Monday, November 30, 2009

Rammer Jammer History

For those of you who don't know The University of Alabama football team will be playing this Saturday against the Florida Gators for the SEC Championship and a spot in the National Championship game. We were in this spot last year and lost to Florida in that SEC game. Alabama fans were of course heartbroken and we have been waiting for this day since this time last year.

So, in preparation for the big game this whole week I will be posting Alabama facts and some videos everyday. I know, I know, most of you don't give a flip about Alabama football and will probably just skip these posts. But, that's ok! I'm sure there's at least one or two of you out there that might enjoy it.

So first up is a little history on the Rammer Jammer cheer. And blog friend of mine, Kate, told me the other day that she laughs every time she sees a one of my video's that I post or she see me post "Rammer Jammer" on my Twitter or Facebook. You see, Kate is from Canada and has no idea what Rammer Jammer means (or probably what Alabama football is for the matter). So I looked it up online and found this great explanation on Wikipedia:

The "Rammer Jammer Cheer" is a traditional and controversial cheer. The university briefly forbade the Million Dollar Band from playing it, on account of its taunting nature and its use of the word "hell" The move was met with a significant amount of criticism. In a vote at Homecoming 2005, the question was posed to students of whether the cheer should be banned. 98% of students voted in favor of keeping the cheer. Before the university's attempt to remove the cheer it was played before kickoff and at the end of the game. The cheer is now only played in the closing minutes when victory is certain, and is traditionally chanted twice. On at least one occasion (during Alabama's victory over Auburn in the 2008 Iron Bowl--Alabama's first in the series since 2001) it was repeated an additional three times. Fans cheer:

Hey Vols!
Hey Vols!
Hey Vols!
We just beat the hell out of you!
Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, give 'em hell, Alabama!

The nickname of the current opponent is substituted for "Vols", (short for Volunteers, the nickname for the University of Tennessee) except when the opponent is Auburn, in which case the name "Auburn" is used rather than its nickname of Tigers. Also, when the cheer was played before kickoff, fans would replace the lyrics "We just" with "We're gonna."

The lyrics originate from "The Rammer-Jammer," a student newspaper in the 1920s, and the yellowhammer, Alabama's state bird. The cadence of the cheer was adapted from the Ole Miss cheer "Hotty Toddy" after then Ole Miss marching band director Dr. James Ferguson was appointed director of the Million Dollar Band. The cheer was long referred to as "Ole Miss", and today the drum major's signal is still the motioning of one arm in a full circle (an 'O').

Author Warren St. John entitled his 2004 bestseller about obsessive sports fans Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer after the cheer.

So now you know what all those YouTube videos I post with thousands of people yelling "Rammer Jammer" are all about. And in honor of the Rammer Jammer cheer and to get in the "We're gonna kick Florida's a**" mood here is a video of Rammer Jammer from our stomping of Florida in 2005.


  1. And a big ole RAMMER JAMMER to you for the shout out!

  2. Rammer Jammer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!! Roll tide!

  3. Haha! Thanks for clearing this all up! I had no idea what was going on with all the Rammer Jammer tweets! But didn't want to feel like the only moron who had no clue!

  4. Just wondering where you found this information? Trying to have an argument with my brother about the cheer and I wanted to give him the information but with sources. Thanks!!