The tale goes back to the Tide's 1930 season when the Tide had an
impressive 10-0 record and shut out eight opponents and allowed only
13 points all season while scoring 217 points themselves record under
Coach Wallace Wade.
Atlanta Journal sports writer Everett Strupper wrote about the
Alabama-Mississippi game that he had witnessed four day earlier in
Tuscaloosa. "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine,
powerful, big, tough, fast and aggressive, well-schooled in
fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season
that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go
down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.
"Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went
right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter
against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For
Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of the
ground."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."
Across the country, the Alabama linemen became known as the "Red
Elephants."That is how Alabama came to be associated with elephants.
Now, the Crimson Tide mascot is an elephant fittingly named Big Al.