Roll Tide

Roll Tide

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Updated Feb 03, 2019 at 08:21PM EST by Brad.

Added Oct 17, 2017 at 11:12AM EDT by Adam.

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Roll Tide is a rallying cry among fans of the University of Alabama's sports teams, particularly its football team, known as the Crimson Tide. Its ubiquity has been propagated by several viral videos in which people getting arrested say the phrase.


The origins of the phrase are unclear.[1] A fanpost on Alabama football blog Roll Bama Roll suggests a sea shanty sung on the CSS Alabama called "Roll Alabama Roll" may have influenced the origin of the phrase, but there's no evidence connecting it to the phrase "Roll Tide." Online, it first appeared on Urban Dictionary on March 12th, 2004,[2] with a satirical definition mocking University of Alabama students. A year later, on March 11th, 2005, a more straightforward definition was added (shown below). Often, it is used to antagonize fans of Auburn Football, Alabama's rival.

TOP DEFINITION roll tide Rally chant for University of Alabama athletics, especially football. Roll Tide, Roll!Alabama holds 12 national championships, and Auburn has 1. by acidosis March 11,2005


On April 9th, 2017, SB Nation[4] traced the history of people getting arrested and saying "Roll Tide." The earliest one they note is fan Harvey Updyke calling into a radio show and threatening to poison trees on Auburn's campus, using the phrase "Roll Tide." The audio was uploaded on February 16th, 2011 (shown below). He later did poison the trees and was arrested.

The SB Nation article goes into several other examples of people saying "Roll Tide" while getting arrested. For example, a high school teacher arrested for being on heroin on the job is asked for comment by a news reporter and simply replies "roll tide" (shown below, left). Another man, visibly drunk, is ushered into a police car and slurs the phrase while police officers try not to laugh (shown below, right).

In the mid 2010s, sports network ESPN ran a commercial which featured people saying "roll tide" in various humorous scenarios (shown below).

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] Roll Bama Roll – "The Mysterious Origins of the Phrase Roll Tide

[2] Urban Dictionary – First Roll Tide Definition

[3] Urban Dictionary – Top Roll Tide Definition

[4] SB Nation – An intimate history of people saying 'Roll Tide' while getting arrested

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Freakenstein Moderator

One of the several reasons why I don't use Facebook, my aunt on my mom's side of the family lives in Alabama, she would say "ROLL TAADE" like it was a greeting. Then when Alabama plays Hand Egg, she would hit the computer and post it several times during the game.

When Indiana and Alabama play each other, the stakes are high. When Indiana wins, my smug-ass mother goes to Facebook and types:

"Tide got rolled bitch"


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