One Huntsville man shows his dedication to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Football program by attending every single game for the past 50 years.
For those that live in the great state of Alabama, it is a requirement from a young age to pick which college football team you pledge your alliance to.
The only choices are Alabama and Auburn.
One man, which you will read about in a moment, is so dedicated to the University of Alabama as a superfan, he has not missed a regular-season game, a bowl game, or a playoff game in the last 50 years, starting back in 1972.
Now that’s quite a feat.
Tommy Ray from Huntsville is an Alabama Crimson Tide Superfan
WVTM 13 News anchor Rick Karle reported on his Facebook page that Tommy Ray has accomplished something that nobody else can. On 19 November 2022, Tommy Ray attended his 644th consecutive Alabama football game — a streak that has been going for him since 1972.
It didn’t matter that Alabama was set to square off against Austin Peay, a much smaller school. Tommy is not a casual fan. He attends every game, rain or shine, and has been a loyal fan for the past 50 years.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Austin Peay Governors
On 19 November 2022, the Alabama Crimson Tide played against Austin Peay in Bryant-Denny Stadium. For obvious reasons, this was not expected to be a competitive game against the much smaller school.
Tommy Ray, the Alabama Crimson Tide superfan, was in attendance as the Alabama Crimson Tide win 34–0 over the Austin Peay Governors from Tennessee.
Nick Gray from the Tuscaloosa News reported that Alabama should have won by more, and “didn’t dominate like expected against Austin Peay,” rating the Crimson Tide’s offense with a “C” and their defense with an “A-” and giving them an overall score of “C.” Ouch.
Alabama vs. Austin Peay Post-Game Press Conference with Nick Saban
After the game against Austin Peay, Nick Saban was speaking to the press in the post-game conference. One of the questions is highlighted below.
One reporter asked Nick Saban about the depth chart and the importance of developing the players on the team.
Nick Saban responded:
“I think it’s very important, you know, we want to play as many guys as we can, we played a lot of receivers today the whole game, we rotated a bunch of guys in the game to try to get them to experience from the start, umm, you know obviously Latu was out so that’s some experience for some other tight ends, Jahmyr not playing got all the running backs an opportunity to play, including 5, 6, 26 that, you know, as well as Jace, you know defensively, we got a lot of guys banged up at some positions so we didn’t have quite as much depth at some places, and we still got a lot of players that got a chance to play, but actually, you know it’d be great if we could even play more players.” -Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach (Source: AL.com)
After taking the questions, Nick Saban said to the reporters with a hint of sarcasm:
“You know how much I appreciate you all, thank you so much,” and walked away from the podium with a smirk on his face light he was about to laugh. The press reporters had a mild chuckle as he walked out of the room. (Source: AL.com)
Now the only elephant left in the room, is what will happen next week at the Iron Bowl, when the Alabama Crimson Tide face off with their longtime rivals, the Auburn Tigers.
Iron Bowl 2022: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers
On 26 November 2022, Alabama Crimson Tide plays Auburn Tigers in the “Iron Bowl” from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL.
After the Austin Peay football game, Crimson Tide players are already talking about the Iron Bowl. The game will also be senior day for key defensive players including To’o To’o, safety Jordan Battle and defensive lineman Byron Young. (Source: AL.com)
Speaking about the Iron Bowl, Linebacker Henry To’o To’o said:
“We hate them, they hate us. Definitely going to be a huge challenge. The state of Alabama takes pride in this game. We take pride in it, too, as Crimson Tide players. It’s going to be a huge one. We’re looking forward to it.” -Henry To’o To’o, Alabama Crimson Tide Linebacker (Source: AL.com)
Safety Brian Branch said:
“It’s a big opportunity. Auburn is a great team and the last regular-season team, so all of us want to finish out strong.” -Brian Branch, Alabama Crimson Tide Safety (Source: AL.com)
The Iron Bowl is a game that generates a lot of excitement in Alabama, so it will be interesting to watch what happens next Saturday with Cadillac Williams as the interim head coach of the Auburn Tigers.
Karle, Rick. Facebook post about Tommy Ray. 19 November 2022.
Kelly, Nick, and Nick Gray. “Recap: Alabama football eventually gets going in 34–0 win over Austin Peay.” TuscaloosaNews.com. 19 November 2022.
Kelly, Nick. “Grading Alabama football: What kind of marks does Tide get for win over Austin Peay?” TuscaloosaNews.com. 19 November 2022.
Rodak, Mike. “What Alabama players said about the Iron Bowl after Saturday’s win.” AL.com. 19 November 2022.