We shouldn’t expect much more from the fan base that literally poisoned 80-year old oak trees from a rival school’s campus after a team’s loss, and you can never judge a fan base by its bad apples. However, after a 52-49 loss to Tennessee football, the Alabama Crimson Tide aren’t doing themselves any favors.
Since that loss, there’s been an onslaught of ref blaming. There were three calls Alabama fans are most angry about. One is no targeting call after Omari Thomas hit Bryce Young in the first half. Another was a non-pass interference call in the second half of a drive Alabama scored on anyway.
Then there was the pass interference call that saved Tennessee football at the end of the game after Alabama seemingly got a game-changing interception on 4th and 5. Nick Saban, ever the excuse maker, even criticized the “lack of consistency” in officiating and referenced that call.
This was ruled as NOT a targeting penalty. pic.twitter.com/kbAHEqyPnZ
— Sidelines – Bama (@SSN_Alabama) October 15, 2022
One of these plays was called pass interference. The other was not. This is just a fact. pic.twitter.com/cHIvMs5mCm
— Adam Weil (@AdamWeil22) October 16, 2022
Here’s another look at the game-changing pass interference Nick Saban was asked about following Alabama’s loss to Tennessee pic.twitter.com/fDFuZkvxPO
— Tony Tsoukalas (@Tony_Tsoukalas) October 16, 2022
The anger went from selective calls to outright conspiracy theories that the refs were rooting for the Vols. Just check out the way Bama Twitter was suggesting the refs were cheering on a touchdown because of this one hand motion after a call.
Did the head referee during the Alabama/Tennessee game celebrate a Tennessee touchdown?
You be the judge 👀 pic.twitter.com/YDQcddV8uH
— Touchdown Alabama (@TDAlabamaMag) October 18, 2022
Is this official celebrating a Tennessee touchdown call, or is it just his mannerisms?
Went back & watched the game, & this just stood out to me as being a little strange. He could have been excited that his officiating team got it correctly.
Anybody else find this to be odd? pic.twitter.com/oriFdDsR9U
— Ryan C. Fowler (@RyanCFowler) October 18, 2022
Now, there are some things Alabama fans won’t tell you. First off, the final pass interference call, while ticky-tack, was technically the right call. As for the targeting in the first half, they may be right to feel angry about it, but even CBS’ rules analyst upon reviewing it noted that from the other angle Thomas appeared to lead with his arm, not helmet.
Let’s bring more facts into this, though. Even if the pass interference penalty saved the Vols at the end, it was only necessary for UT because of a desperation fourth down that they shouldn’t have needed. The Vols got a bad spot on a clear first down run by Jabari Small two plays earlier.
Also, Alabama scored a touchdown after a horrible pass interference call that benefitted them earlier in the game, one in which they would have settled for three otherwise. It would seem like those things even out in the end, wouldn’t it?
Should the refs have called PI on Tennessee here?
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 15, 2022
Of course, Alabama fans have nothing to say about how they got past the Texas Longhorns due to a horrible call waving off a clear safety. Nothing is ever rigged in their favor. It always just happens to be when they lose.
Beyond blaming refs, Barstool Alabama decided to take it to another level. Without any evidence whatsoever since they kept the names anonymous, leaving no proof that they didn’t just write these themselves, they shared text messages of stories casting UT fans in a negative light.
Probably the saddest DM we’ve ever received. Tennessee fans really are low down. pic.twitter.com/nehxg5yI2H
— Barstool Bama (@BarstoolAlabama) October 17, 2022
— Barstool Bama (@BarstoolAlabama) October 18, 2022
So somehow another release of a text message with no evidence it wasn’t sent in-house is going to disprove Vol fans saying it’s fake? It’s just as plausible to believe that as the story Barstool is selling itself, and one or two stories from randos is totally irrelevant anyway.
Now, maybe Twitter was just skewed towards the worst of those Alabama fans. However, what we’re all seeing from Alabama Twitter is peak Karens. I haven’t even gotten to the callers on the Finebaum show, but they were mostly fine. Here’s the best meme to describe Bama, again, solely based off of social media.
Who made this meme? We want to credit them for their amazing work. pic.twitter.com/n9lmwwYlAb
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) October 18, 2022
Officiating isn’t even the thing making Alabama look the worst after this one, though. Shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, a video surfaced showing Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton appearing to strike a female Vols fans who was storming the field after the game.
Jermaine Burton smacking a girl in the head after the game pic.twitter.com/6DeqPYJ5WK
— Legends of Lindsey Nelson (@VolCreatures) October 18, 2022
jermaine burton punching a tennessee fan after the bama loss pic.twitter.com/TQVDj8c5V0
— cam (@tbltroll) October 17, 2022
It’s still early, and an investigation needs to be done, but this is pretty damning evidence. Saban, Burton or somebody affiliated with the university needs to address the story. Otherwise, it’ll continue to look worse and worse going forward.
History is not on the side of Alabama with opposing fans. This is the fan base that vandalizes other schools’ property and rubs its genitals in the face of unwilling fans (Brian Downing anybody)? Tennessee football hasn’t been relevant enough in the Saban era to see the other side of it, but they finally are, and it’s bad.