Gaslamp Venue A Sea Of Crimson Tide Fans And ‘Roll Tide’ Cheers
Southern music blares from a sound system resembling that of a stadium – “Redneck Woman,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and heck they even play “Rammer Jammer” – people wearing crimson-colored shirts fill the place and “Roll Tides” are so loud and frequent it would not be hard to close your eyes and think you are in Bryant-Denny.
There’s even a cheerleader. A former cheerleader, actually, who is as bubbly as a bottle of champagne and does the cheerleaders’ dance after Alabama touchdowns. Somebody should get her some pom-poms.
This is the scene at Bootlegger, the San Diego Alabama Alumni Association’s game-watching bar. Located on a normally quite corner in the busy Gaslamp Quarter, Bootlegger is truly – as its t-shirts proclaim – “Tuscaloosa West” for University of Alabama football games.
About all that’s missing from the full Crimson Tide football experience are Dreamland ribs.
The scene at Bootlegger is everything a fan could want in a game-watching bar. It’s lively – as spirited as a tailgate party – there are some 100 Bama fans of all ages and it has some true game-day experiences. Bootlegger plays the Alabama fight song, the “Go Bama” chant and after yet another Alabama win the same song that was banned in Bryant-Denny Stadium for several years, the fan-favorite “Rammer Jammer.” (The lyrics include, “hey insert-name-of-defeated-opponent, we just beat the hell out of you!”)
Now, if I could just get them to do the “hey, hey Alabama, we’re going to have a party tonite” song.
The setup is sensational. Needless to say like at every game-watching bar there are enough TVs to see the game from several angles. Yet here, because large windows from the patio open up to the inside part of the bar, you can sit outside and still easily see the game.
This solves one problem I have with watching games – going inside a dark bar on another nice and sunny Southern California day.
In addition to the action on the screens, there is a great party scene. There’s a raffle for cool things like Alabama football jerseys and at least on the opening weekend of the 2019 season, shots of Jagermeister from an ice luge on the patio.
It’s easy to strike up a conversation with other Bama fans with a simple “Roll Tide,” which means sometimes you’re missing a few plays to share a few laughs with fellow Tiders. This social and conversational aspect is one of the things that makes going to a game-watching bar so much more fun than sitting at home.
Bootlegger is located at 804 Market Street in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, within sight of Petco Park.
Here is the 2019 schedule of Alabama games being shown at Bootlegger:
• Aug. 31 – Duke. W, 42-3
• Sept. 7 – New Mexico State (1:30 p.m.)
• Sept. 14 – @ South Carolina (12:30 p.m.)
• Sept. 21 – Southern Mississippi (TBD)
• Sept. 28 – Ole Miss (TBD)
• Oct. 12 – @ Texas A&M (TBD)
• Oct. 19 – Tennessee (TBD)
• Oct. 26 – Arkansas (TBD)
• Nov. 9 – LSU (TBD)
• Nov. 16 – @ Mississippi State (TBD)
• Nov. 23 – Western Carolina (TBD)
• Nov. 30 – @ Auburn (TBD)
• Dec. 7 – SEC Championship, 1 p.m.
• Dec. 28 – College Football Playoffs Semifinals (TBD)
• Jan. 13 – National Championship, New Orleans, 5 p.m.