Why Do Alabama and Tennessee Smoke Victory Cigars?
There are many great traditions at The University of Alabama and one of those will be on display this weekend when the Tennessee Volunteers come to town.
For more than 50 years, the winner of the Third Saturday in October rivalry celebrates with a victory cigar after the game. It began when Alabama's head trainer, Jim Goostree, handed out cigars to the team after they defeated Tennessee in 1961. The Crimson Tide had won just once in 13 years and that victory called for a bigger celebration.
Ever since that time, the tradition has stuck.
When Nick Saban got to Alabama, he tried to keep tobacco out of the locker room because it's an NCAA violation, but that didn't last long. The celebration continued behind closed doors but has since become a popular image to share across social media. It's common to see pictures of the players enjoying a cigar after the game.
The tradition has also become a very popular one with fans of each team, although Alabama has been on the smoking end of the rivalry for eight straight years.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium - on a smoke-free campus - and the cigars will once again be a big part of the post game festivities.