How Alabama Became Associated With Elephants
The story began in the 1930 season of Alabama football, when Coach Wallace Wade assembled a great team.
On October 8, 1930, Everett Strupper, sports writer for the Atlanta Journal, covered the the Alabama-Mississippi game in Tuscaloosa and wrote:
"That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down!
Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big, but at the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.
It was the first time that I had seen it and the size of the entire eleven nearly knocked me cold, men that I had seen play last year looking like they had nearly doubled in size."
Strupper and other writers continued to refer to the Alabama linemen as "Red Elephants," the color referring to the crimson jerseys.
The 1930 team posted an overall 10-0 record. It shut out eight opponents and allowed only 13 points all season while scoring 217. The "Red Elephants" rolled over Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl and were declared National Champions.