber was allowed to vote in the AP poll. Knowing all about rule, Auburn sports information director Bill Beckwith went to small radio stations and small newspapers and asked them to vote for Auburn. His strategy worked and Auburn ran away with the voting, ending up with 210 first-place votes and 3,123 total points as compared to Ohio State’s 71 first-place votes and 2,646 points (this loophole was soon closed – now there is a standard list of voters for the poll). Had the voting been down AFTER the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Oregon Ducks in the 1958 Rose Bowl, things might have been different, but they weren’t, so Ohio State won the Coaches’ Poll (and their Coach Woody Hayes was named Coach of the Year) and Auburn won the AP poll.”