You probably remember seeing the crystal football Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban hoisted into the air after the Tide beat LSU in the BCS National Championship game. Now that same trophy is on display and you can get your picture made with it. The trophy stands 34 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. Saturday it was on display at Academy Sports and Outdoors in Tuscaloosa. Fans started lining up early in the morning and by noon the line wrapped all the way around the building.
"We were second in line," said Jared Norris, "Had to wait almost four hours, but in my opinion it was worth every second of it." Norris left his home in Jasper around 5 a.m. and got in line by 8 a.m. He says he'll do anything for his beloved Tide. "I'm such a die hard Alabama fan. I bleed crimson and white and I've been an Alabama fan for just as long as I could walk," Norris said.
The Waterford crystal trophy is worth $30,000. It took 3 months to make and it's traveled 25,000 miles this season. Alabama football fans say it's indescribable what it's like to be up close and personal with the trophy. "I can't even put it in words," said Michael Evans, "It was amazing."
"It's such a beautiful crystal trophy," said Shirley Matthews, "I mean when we won the championship back in 2009 me and my daughter stood in line for hours like this and so this year we brought the grandkids down. We wanted them to experience what it feels like to get to touch what the boys from Alabama went and brought back to the state for us."
Ray Mallouk is the trophy manager so he's responsible for keeping the trophy safe. He expects about 4,000 fans at each trophy appearance over the weekend. "The good thing about being here in Alabama is they're huge college football fans and they really know what the trophy is all about so when we have it on display they come out in droves which is really fantastic," Mallouk said.
The trophy will be on display Sunday, January 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Publix on Highway 31 in Vestavia Hills. After that it will go to the University of Alabama where is will be permanently displayed at the Athletic Complex.
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