Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/7/14


For the uninitiated, it’s that time of the week again when I halt the love train and Embrace the Hate. Each week I’m going to be providing Buckeye Nation with a laundry list of reasons to dislike that week’s opponent. As I’ve mentioned before, the biggest reason to root against the Buckeyes’ opponents is because they had the audacity to step on the field in the first place. But  I’m going to be digging a little deeper  in an effort to expose these so-called institutions of higher learning for the farces that they truly are.

So without further ado, I give you Ten Things to Hate aboutUAB

1. They used to be bammers  - As you might expect since they’re named like a branch campus, UAB actually started out as a part of the University of Alabama. Here are the details:

1936, in response to the rapid growth of the Birmingham metropolitan area and the need for the population to have easy access to a university education, the University of Alabama created a Birmingham Extension Center.

by the 1960s, it grew readily apparent that the extension center was becoming a university in its own right. An engineering building was built close to the medical center in 1962. In 1966, the Extension Center and the School of Medicine were merged into the University of Alabama in Birmingham. An Advisory Board for UAB was created in 1967. In 1969, the legislature created the University of Alabama System and elevated UAB to the status of an autonomous institution within the system,

So there you have it, for more than three decades, UAB was actually a regional campus for the Crimson Tide.

2. They’re still way too close to the Tide – I wish I could tell you that the beginning is where UAB’s association with ‘Bama ends. But it’s not. As mentioned above, UAB is a part of the University of Alabama System, a partnership of public universities including UAB, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and you guessed it: The University of Alabama.

We might not play Alabama this year. And if we did, we probably wouldn’t beat them. But this Saturday, in a very roundabout way, by proxy defeat the system. Is that like beating the Yankees AAA team and declaring yourself world series champion? Maybe. But it’s my column and I do what I want.

3. They pass too damn much.  If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s when a team decides to have its strength match up with Ohio State’s weaknesses. While the Blazers are no offensive juggernaut, quarterback Jonathan Perry has thrown for 536 yards in the teams’ first two games. Lightning fast 6’1” 190-pound receiver Jackie Williams has put up over 200 yards receiving during the same period. With the breakdowns that Ohio State has been experiencing in the secondary, odds are he’ll be open a time or two. Here’s to hoping that Simon & Co. can get to Perry before they get the chance to connect.

4. 151st —the Ivy of Alabama – In the most recent US News & World Report rankings, UAB checked in at an impressive #151 on the list. Sure, that may not seem like a great number, but this is Alabama, we’re grading on a curve. There are other rankings I could report. I could talk about UAB’s prestige as a research institute or its highly-ranked medical center. But what’s the fun in that? 1-5-1, that’s a mere 96 spots below Ohio State for those keeping score at home.

5. Their stadium is a leftover minor league football field – The UAB Blazers host their home football games at Legion Field, a 74000-plus seat stadium (though the most it’s seen for a Blazers game is 44,000). That’s pretty impressive for a Conference USA school. What’s more impressive is the titans of the Gridiron that have called the stadium home in the past. The list includes: the Birmingham Americans (1974) and Birmingham Vulcans (1975) of the World Football League (1974–1975), the Alabama Vulcans of the American Football Association (1979), the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League (1983–1985), and the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europe) in 1991–92.

Go Vulcans!

6. About the aforementioned minor league football field… it’s falling apart. Way back in 2004, the University of Alabama was scheduled to play one game a year at Legion Field. However, the upper deck at the stadium was completely unusable due to code violations, and the rest of the stadium was also in need of work. With no money coming in to fix the stadium, the Tide refused to play there. The Alabama High School football state tournament was also moved away from the stadium. UAB? They’re still calling it home. There was a  plan was for UAB to build its own stadium on campus, but the it was rejected without discussion.

Man, just typing that was depressing. I’m not even going to make fun of them for this. I feel for you, UAB

7. Blaze? Really? The UAB mascot is Blaze the Dragon. Yes, Blaze the Dragon. You can’t make this **** up. There must be some high-grade pot in Birmingham, that’s all I’ve got to say.

8. Lose the hyphen – One name. That’s what you get. The University of Alabama. The University of Birmingham. Birmingham State. Hyphenated names are for women who are embarrassed by their husbands.

9. They’re making things difficult on me When I write these articles, I count on a little support from the school that I’m writing about. For instance, I expect them to have at least one or two famous alumni that I can make fun of. Well, I looked up UAB’s “Distinguished alumni” and let me tell you, the pickings are slim. Who to bash? Former Miss America Deidre Downs? Astronaut Larry DeLucas? *yawn* Thanks a lot guys. Fortunately, the city of Birmingham itself was there for me when I needed it.

10. BUT PAWWWWWWWWL…  as you know, I hold universities responsible for the residents of the city in which they are located. Paul Finebaum is from Birmingham. They must suffer.


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